Principalities & Powers

The Buchanan Victory

Whether a full-scale nuclear war between modern superpowers would last quite as long as the three-week blitzkrieg among this year's candidates for the Republican presidential nomination is an intriguing question that neither military nor political scientists seem to have asked, but whatever the answer, a duel with nuclear weapons might well be less bloodthirsty than the GOP's recent shoot-out at the OK Corral of American democracy. Rousseau remarked that the English people were really free only once every seven years when they were allowed to vote for a new Parliament, and to judge from the foolishness, lies, and chicanery in which most of the leading Republican contenders engaged, Americans might be better off if we gave up the pretense of freedom entirely and contented ourselves with the benign and pacific Oriental despotism of Suleiman the Magnificent.

The fraudulence of the Republican primaries was transparent from the first, with the most insipid of the candidates, Lamar Alexander, running around the country banging on a piano in his increasingly malodorous plaid shirt. If the Republican rank-and-filers who had to endure his clowning had any self-respect, they would have pelted him from the podium with rotten fruit and dead cats for coming before them with his insults to their intelligence. But few of the other ne'er-do-wells who presented themselves for the mandate of the people's will were any better.


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