September 10, 2008

Before Sunrise

I love logic.

That comes from my training and natural inclinations towards math, science, and the rational process. I like to know how and why things work.

I have also always been a creature of faith.

Perhaps it's the rural roots of my family and our own brushes with the esoteric and unseen.

And I don't consider these to be mutually exclusive.

One of my all-time favorite books is "Fire In The Mind" by George Johnson. In it, he examines a pair of seemingly mutually exclusive systems of thought in Santa Fe, New Mexico - the nuclear physics labs in Los Alamos and the traditional religions of the local Native American tribes - and shows that, in many ways, they have much more in common than the average person would think. After all, whether it's a sky god or an electron, they both use a series of instruments and tools to predict the behavior of things we cannot experience directly with our 5 senses, but which they both assume have a direct impact on your everyday life.

So, let's start with a somewhat lazy logical argument:

I'm an enormous believer in Arthur C. Clarke's so-called Third Law of Prediction:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
And by "technology", I'm pretty much in agreement with Wikipedia's initial definition that it is "a broad concept that deals with a species' usage and knowledge of tools and crafts, and how it affects a species' ability to control and adapt to its environment."

Now, if that's true, than the logic student in me would also posit a corollary - that anything that appears to be magic is simply the usage and knowledge of a series of tools and crafts that the observer does not fully understand.

In short, magic is simply a science you haven't figured out yet.

Which is why I'm a big fan of John Dee.

For those of you who don't know, Dee was, officially, the queen's surgeon, as in Queen Elizabeth I of England, way back in the 16th century. Not only was Dee a scientist and a mathematician of the first order, he was also a specialist in mysticism and the occult. So, not only did the queen turn to Dee for his scientific acumen, but she relied on him to interpret her dreams, to check the path and influence of the stars, etc. Because, of course, back in those days, if you were a scholar, you studied everything and treated it all with equal weight based on the actual results, without having a bias to one system of thought over another (e.g. rational science over mysticism).

But, you'll notice, individuals in positions of power almost always have someone next to them, just behind the scenes, who is doing.... something that the average layman doesn't quite understand.

Every King Arthur has a Merlin behind him to "work the roots", as they used to say back in "the country", to help him stay in power.

Now, I'm sure some of you have read this and said "wow, Day really hides his insanity quite well. I had no idea he was such a madman."

And that's OK, because I needed to put what I'm about to say in some context first.

I want to talk about Karl Rove.

I know what you're thinking.

And, yes, you're 100% right - I AM saying that Rove is to Bush as Merlin is to King Arthur or Gandalf is to Aragorn and so on and so on.

And it didn't fully click for me until today. Here's why.

Right after the 2004 Presidential election, I wrote a post called "The Sun WILL Rise", in which I said the reason why Bush won was because he was, literally, The Candidate of Fear (tm). The entire electorate had bought into the fear paradigm - Republicans were afraid of what might happen to them if Bush lost, and Democrats were afraid of what might happen if Bush won. But the fact of the matter was that everyone's attention and emotional energy was all focused on Bush. Our collective national fear put him in office.

So, as I wrote in a 2006 blog called "The California Democratic Party Sucks", I was no longer going to vote out of fear ever again, even if the absence of my vote for Phil Angelides meant that Arnold would get re-elected governor. I was only going to vote FOR what I believed in, not AGAINST anything.

And, yes, Arnold was re-elected, but, if you look at his record since then, for all intents and purposes, he may as well have been a blue-dog Democrat for the last two years.

Now, consider what's happened this year - there had been a tremendous amount of positive energy flowing in Barack Obama's direction. He figured out that it wasn't enough to have good policies. You also had to inspire people and activate their hearts. Luckily, he also has the skills to do that. The Democrats were on their way to a landslide victory.

Until McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Oh, wait - let me clarify that.

Until Karl Rove and his surrogates who are now running McCain's campaign forced him to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate.

And, while everyone on the left and in the media is screaming "but she's completely unqualified!!! She's a right-wing ideologue!!! She has a history of misuse of power!!!", they've all completely missed the point.

The Rovians made McCain pick her BECAUSE she's unqualified. BECAUSE she's an ideologue. BECAUSE she has a history of misusing power.

They picked her because she terrifies us.

Sarah Palin is The New Candidate of Fear (tm).

And now, instead of all this talk about hope and the future, we get Democrats and Obama supporters running around with their hair literally on fire over the possibility of President Palin.

I mean, people who've been completely silent over the course of this entire campaign have suddenly been bombarding me with crazed e-mails, sounding like Randy Quaid in "Independence Day":
"We've got to stop them!!!!!!"
The entire focus of the campaign is now on her - those who love her, and those who're afraid of her. And, at the moment, our collective national fear is putting her in office.

The manipulation of the emotional state of a group of people as large as a voting electorate is a science that Rove has employed for decades to adjust and control the political landscape to his liking. A science that the average person simply doesn't understand.

It's magic.

So, for those of you who support Barack Obama like I do, here's the plan - remember how you felt when you saw this?

Don't be misled by the news or the opposition: Our candidate gets it. He knows the power of the collective American spirit is what has propelled him this far and is what can bring him to victory.

So, from now until Election Day, stop forwarding all of those e-mails about how crazy Sarah Palin is.

Instead, tell me stories about the America you dream about.

The President and leadership you hope for.

The Future you believe in.

Write about your own faith in tomorrow, and forward THAT email to everybody in your address book. Re-ignite your belief in the horizon and pass those on to everyone you know.

There's a reason why this is Obama's logo:

To paraphrase Harvey Dent, it's always darkest before the dawn, but keep dreaming about the warmth of the sun on your face, and I promise you, THE DAWN IS COMING.

And remember to vote FOR Obama.