The boys over at Slate.com echoed a similar refrain,
citing the importance of Gods, Guns, and Gays inside
the national psyche. Meanwhile Paul Krugman at The
New York Times beat yet again that tired, old mule
of how the Dems must more effectively rally their
Obviously at a loss, The Nation’s editors resorted
to vague generalities about the need for politics
of “conviction, passion, and substance.”
Arianna Huffington mined the same platitudinous vein,
declaring that a return to the “generosity of
spirit” which characterized JFK and FDR was
the order of day. And channeling a literary muse,
Professor Camille Paglia, argued, with all due seriousness,
that a humanist message delivered in “poetic”
language was the key which might unlock the White
What a steaming load of horseshit.
What John Kerry needed, and what the Democrats horribly
lack, are balls. The simple courage to hang the polls
and tell the public the straight story. To give them
their medicine, no matter how nasty it may taste at
first. When things are “fucked up,” say
so openly and not just to a Rolling Stone interviewer.
If personally attacked, challenge the accusers immediately
and forcefully with withering contempt. Temper that
frankness with an ounce of self-deprecating humor,
a dash of laughter at the expense of the sitting President
and the national press Corps, and voila, you have
a winning recipe.
For decades now the Democrats have been afflicted
with an insidious disease I’ve come to call
SWNS, or Sudden Withdrawal of Nutsack Syndrome. This
nasty disorder not only finds a suitable host in politicians,
but among professionals of all trades.
Last year actor Johnny Depp was felled by a serious
case of SWNS following a conversation with the German
magazine Stern (wherein he compared America
to a broken toy and a dumb puppy with teeth). Showing
up at a press conference several days later, a noticeably
pale Depp, his register several octaves higher, delivered
an apology and rebuttal of his reported comments,
which he claimed were “taken out of context.”
In John Kerry’s case, the disease took a strange
course in that his ample nutsack (which swaggered
so noticeably in the early 1970s) didn’t suddenly
withdraw but was instead willingly handed over to
castrated poll junkie Bob Shrum, who thought they
looked better pickled in a jar on his nightstand.
SWNS is one affliction, though, that never seized
John F. Kennedy, and the Democrats would be wise to
rediscover, on a highly personal level, the balls
of the 35th President, rather than continuing to invoke
the intangible mythic dream of Camelot. If JFK were
running for president today, he’d whip the public
with one frank observation from the outset. America
is FAT. And, with 60 percent of Uncle Sam’s
brood now supersized, we are seriously jeopardizing
the country’s future, while failing miserably
in our responsibilities to the young.
Back in the early 1960s Kennedy was already fearful
of how out-of-shape Americans had become, writing
an eloquent essay for Sports Illustrated
called “The Soft American” in which he
detailed the growing crisis. As Commander-In-Chief,
he tried to stem the flabby tide by furthering the
development of the Presidents Council on Youth Fitness
and championing physical education in the schools.
Needless to say, Jack would be horrified at today’s
bloated state of affairs—having strongly believed
that physical “fitness is the basis for all
other forms of excellence” (including the prowess
to make smart decisions on Election Day).
|D.A. Blyler is the author of
the novel Steffi’s Club. His essays have
appeared at Salon.com, The Korean Herald, Bangkok’s
The Nation, and other international and online
publications. A lecturer at Rajabhat University
Rajanagarindra, he makes his home in Thailand.
His latest novel can be purchased at Amazon.com.