2012-02-09

Save Yourself

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic asks whether the conservative movement really wants the GOP nominee to lead it. Citing Nick Gillespie, he writes:
...I understand the impulse to puncture the myth that surrounds [Ronald Reagan]. For decades now, it has caused conservatives to imagine that if only they can elect the right charismatic Republican president, he can double as champion of their movement and shrink the federal government, a feat that wasn't among St. Reagan's several impressive accomplishments.
Both Friedersdorf and Gillespie make the point that conservatives seem to believe that if they just elect the right guy, then he will lead the country down a path of righteous conservatism and happiness.

My question is, why on Earth does this criticism only apply to conservatives? Obama was supposed to be the great liberal messiah, and he, too, turned out to fall far short of expectations.

What he is describing is neither a conservative nor a liberal phenomenon, but in fact the myth of democracy itself. People seem to believe that if they only elect "good guys," then the country will be okay. All the while, everyone we elect is leading us down the road to hell.

Politicians don't save countries. People do. If we all stop pretending that someone is going to save us, we can maybe start to save ourselves.