Thank you, Joseph Epstein. Thank you for being the first to openly write — as you have recently done in the Wall Street Journal — of an addiction to anything to do with the Democratic primary race. You have opened the door and now who-knows-how-many of us can stop pretending we’re not all that interested.
I am so hooked. It doesn’t matter to me that I seldom hear or see anything new. You know the drill: “Barack can’t lose…can’t close the deal…Hillary can’t win…needs blah blah blah…he’s got the delegates…she’s got the popular vote…count Florida and Michigan…Dean is worried…Republicans prefer Hillary…no, they want Obama…super delegates…(start over again).” Not to worry, I’m never bored. Nor do I tire of the endless parade of pundits nobody has ever heard of and who just repeat each other day and night. And the Reverend Jeremiah Wright — boffo! I have listened to dozens of “strategists” deliver the same Wright-vs.-Obama wisdom at least a dozen times apiece. Loved it. Nor let’s forget the polls. How wonderful that we have “daily tracking polls” reported all day even though I dare say most of us don’t know what to make of them and they probably don’t mean much to begin with. Yet I watch the numbers and the graph lines go up and down with rapt attention and shameful interest.
In his confession, the distinguished author Mr. Epstein admits to watching television talk shows he would otherwise eschew, just to satisfy his craving — which craving, he says, is “ruining” his “mental hygiene.” For my own part, I am ashamed — but compelled — to tell you that I wake at dawn and surf the early morning cable news shows (“Morning Joe” is great — this race is almost their only subject) before switching to the radio talking heads at 7 a.m. After that come the newspapers and somewhere in all this, the web. How pitiful is that?
Issues? Don’t be silly. I know perfectly well where Barack and Hillary stand on all things foreign and domestic and don’t need to hear more. Just keep talking about their gaffes, their problematic friends, their unhelpful spouses, their media devotees, their empty slogans, their superficiality, their overwhelming ambition and cheek to think they ought to be President of the USA. God forbid.
John McCain? He has my vote, but I must say I haven’t been paying much attention to whatever he is up to. A campaign tour? I’ll catch up with him later.
As for those among my family and friends who don’t care about politics and like to talk of other things, well, I’ll get back to them some day. I’m too far gone. And (do I have to tell you?) this is just too good to miss! Have to run; the evening news is coming on.