So then. Toru Hashimoto. The man makes my face hurt. Seriously, it’s a genuine physical reaction every time I see him on TV or in the newspapers or on the internet or in my dreams and still waking nightmares smiling with his smug self-obsessed areshole of a face with the same blissfully ignorant grin you see on the face of a toddler who’s just taken a crap in the middle of the living room carpet and is now pointing at it with witless pride and expecting congratulations because he’s made the entire house stink of shit, and he did it all by himself.
As other, smarter people have noted, the Japanese electorate are confronted with what amounts nothing more than a slight variation of Hobson’s Choice. Hobson was a stable owner who rented out horses when that was still the thing to do. In order to make sure his best mounts didn’t get chosen disproportionately and worn-out before their time he introduced a strict rota system; if you wanted a horse you could take the one he chose or you could get fucked. The variation in Japanese politics is that you take the LDP or nothing, and you’ll get fucked whatever you decide. If you try to get your horse from a different stable then you end up with a Hashimoto gurning like a cunt and debating how many rape victims can dance on the head of a pin.
The consensus seems to be that he’s really pissed on his chips this time around, that he’s simply gone too far and in addition to alienating the Chinese and the Koreans and the Americans and people who support nuclear power and people who oppose nuclear power and people with tattoos and teachers and parents and civil servants and members of the armed forces he’s now also pissed off women. And men. Well, me at least.
I genuinely don’t see how you can pull these constituencies apart. Whenever Hashimoto or any other ignorant politician opens their gobs to dribble whatever ill-formed brain-smegma they felt needed jettisoning at that particular time and says something offensive and inaccurate, there’s always commentators who say something like “this won’t play well with female voters,’ or, ‘this will alienate him from working parents,’ or whatever.
I’m not sure how not playing well with a specific demographic is a greater concern than just being plain fucking wrong. I don’t know how we got to this stage. I don’t know how we can see political ‘debates’ with wealthy middle-aged men trying to co-opt feminism and gender issues on the grounds that ‘I have daughters, and I want them to have the same opportunities as boys.’
I don’t have daughters. I have sons and guess what, I want them to have the same opportunities as that wealthy, influential, well-connected politician’s daughters. In truth I’d rather everyone got the same opportunities regardless of gender or class or ethnicity or orientation, because it’s the right fucking thing. It’s possible for someone’s moral compass to be guided by more than nepotism and genetic self-interest, but I realize I’m probably on hiding to nothing here.
|No real relevance, but too good to waste.|
Because this is how arseholes get elected. They buy people off. They promise things that they think we want and at best only half-think they can deliver. But I can’t blame them for that, not really. The modern ‘western’ democratic system is one that values glitz and showmanship over ability and substance. The single attribute modern political operatives most value is ‘Name Recognition’ which is how we end up with spurious ‘celebrity’ candidates in the most apparently serious of positions, and also why come election season in Japan we get all those fucking vans doing nothing more than endlessly repeating the candidates’ names. The insulting assumption is that the electorate don’t need to know anything more about, say, their policies or track record or personality because mere knowledge of their first and last names is enough. It’s insulting, but it would also appear to be right.
How much more can I say? No, I can no more blame the politician for his vacuous attention-seeking than I can blame a shark for eating a surfboarder or a toddler for shitting on the carpet; that’s just the nature of what they are and it’s up to more mature, intelligent creatures to find ways of neutralizing or correcting their inherent flaws.
Step one of which is stop fucking voting for them. Step two is to vote for someone else.
Oh. It rather falls down there, doesn’t it?