Posts Tagged ‘Politics

30
Dec
09

Douchebag of the Decade

Regardless of whether you agree with George W. Bush’s policies or not, there’s no denying that he conforms to the douchebag archetype in every way imaginable. Everything about his personal appearance and public relations screams “douche” from his unnatural swagger to his artificial southern drawl. While it can be said that every politician is an ego-driven douchesack in his or her own right, none have conquered the international scene quite like he has. It is due to this that I’m christening Bush as the douchebag of the decade.

In a lot of ways, the 2000s were the decade of the douchebag. While the writers of Cracked in a recent article describe Viral, subprime, smart, green, and Post 9-11 as the words of the decade. Instead, I would argue that douchebag tops all of those. The word itself existed since the device’s inception, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that the pejorative became a definition in itself. The 2000s were a shallow and ego-driven decade swollen with self-promotion and entitlement. Since this is the case, George W. Bush is very much a product of its arrogance.

Let’s start with his attire. No douchebag is complete without an overly opulent outfit to parade around in like a spring peacock. When he wasn’t in his presidential suit, Dubya was dressed to kill as a cowboy like any proud Texan. This would be all and well, if he was actually born in Texas and wasn’t posing as local. Despite how absurd he looked in his cowboy outfit, nothing compares to this disaster of a photo-op:

Here is Bush in similar pictures.

In photo after photo…

…He just never fails to deliver.

And like most douchebags, Bush felt compelled to conform to an exaggeration of society’s conception of machismo. In America, military service stands as a paragon for its ideal of masculinity. Time and again, Bush invoked his enlistment in the National Guard to achieve such an image in spite of never serving overseas. Critics accused Bush of dodging the draft and going AWOL to avoid a mandatory drug test. Regardless of the validity to these claims, Bush still failed to live up to that standard of masculinity and made himself look like an asshat because of it.

He further humiliated himself before both the national and international stage with his various gaffes and oral flubs. It became such a natural occurrence that the term “Bushism” became coined into America’s political lexicon. Nonetheless, he looked like an idiot and still didn’t care.

If Bush had a shit to spare, he certainly didn’t give it. Whenever reporters would press him on his abysmal approval ratings, he nonchalantly dismissed the player haters like any self-loving douchetool.

Pop psychologists have attempted to reduce Bush’s political decisions as a way of outdoing his own father. If this is the case, then hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians perished on the behalf of one man’s ego. While most douchebags only humiliate themselves at the expense of their actions, nations suffered due to Bush’s hubris. What’s more, he ultimately tarnished the reputation of his own country as a result of his presidency. Everywhere from around the world people saw America as land of the douches and home to the naïve. Let’s see some other douchebag top that.

Note: Plenty of people are going to disagree with me and cite other politicians as an example. All I have to say is this: the 90s belonged to Clinton, and Bush’s presidency dominated all but two years of the 2000s. Other junior politicians have plenty of time to earn the next title.

Runner-up: Kanye West

You said you were the voice of a generation. You were right.

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30
Aug
09

Douchebag Public Figures–Taro Aso

Every once in a while, a politician so bad comes along that he inadvertently empowers an opponent in a future election. George W. Bush was such a politician, and Japan’s current Prime Minister may be one also.

Bush said plenty of embarrassing things while in office. In all fairness, most of them were grammatical errors justified through the slip of tongue. Taro Aso, on the other hand, has had a long history of gaffes before even taking office—all of which qualify him as a douchebag.

For example, Aso conforms to the racist douchebag archetype. In 2001, he said that he wanted to make Japan a country where “rich Jews” would want to live. In addition, The Kyodo News reported that he said “Our predecessors did a good thing,” regarding compulsory education during Japan’s colonization of Taiwan.

Like most douchebags, Aso’s own nationalistic arrogance disassociates him from reality. On October 15, 2005, before an opening ceremony for the Kyushu National Museum, he boasted that Japan has “one culture, one civilization, one language, and one ethnic group” and further claimed Japan was the only such country in the world. He completely ignores that Japan is a multiethnic society comprised of Koreans, Taiwanese, and indigenous Ainu to name a few.

His family’s business reinforces some of his own racist tendencies. The Aso Mining Company used 300 POWs of British, Dutch, and Australian descent in their forced labor camps. In addition to this, over 10,000 Koreans conscripts worked for the mining company under brutal conditions with little to practically no pay. The Aso family basically made their fortune from exploiting slave labor. Taro Aso, in a bid to remain consistent in his character, refused to so much as acknowledge or even apologize for the controversy.

Aso’s shining moment was when he potentially prevented Japan from electing their first minority Prime Minister. In a private meeting of the Kono Group, Taro Aso said that “Burakumin can’t become Prime Minister” in reference to Hiromu Nonaka of the Japanese diet.

Hiromu Nonaka, a previous contender for the head of office, was a descendent of the Burakumin, a group of feudal era untouchables. The Burakumin to this day suffer from heavy-handed discrimination to the extent that in practice, they’re a virtually a seperate ethnic minority from the Yamato as a whole.

Prejudice aside, it’s his misuse of the Japanese language, which places him within a fully negative light. He misread several speeches and said “stench the apology for war” in place of “support the apology for war.” In separate instance he referred to meetings with China as “cumbersome” instead of “frequent” as he originally intended. This has led to many comparisons to America’s own former President Bush for his various grammatical errors. Some even speculate that his verbal blunders may have boosted the sales in grammatical textbooks.

What encompasses him fully as a douchebag is that he places his own personal ambitions above the good of the many. Various members of his party insisted that he resign for the good of the Liberal Democratic Party. He refused, giving the DPJ, Japan’s largest oppositional party a scapegoat for the country’s ongoing problems.  As a result, Japan will see the first major shift in power in over 40 years as a result of this douche’s incompetent public image.

20
Jul
09

douchebag (n.)–The Emocratic Tool

Originally published in The Occidental Weekly:

Voters often complain about the absent alternative to America’s rigid bipartisan political system. Amidst this outcry comes the issue of representation. Most nonpartisan parties cite the under-representation of political interests and concerns in defense of creating alternate parties. Indeed, these alternate parties are under-represented because they barely made so much as a blip in the radar during the latest election. Of all the alternate parties there is one group that is more overlooked than any other. This party is unusual in that it is under-represented, yet also encompass America’s largest demographic. This political group is known as none other than the Emocratic Party.

Contrary to popular belief, Emocrats are neither specifically left, right, nor centered in their ideology. They come in a variety of packs ranging from the socially liberal to the fiscally conservative. What they do share in common is political dissatisfaction and inaction. An Emocrat will complain about whatever political policy is at stake. Whether it be an economic measure or state proposition, Emocrats will always voice their opposition. They’ll whine and shout, but refuse to march for their beliefs or volunteer for a grassroots organization. In spite of this, an Emocrat typically won’t even vote and prides himself in this decision.

An Emocrat considers himself a member of the non-voting elite for his political apathy. He’ll believe in the futility of change in the face of rigid bipartisan politics and consider himself enlightened because of it. In the rare instances that Emocrats do vote, they slap “I voted” stickers on their chest, and pride themselves in doing something that they were supposed to do to begin with. In the rare instance that an Emocrat votes for a partisan candidate, he immediately believes that his vote has some declarative value. College Emocrats are a different category in themselves and typically congregate at small liberal arts colleges. They’re politically-minded, but complain about their school’s isolation. The thought of reaching outside of the school and volunteering with other political groups off-campus never occurs to them. When it does, they dismiss it, because solving their problems would actually require work. They’d much rather drink, attend a Lupe Fiasco encore, or cry in the dark over an A- in a DWA course. As a result, any non-Emocrats of importance transfer to other colleges out of frustration.

If there’s one thing that annoys College Emocrats more than politics, it’s the media and student publications. They have an endless stream of grievances and complaints concerning these publications, but rarely work up the impetus to write letters to the editor. For the College Emocrat, these publications are either too liberal or not liberal enough. Not once does it ever occur to them to take the initiative, join this publication, and alter the inner workings from within. Other larger university publications are more exclusive and scarcely offer the creative freedom of small liberal arts newspapers, but this doesn’t matter to the College Emocrat, because he is never satisfied. Then again, joining these papers would actually require some labor and effort, and this scares College Emocrats more than anything in the world.

Oddly enough, despite their fear of letters to the editor, College Emocrats enjoy blogging and trolling. To them, a blog is nothing more than a sophisticated version of an angst-ridden Livejournal. College Emocrats typically comment on the articles of student newspapers using anonymous aliases. Anonymity is preferred because being held accountable for their vapid ideas terrifies Emocrats.

At first glance, this would render pundits and other journalists indistinguishable from other Emocrats, except on a professional level. After all, isn’t that what journalists and pundits do on a daily basis: whine and complain? Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Ordinary journalists and pundits value the mass media as an interconnected collective, but acknowledge their own irrelevancy in journalism as individuals.

The Emocrat lacks so much political mobility that it’s doubtful that he’ll ever have his voice heard. True Emocrats reject the very fact that politics is fundamentally about compromise. It is because of this that Emocrats are never satisfied and stake this as their source of idle apathy. What the future has in store for the Emocrat, none can say. The Emocrat is a tragic paradox because deciding to lift themselves up would eliminate their essence of character.

16
Jul
09

Douchebag Public Figures–Umair Haque

Every end of the political spectrum has its share of conceited journalists. After all, opinion pieces require conviction in one’s beliefs. However, they rarely breach the level of arrogance as Umair Haque in his article, “The Generation M Manifesto.” This article claims that a progressive generation is on the horizon, ready to quash the selfish, narrow-minded ideologues of the past. Instead, he comes off as douchey as the very people he hates.

Haque criticizes the Baby Boomers for their excess, but never names them as such, because he doesn’t know what he’s writing about. In fact, he’s so confused with his generational taxonomy that he seems to hash the Baby Boomers, Generation Jones, MTV, X, and Y into one amalgam. What’s more, the article consists of bumper sticker slogans rather than any reinforced evidence to his claims.

Like most douchebags, Haque is infatuated with himself and his “generation” despite his articles invalidity. His readers are too blinded with self-love to even detect his bullshit. The article panders to a group of people who fancy themselves as the new elite.

Haque is completely wrong all the way down to his invented label. It’s not Generation M, it’s more like Generation ME—an entire generation of narcicists. The embracement of his “argument” merely reinforces the notion that America’s still undergoing a narcissism pandemic. His readers are so in love with themselves that they’re ready to concur that they’re the country’s salvation, even if it’s spoken from the mouth of a hack.

Granted, parts of Haque’s post could have some legitimacy. Barack Obama’s presidency coerced more people into public service, but there’s no evidence that this is an on going trend. Even if there is, Haque should have cited statistical examples. He has no idea what he’s talking about and jumped the gun on a potentially nonexistent social change.

His readers further fit into the category of ideological douchebags—arrogant, close-minded, individuals who like the sound of their own voices. And like the archetypical douchebag, Haque and his ideologues will insist that they’re right despite any evidence to the contrary. The chances are that Haques readers will merely nod their heads to his words and continue complaining about current events. Never does it occur to them to put their money where their mouths are, go out, and get politically active. For the political douchebag, thoughts always speak louder than actions.

02
Jul
09

Douche Quotes

As mentioned in a previous post, douchebags cheat on their spouses. Infidelity alone, however, doesn’t fully label someone a douche. A true douchebag still has a high opinion of himself after he’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Everyone’s familiar with S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s tryst in Argentina. As his kind are wont to do, he decided to reach towards the Good Book to relate his actions:

I remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been committed to me over the next 18 months, and it is my hope that I am able to follow the example set by David in Bible – who after his fall from grace humbly refocused on the work at hand. By doing so, I will ultimately better serve in every area of my life, and I am committed to doing so.