I cannot help thinking that there is a curious parallel between what Howard Stern is doing to 'American Idol,' and what the Clintons are doing to the election. To my chagrin, because of Pam Korman, a darling friend I have made since moving back to L.A., I started watching 'Idol,' and, to my deepening shame, got hooked. My addiction to my country, though, has a long and I hope more illuminated history, starting when I was a very little girl, and understood words and voices, and thought I could hear in F.D.R.'s reassuring resonances, that everything would be all right. My student days were lifted by Adlai Stevenson's humanistic concerns and the possibilties of greatness, what was left of my idealistic youth elevated by Kennedy's eloquence, shattered, along with everybody else's, by his assassination, when I turned the channel from Cronkhite's wiping his eyes after looking at the clock and announcing the death, to NBC where I thought he might still be alive. After that I had babies, so my affection focussed elsewhere until Johnson said he would not run, when I re-began loving America.
As I have already written in these reports, I felt I had a personal hand in bringing down Nixon, voted Republican because I trusted Gerald Ford, and later mistrusted Jimmy Carter. Don would not die until he signed his absentee ballot for Mondale, which I took to the polling place, sobbing. So my sense of connection is passionate and deep-rooted. Along with my thinking friends I have suffered through this abysmal administration, wondering why we were not taking to the streets.
And now comes our chance to pull ourselves out of this cesspool, and I am fearful we are going to blow it. Though I don't know David Geffen, I agree with him that Hillary is polarizing, and that if she is the candidate, the Democrats lose. But as Howard Stern maniacally undermines the genuine talents with the farce of getting his listeners to vote for the desperately ungifted Sanjaya, so the (almost) irresistible Bill is out beating the money drums for Hillary, to try and overcome Obama.
The true horror is that this all seems to be about money. Pols understand that it has ever been so, but I really don't. I thought it was about serving our country, about finding the person with the most to give, the ability to unite, lift, inspire, and make other nations respect us, not laugh and/or tremble as this joker has done. So that it all comes down to the buck is enough to turn me against the whole system.
Even my own personal choice, John Edwards, has a staff that hassles me for money, when I ask if I can write for him, volunteer, man phones, anything. Having sent in one donation, I get an e-mail a day with a solicitation, a cry that if more money isn't sent in, he might not be able to emerge as a candidate. I hate all this. Howard Stern is a malevolent geek who likes to undermine and show his own wacko power. But who/what is the force behind our elections turning on the dollar?
And what are we going to do about it? Let's get Sirius.