Presidential candidates often lose because, in the end–and in clear hindsight–they don’t want it badly enough. Michael Dukakis wanted to be President–only not as badly as George H.W. Bush, who won. George H.W. Bush wanted to be reelected President–only not nearly as badly as Bill Clinton, who won. Same thing with Bob Dole against Bill Clinton.
Obama v. McCain presents a somewhat different, and interesting, scenario. Both want to be President, but I suspect that Obama–at heart a total
power-luster–wants it more badly than McCain. Yet there’s one thing that might stop him: His incredible, arrogant narcissism. He seems to want power over others badly, as did Bill Clinton and others before him. But it also seems inconceivable to him that he could ever lose. People are afraid to call him “uppity” lest they be labeled a racist, as in implying that a black man should not dare to consider himself a U.S. President. But he IS uppity. It has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with the fact that he has NO experience to qualify him to such a high office–not by the standards of a limited government advocate such as myself; not by the standards of a Big Government liberal, either.
None of this is a denigration of confidence and “rational egoism.” But genuine self-esteem is based on actual achievement. Narcissism is based on pseudo-achievement through acquiring power over others. Criminals are motivated by narcissism and, quite frankly, most politicians are as well. If America still operated as a limited government republic, as in its early years, there would be none of the politicians you see today. There would be totally different people in office, ones not motivated by the career-based lust for power that motivate today’s Big Government politicians.
If you want a Big Government liberal, you had a probable winner in Hillary Clinton, in what seems likely to be a Democratic year. But for some reason, this inexperienced, unaccomplished guy Obama managed to convince a (slim) majority of his party that HE should be President–well, just because. That’s uppity, in my book. What remains to be seen is whether he convinces a majority of the country.