Today is the last day Americans can cast ballots for the 2012 general election.
As I avoid all media reports since they only irritate me right now, I am instead thinking about a conversation that Gore Vidal reported (in Inventing a Nation) having had with John Kennedy one fine day. Kennedy asked how a "backwards country like this, with only three million people, could have produced the three great geniuses of the 18th century - Franklin, Jefferson and Hamilton.
Excellent question. Allow me to update it. How is it that an advanced country like this, with nearly 315 million people, does not seem to have produced even one political genius on the same level as a Franklin, Jefferson or Hamilton in the early 21st century?
And that is all I will say about it.
For those of you who would like a 20-minute break away from the election madness may I suggest this excellent Ted talk by Michael Sandel who has some suggestions for how to raise the level of discourse in American politics. Useful regardless of who wins tomorrow. And one of his examples is same-sex marriage which ties in nicely with yesterday's Flophouse post.