Today’s the big day when 140 million Americans, or thereabout, get to choose their next President while the rest of world looks on with bated breath and thinks ‘ FFS, please make it Obama’.
The result, so the press and pundits are telling us, will be close. So close that it will depend on the ballots cast a handful of US states and may easily depend on a relatively small number of people who haven’t yet made their minds up who to vote for.
If that happens to be you then even though I don’t personally have a dog in this fight, there’s something I want you to consider very carefully.
You can, so I’ve always found, learn a lot about people by observing them in those unguarded moments when they don’t realise that anyone’s watching. In this, the eyes are, I find, particularly revealing.
Take Obama, for example.
If you watch him carefully in those few quiet moments when he hasn’t got his game face on you’ll see that he tends to look thoughtful and maybe just a little pensive, which turns out to be pretty much how most people look in those situations. We live our lives with an internal monologue chattering away in our heads, constantly churning over the concerns of the day and that’s something we can usually reflected in others. It doesn’t matter so much whether they’re mulling over the big issues of the day or wondering how their kids are getting at school right now only that their mind is ticking over and you can see that in the little flickers of expression that play across the eyes.
That’s all perfectly normal human behaviour and it tells us that, deep down, Obama is a human being, just the same as the rest of us.
Now think back to George W Bush.
That guy worried me and plenty of other people even if, much of the time, they couldn’t quite put their finger on what exactly it was that set them on edge. If you felt that way about Bush then chances are you were picking up the same thing that I was, the fleeting expressions that gave you an insight into the contents of Dubya’s internal monologue, the signals that told you that the main thing through his head at any given moment was…
That’s why Bush creeped me out; because in those quiet unguarded moments he had the look of man who constantly needed to think really, really hard just to come up with something to think about.
Dubya looked perpetually bewildered when he was off guard and not in good way, not in that ‘I can’t believe people are still buying this shit’ way that you get with some politicians and public figures but in a ‘Fuck me, the sun came up this morning… who the hell would have expected that?’ kind of way that clued you in to the fact that Bush genuinely was as dumb as he looked.
Bush was the kind of guy who leaves you with the impression that he genuinely doesn’t know his shit from his Shinola. which is pretty fucking worrying when you’re looking at the President of the United States of America…
… but not as viscerally worrying as Romney.
The problem with Romney is that when the camera catches him off guard, there’s just nothing there are all.
I don’t mean that he has the same kind of vacant ‘Boy, this thinking shit is hard work’ expression as Bush, and in any case he doesn’t have the simian features necessary to carry that look off. I mean that there is genuinely nothing there. A complete and utter void.
When Romney’s off guard he looks for all the world as if he’s just completely flatlined.
So this is what I want you consider, if you’re voting today but haven’t yet made your mind up who to vote for.
When you catch Obama without his public mask and look in his eyes, you’ll see an ordinary human being.
When you caught Bush without his mask and looked in his eyes, you still saw a human being albeit one who genuinely did live his life in a permanent state of dumbass – sometimes what you see is exactly what you get and Bush was just one of those times
But when you look in Romney’s eyes you see nothing at all, not a flicker of a thought or a simple human emotion…
– because he’s one of the fucking pod people.
Now think carefully, trust your instincts and go cast your vote for a human being.
You know it makes sense.