Unless you've been at a silent meditation retreat for several weeks, or held hostage by kidnappers awaiting ransom, you'll have seen the ad called "The One" by the respectful, issue-based propagandists over at John McCain 2008 HQ.
The ad, which is here, charges that Obama has "anointed himself The One," but is not "ready to lead." McCain is saying, "Granted, I'm not The One, but I know some stuff about the government." That's quite a choice to put to voters. Who would not choose the One?
Who do you want in the White House: the Redeemer of Mankind or the Comptroller?
Do you want #1 or #71?
Do you want "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," or "Bomb, Bomb, Iran"?
Do you want Moses or Archie Bunker?
It's easy to get carried away about Obama. It's not his fault. Everyone loves him, even Germans, who don't even love each other. The ad has a clip from The Ten Commandments. So even Charlton Heston, the patron saint of gun owners, loves Obama from beyond the grave.
Republicans are suggesting that "ready to lead" somehow doesn't include the traits of the One -- presumably a compelling eloquence about a vision for the future -- so voters should mistrust Obama's virtues. The message is that if the bitterness with which Americans view our government were shattered by an inspiring presidency, the ensuing outbreak of democratic civic engagement would hurl our super-sized gluttonous civilization down the abyss. Moreover, on any list of great leaders in history (for example, Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ, Bill Pullman in Independence Day), being inspiring and eloquent feature high among the qualities that made them great. On the yonder side of the Obama years, we can all gladly resume hating the interminable succession of rank and cynical opportunists who will surely stand for President after 2016.
Obama is the One because he stands for change, but the Bush administration has set the bar so low that it doesn't matter much what that change is. Obama could say, "I believe in change because I believe in science." To which I'd reply, "Sweet! That's the kind of political courage I look for in a president. Finally, a president that doesn't want to keep fighting the Copernican Revolution."
As far as I'm concerned, you're the One if you don't call your wife a c**t and a trollop in front of reporters. If you habitually use words with more than two syllables in a row, then you're the One. If you make policy decisions based on evidence rather than the advice of the little Jesus in your heart, you're the One. If you're not an alcoholic ne'er-do-well millionaire, you're the One. If you don't call Vietnamese people "gooks," you're the One.
Clearly, the rebuttal ad should feature Trinity from The Matrix saying: "Senator, I served with the One. I knew the One. The One was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no The One."