Chris Saxman: Cold Fusion – Thunder Road Edition

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What does that have to do with Thunder Road? Nothing.

Thunder Road, as many of you are aware, is a brilliant song from Bruce Springsteen that opens – The screen door slams/Mary’s dress sways/Like a vision she dances across the porch/ As the radio plays/ Roy Orbison singing for the lonely…

1975. Great lyrics. One of the most memorable lines – You ain’t a beauty/But hey you’re alright – describes what most people will come to realize in the eventual winner of the GOP nomination for POTUS.

Now, I am not about to wax poetic about the good ol’ mid 70s. To me those days were a true tragedy – inevitable catastrophe.

The aftermath of Vietnam, Watergate and the social revolutions gave way to a time in our nation’s history that was, to say the least, changing. A lot.

While we were producing massive, hulking automobiles our competitors were dreaming of smaller, more efficient and, yes, better built cars and light trucks.

Many will presume that the election in 2012 also will be a true tragedy – inevitable catastrophic re-election of the current president. Note – I am half way through the fortnight in my vacation from commenting on Obama. It’s been refreshing.

But as the not so young male suitor of Mary concludes during his desire to whisk her away, she’s not perfect and doesn’t have to be, nor does Obama’s primary competitor have to be. He or she just has to be alright.

For now, however, most of us will watch the endless pursuit of perfection a la Lexus, the Toyota premium brand of automobile.

Sure we would all love to have a Lexus, but we really don’t need one to win in 2012. We just need a good Ford F150.

In the world of primary electoral politics, we are all that Mary about to wooed away from this situation we find ourselves in as Springsteen concludes “Its a town full of losers/ And I’m pulling out of here to win”.

Ah…Winning. Duh.

November 2012 will be about winning.

The kids of 1970’s are perfectly comfortable driving a metaphorical F150 if it means that someday their kids will have a chance to have the luxury auto of their choice. Unfortunately, many of us are looking at a generation of Marys consigned to tricking out a Yugo.

The angst among those who are not ever going to vote to re-elect President Obama will wane later this fall after the reality of just winning will suffice thank you very much sinks in. Until such reality has us no longer hitting the snooze button because we are very much awake to the reality of the 2012 election cycle, we will be inundated with constant coverage of the aspirants.

Missing from that list will be Governor Mike Huckabee who decided not to run thus leaving the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primary wide open. Wildly popular among social conservatives, Huckabee could be the king maker of all king makers in 2012. His endorsement could decide our next president.

An ordained Baptist minister, Huckabee said that his decision was not political or economic, it was spiritual.

Might he choose the other Baptist preacher running for president?

Wait. Who’s that?

Herman Cain.

Cue Springsteen for the GOP caucus and primary voter

“Oh oh come take my hand/Riding out tonight to case the promised land/Oh oh Thunder Road….”

While the GOP primary voter tends to be the kind to drive a proven, broken in candidate, more and more are saying that they would like that candidate who offers the allure of new car smell.

Maybe winning in 2012 will be someone who doesn’t require defense, only offense.

Playing defense is tiring and the GOP is on offense right now and having to go back and defend positions long since debated and won might be a major problem for the angst ridden.

While Governor Pawlenty has since apologized for his support of Cap and Trade, Governor Romney, last week, was seen by many as supporting his Massachusetts health care plan. Cain, on the other hand, has done neither and is more of the brand new Lexus for the primary voter.

Many a politician like to play Born to Run during their rallies, that is until Springsteen, not a conservative Republican, gets wind of it and puts the kibosh on that song play.

Perhaps the Boss will not grant the first song from the Born to Run album, Thunder Road, any airing during rallies, but it will be playing in my head as we search for a leader while many “waste their summer praying in vain/for a savior to rise from these streets”.

We need not a savior or “not a hero/that’s understood…”

“Hey, what else can we do now?/Except roll down the window/ And let the wind blow back your hair/Well the nights busting open/These two lanes will take us anywhere/We got one last chance to make it real/To trade in these wings for some wheels”

We truly do have one last chance to make it real. We need a trade in desperately.

The summer will be spent by many praying in vain, the fall, however, will have this lyric –

“Show a little faith/There’s magic in the night/ You ain’t a beauty/But hey you’re alright!”

Oh, oh Thunder Road.

Column by Chris Saxman



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