Writer/scientist, Arthur C. Clarke, said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” But he certainly did not limit magic to advanced technology. My maternal grandmother, Regina, who died at age 96 in 1937, grew up with candle light, told me about the day her father brought home a magical invention that lit up an entire room – a kerosene lantern. She took her first airplane ride in an open cockpit biplane in 1935 at Floyd Bennett Field, listened to opera on the radio, used the telephone, and were she shown an iPad, would have loved it. She prayed every day, lit candles for loved ones, and fed one of our pickier cats the food it preferred – fresh bluefish. Magic was her daily life. Sometimes she sent me upstairs to the attic, which scared me: trunks, boxes, lamps, bed springs, framed pictures, a dress form, and lumpy things I didn't recognize, so I hummed. No one told me that humming was good magic that would protect me from the malevolent kind, but I knew. Magic was also rife in the Iowa Caucus, both before and after.
Mitt Romney (first, at 25%) “It's really an election about the soul of America.”
Rick Santorum (second, also 25% but 8 votes less) “You have taken the first step in taking back this country.”
Ron Paul (third, at 21%) “We the people who care about this country... can still win.”
Newt Gingrich (fourth, at 13%): “I do reserve the right to tell the truth.”
Rick Perry (fifth, at 10%) Here we come South Carolina!!!”
Michele Bachman (sixth, at 5%) “The people of Iowa spoke...so I have decided to stand aside."
Astonishingly, only Bachmann avoided magic in her simple statement of fact. Astonishing because one could conclude that among all these candidates, hers is the most fragile grasp of simple reality. But maybe not.
Romney claims possession of America's soul. Santorum supposes he is taking American back, but from whom? Ron Paul claims he and his folks alone care about the U.S.A. Newt Gingrich offers an ominous threat. Rick Perry hums in the dark.
The human capacity for reasoned objective thought followed by rational action is vastly overrated. The only question is what kind of magic we use, or allow to use us.