Friday, June 10, 2016 11:05 AM
This presidential election is something like a game of musical chairs—it’s been going on since early last year, and now it’s down to two players and one chair. It’s the endgame—in five months it will finally be over. And if, as should happen, Hillary is elected, we can even relax a little about the next election, because it will be about re-election—it won’t be the West-Side-Story-rumble that took up all of our attention for these last two years.
There are a lot of people who aren’t happy about the present end-game. Unhappy GOP folk are still scrambling for an alternative to their nominee, and disappointed Bernie supporters are grumbling about third party candidates. But people have been complaining about the Primary process itself, as well. And I suggest to all you good people that the time is past. Save your alternatives for after November, when they aren’t afterthoughts to an already hard-fought struggle.
Jon Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” had a recent episode focusing on the not-so-democratic aspects of our State Primaries—and he makes the point that people always debate the objectionable aspects of Primaries during the primaries, when it’s too late to change the rules—and that we all forget about it when the election is over. We never worry about primary rules in an off-year, when changes could actually be made. That’s people for you.
And I feel the same way about third-party candidates—let’s put as much journalism, examination, and debate into these magical alternatives as we put into the two major parties’ candidates. Third-party is not a rip-cord we just pull when we’re dissatisfied with the two major players—whoever that person is, he or she is a cipher, a complete unknown—and voting for one is more a repudiation of our choices than an actual choice. Libertarians and Independents can have some pretty out-there stands on important issues—you don’t want to find out what they are, after you’ve elected the person.
My point is this—we’ve spent more time attending to this election than any previous presidential race—it’s been kind of ridiculous, really. So, to pull an ‘other’ option out of our asses at the eleventh hour makes about as much sense as voting for Trump, which is to say—none at all.
I get it—I do. With all the bad-mouthing of Hillary Clinton, it’s nearly impossible to continue to give her the benefit of the doubt—even if you believe, as I do, that it’s just the supreme example of ‘if you repeat a lie often enough’. But I say, “Grow up and take your medicine, America—Hillary is what you need to grow big and strong—I don’t care if you gag on the spoon.”
Did that sound condescending? Let me explain. I’m a sixty-year-old, educated man with a serious interest in our democratic government. On the one hand, for over a year, I’ve listened to people support a man who makes my skin crawl. On the other, for three decades, I’ve listened to those same people tell lie upon lie about the only credible candidate. I know that the one-percent are the only people who actually drive legislation—the desires of the 99% have meant nothing to legislators for a long time. We are being manipulated by the wealthy, by the media, and by tiny but vocal fringe groups (like the Tea Party). I can see through all the bullshit—and I’m tired of trying to reason others out of their delusions.
Other people seem to take it less seriously—or they are more serious, but in that ingenuous, starry-eyed way of the inexperienced teen. Other people seem to need some kind of emotional release from their politics—for them, partisan-ship is the whole point, and cold reason be damned. And I’ve had it. You all want to play games? Go ahead—but don’t complain if I act like the mother of all wet blankets. Hold your nose and say ‘Ah’—here comes the castor oil.