How Smart Do You Have To Be? (2016Sep07)


Wednesday, September 07, 2016                                              12:34 PM

Debates are coming. Can Trump hide ignorance with sheer bluster? Can Hillary Clinton overcome public awkwardness to reveal her inner beauty? We shall see.

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People say ‘if Trump wins, I’m moving to Canada’—but for me, it’s more like cause to slit my throat—America is the greatest thing on Earth—we just can’t give it to a jerk who can’t see that greatness, who wants to replace it with his own conceited idea of what ‘greatness’ is.

But if there is a God (and even if there isn’t) Hillary should kick his ass. (And here I insert the obligatory reminder that we shouldn’t take it for granted—we must Vote—and get out the Vote.) If the world is made right again in November, and Hillary does win, I will feel a warm glow inside, knowing that America is safe from that bullying charlatan. But…

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Here’s the thing. We have ‘checks and balances’—the tripartite nature of our government is meant to prevent excesses in any one branch—including the Executive. It is not meant to paralyze our government. And it never has before now, when subtle racism has made the Legislative branch into a stone wall preventing the Executive branch from any action, not only in legislation, but even in filling the complement of the Judicial branch. This is cynical politicization of government beyond the bounds of responsibility, or of shame.

After the disaster of Bush-43’s presidency, the GOP did an autopsy to see why their bankrupt ideological platform wasn’t getting any votes outside of their carefully gerrymandered pockets of influence. They solved the problem, and then ignored the solution, because the solution was to be more like the Democrats—that is, ‘decent human beings’. Not their scene, apparently. So they went down a rabbit-hole of lies, rationales, and bluster against the Democrats.

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That conglomeration of ignorance and dog-whistling became so threadbare that a reality-TV celebrity was able to outshine them—when he should have been laughed off the primary-debate-dais by the contrast between himself and a dozen serious politicians. But by that point, he wasn’t facing rational, reasonable, serious politicians—he was facing Jeb, Marco, and Ted. Plus, the GOP had curated themselves a base of yahoos before the primary even began—so Trump won. They’re sorry now—but still, not because of their platforms, but because Trump made fools of them.

Now, these people are saying, “Okay, vote for Hillary if you must—but make sure to vote the party on the down-ballots, to provide a ‘check’ against Hillary”. In other words, if the GOP can’t govern, no one else should—and Democracy be damned. I say, if you’re going to elect a President, elect people who will work with her. We’ve had it, we little people—let someone get some goddam governing done. If the Dems fuck it up, elect a GOP president and Congress to replace them, but let somebody do something.

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‘Small Government’, in a highly-developed country, in the 21st century? Yeah, that’ll work, alright. ‘Nationalism’, when we need the injection of fresh blood that only immigration can bring—and when we need the real Muslims, as our greatest defense against extremist murderers? Yeah, that’ll work, alright. Ignorance and Science-denial, in the midst of a cyber cold-war and increasing automation and AI? Yeah, that’ll work, alright. I know, I’m an egghead—but how smart do you have to be, to see the hypocrisy of the GOP or the unfitness of their candidate? How ignorant do you have to be, to fall for it?

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