Monday, September 19, 2016

Voting for the (Blood)Sport of it All

This election is not about the soul of America, it's not about who will "steal" it more effectively, it's not about whether one person is a liar or one person is a crook.

It's a reality show with no winners and no losers - only conflict. Because conflict is what we live for. We can't get enough of schadenfreude. We watch the Kardashians and Dancing with the Stars and The Voice and NASCAR, because we want to see the biggest wreck we can see. Our lives are mostly about working an 8-5 job, with relatively shabby benefits, we numb ourselves with drugs, because the day's not right without a Valium in our systems, and it's not over till we've had at least one drink. While it's great that marijuana is being decriminalized, I have to wonder if we use it because it's the closest thing we get to seeing the absurdity of it all, while not doing anything about it. And when we get home, we want to see how other people are having a worse time than we are.

"You're such a bummer". Yeah, I know.

I've asked people who are refusing to vote for Hillary to give me examples of her corruption, and it's mostly conjecture. While I agree she's a neoliberal nightmare, she's not the end-all, be-all of terrible that some Bernie Sanders supporters (and all of Donald Trump's, Jill Stein's and Gary Johnson's supporters) believe she is. Yes, she's a hawk. Yes, her foreign policy decisions have not, perhaps, been terrific over the years. And yes, I think her ties to the banking system of this country run a little too deep. But you're seriously going to vote for a different candidate because you don't like her? Because you don't trust her? The "don't like, don't trust" crowd have been around since her husband ran for office back in '92. They have grown, mostly feeding off each other, because nothing says confirmation bias like a crowd of people all reinforcing each other's beliefs.

I blame the internet. Which is why we still get people saying that Al Gore said he invented it.


If you think that Hillary is somehow worse than Donald Trump, by all means, vote for him or one of the independents, because Trump is who we will get if you vote for anyone other than Hillary. And if you want Hillary to fall in line with your belief systems as far as foreign policy or women's rights or whatever, then for God's sake, push hard to get the progressives in your district/state in Congress. That's where the rubber meets the road in this country, not the Presidency. Because whoever becomes President this time around may have as many as four judges to appoint to the Supremes. If you like old white men who disapprove of a woman's right to choose, or who think corporations have more rights than people, by all means, vote for someone other than Hillary. But if you want to get Citizen's United overturned, if you want a Public Option for healthcare, the least you can do is make sure your local politician is a progressive. The same goes for mayoral races, state legislatures and governors. As long as we have a base that accurately reflects the will of the people, it will all the more difficult for the folks higher up the food chain to fuck with us. But for you folks who are going to stay home, because you don't like Hillary, but you won't vote for Trump, you're voting for Trump by staying home. You're voting for Trump's policies and his racism if you don't at least vote for Congresscritters and local pols who think like you do. Washington State may be sending our first Socialist to Congress this year.

If you want to know what the American crater would look like, look at what's happened in Kansas when Republicans got their hands on the tiller for a prolonged period of time.

If we can't have the Commander in Chief, at least we can have a legislative bulwark to stem the tide of his ideas, and maybe make him a one-term president. But I'm also in favor of Hillary being a one-term President, unless she surprises us all. As a nation, if we don't get our heads together and our act together, the great future for this grand experiment will all be in the past. We will become a conflict-enamored state of chaos, looking to find ways to become famous by having a terrible time, just like everyone who's ever appeared on The Apprentice.

1 comment:

Matt Rogers said...

Excellent post Sten!