Monday, November 7, 2016

Choosing Between Donald the Vile or Crooked Hillary: The Absurdity of It All

So America, it all comes down to this: the whole world waits with bated breath while you decide which of your more despised Presidential candidates loses the election.  I think it's safe to say that those of us living outside of the USA hope that Trump loses.  After all, if he wins, as Commander and Chief of the most potent military force on the planet, he would be given access to the codes that control America's nuclear arsenal.  Oops, sorry about that humanity.

Other than my immediate concern about the safety of the planet, what strikes me the most about this election is how absurd it is.  Come on America.  Really? That's the best you can do?  Give the electorate the choice of being led by an overtly narcissistic, racist, misogynist sociopath or a cold-hearted, calculating, sell-out-to-the-financial-elite sociopath?

These are the choices?

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Back when I was in high school, I had to study The Theatre of the Absurd in such plays like Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Ionesco's Rhinoceros.  Having to decide between the two most reviled Presidential candidates since public opinion polls have been used to measure popularity strikes me as an absurd proposition.  I liken it to being invited to be a judge for a body building contest only to find out that all of the contestants are morbidly obese.  What's up with that?

I understand how it all came about.  Let's face it.  The majority of Americans have been screwed over royally by a ruling elite that cares more about their stock options and speaking fees than the well-being of the population.  Over the last ten years the meme of the top 1% has penetrated the national psyche.  To secure Clinton's nomination all that was needed was to control the Democratic primaries, which as it turned out proved relatively easy to do.  Seeing how her nomination turned out to be an unpopular choice -- no other politician symbolizes the politics of privilege better than Hillary -- the task for the media was to focus the electorate's attention on perhaps the only other candidate who could be even more repugnant than Hillary, Donald Trump.  The thinking was that the American electorate would never be that stupid as to elect a man who proclaimed that he would build a wall to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants and that he would get the Mexicans to pay for it.

But the choice for many Americans is not a rational one.  In fact, for many the decision is fraught with emotion.  Dare I say that the decision to vote for Trump, aside from facists and xenophobic racists, is simply a grand gesture of saying "fuck you" to America's ruling liberal elite.  In living memory, Americans can remember earning $80,000 a year from a single job that had benefits and a decent pension.  Now, millions toil for paltry wages: two jobs to earn $30,000, and a whole generation is stuck with mountains of student loan debt of which many will work a lifetime without ever paying off the debt.

I can see the twisted logic.  It's payback time.  Force those who have the most to lose by America running of the rails to have to deal with the antics of Donald Trump.  It's like someone who lives in an all white enclave accepting a lower offer to buy his or her house in order to sell to an African-American family just to piss his or her neighbours off.

I guess desperate times cry out for desperate measures and I think electing Trump would unquestionably be a wake up call for America's ruling elite who thought overwhelming advantage in campaign spending and media coverage would be enough to have their candidate elected.

Yet, things may not turn out as planned.  The unthinkable may come about.  Seeing through the charade of an election designed to place yet another millionaire into the highest office in the land and to do likewise with Congress, more than half its members are also millionaires, ordinary Americans just might serve notice that they are no longer to follow the script laid out for them, thinking that if the top 1% has, in effect, abandoned the population, in having to deal with a Trump as President at long last they will be in the same boat as their fellow citizens.

Misery loves company. 

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