Take a step back from this election cycle.
Hey, we all know that the “other guy” is crooked, a closet atheist/axe murderer, an uptight libertine, teetotally drunk, a kindly grandmother/grandfather who hates children and puppy dogs, and who supports pickpockets, pimps, pederasts and other people who’s sins begin with the letter “P.” That is a given.
For sure, s/he’s vain, believes that God/the Universe/the Force has decreed that s/he rule and that s/he will save America from certain doom which is certain to follow another candidate’s election.
And we drink the Kool-Aid deeply. We actually believe that s/he is the only hope for America and the world.
History does not really support that. We have survived public officials who a substantial part of us saw as devils, the Anti-Christ and all-round bad people. Just looking at presidents, this includes Thomas Jefferson (founder of a party that Washington warned us about.) It includes Jackson, a poorly educated hothead. VanBuren who just was sort of VanBuren. Buchanan who fiddled while the nation fell apart. Lincoln, who got ZERO votes in several states. Grant - great general, lousy president. Theodore Roosevelt, that “damned cowboy,” according to Mark Hanna. Wilson who, along with TR, took the country hopelessly left-ward. Warren Gamaliel Harding, who played a great game of poker. FDR, Truman, LBJ, Reagan, Clinton, two Bush’s and finally Obama. That’s quite a rogues’ gallery. You know, I’m looking forward to the Tubman $20 bill. At least it’ll be someone’s picture who we haven’t heard real bad things about.
Oh, and it includes Oook, who first took over the Neanderthals.
And we survived most of them.
What to do . . .
No, do not expect answers from these Dispatches. At least I’m not quite so vain as some people mentioned above.
One possible explanation is inertia. Government is a ponderous beast. The most radical of candidates is talking about changing the way government spends maybe 20% of the money it takes in. Government and people’s expectations of government makes it highly resistant to change.
Another possible explanation is the vast mix of deeply held political beliefs. Abortion, gay anything, defense, foreign competition, immigrants, health care is the ONE THING that matters. But it depends on who you ask. The voting public mills around like cattle in a pen. And each separate interest has approximately the same access to means of communication. We just claim that the other guy has an unfair advantage, usually gained through some sort of skullduggery. We just don’t want the other guy’s position to be discussed because it's clearly silly.
We’ll survive President Trump-Clinton-Sanders-Cruz. We always have.