An accident of history

This is a strange, strange election. Its always risky to talk about politics, but we are witnessing a national derangement, so I might as well act deranged.

I’ve long hated political false equivalence, and I’ve essentially given up on the media as having any capability of providing objective information, performing deep and thorough analysis or acting with integrity.  I find pretty much any mainstream news outlet to be purveyors of gossip, shallow ‘facts’ and sensationalism.  I get my news primarily from those that mock that news (if I pay attention at all). 

We live in an era where every election is a 50/50 toss up.  For as long as I could vote, it hasn’t seemed to matter who the presidential candidates are. We either love our candidates straight down the middle or we hate each others candidates straight down the middle.  And you might have been able to make a compelling argument that that is because of party platform differences, the electoral college, the economy or some version of the marketplace of ideas.  But this election crystalizes and emphasizes an obvious dysfunction.  We are split right down the middle again when that simply should not be the case.  When one party has nominated there own worst nightmare, a joke candidacy, a publicity stunt that stumbled unwittingly into a legitimate nomination, and we end up in the same old horse race, something is amiss.

That joke candidate, who doesn’t have the experience, temperament, acumen or aptitude, and I’m still not convinced originally wanted or expected to be president, now has a 50/50 shot of being president.  A completely self-interested, narcissistic petulant child, is on the verge of becoming president and we still act as if we’re evaluating roughly equal evils. 

“You’re either voting for a dishonest criminal or a dangerous nut, there’s no good choice”. 

Except that Trump’s behavior is more dishonest and criminal by a mile. Those qualifications belong on his side of the ledger:

“You’re either voting for a dishonest criminal nut or an uncharismatic, boring politician, there’s no good choice.”

If you phrase it accurately, I think its pretty clear there is a good choice. Not an inspiring uplifting choice, but a morally responsible one.  No matter how much more entertaining a reality TV star is, putting the fate of the world in his hands isn’t funny, and it isn’t sticking it to the Clinton’s.  They’ll be fine. The rest of us need to worry. 

I once thought that it ultimately didn’t matter that much who won. And in the day to day politics as usual it still probably doesn’t.  If it were Romney vs Clinton, it probably wouldn’t matter much either.  But when Bush barely beat Gore, and then we invaded the wrong country after Sept. 11, it mattered.  And it will definitely matter in the next attack, or the next financial crisis, which one of these candidates is actually president.


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