Election reflections, or something ....


Let us not launch the boat ...
Valued Senior Member
A couple of reflections on the current election. Were I a Kurt Vonnegut character--say, Wayne Hoover--I might find myself even more convinced that I was the center of an absurdly cruel farce.

Something about Poetic Propriety

I don't get it. Lately, everything just seems made-to-order. Everyone knew that if there was a God above, and had that God any sense of decency, the Denver Broncos should never have won a Super Bowl. But stars shining as they do, the lure of Elway was just too strong. How apropos that everyone wonders if John would end his career without a Super Bowl, only for him to win one--apropos a superstar--under threat of retirement.

Yes, it's petty. Yes, it's ridiculous. But come on, who ever watched Jordan play without at least wondering about the legitimacy of rule enforcement? Yeah, the guy was a superstar, but the league just flat-out handed him a bone from time to time.

Unfortunately, our politicians are not superstars. In fact, the two stars of the current electoral circus are so not-brilliant that one is forced to wonder if the American electorate thought the primary was a great opportunity for a frat-prank.

And, also unfortunately, anyone watching the current electoral debacle is well aware that there is something rotten about the legitimacy of the current election.

If it was a conspiracy, it is perhaps the most successful ill-fated, well-intended, bloodless coup in history. However, I think the odds of devising a conspiracy, botching it, blowing it, and having everything work out this well in the end is severely less likely than a case of idiots at the helm getting lucky.

Needless to say, I find it entirely ironic--and thoroughly, poetically apropos--that circumstances have degraded so far. At the moment the American electorate needed a couple of phatty rails of superfine "Bush-league" cocaine, they got it. When the election's so close that nobody seems to care except for those with nothing else to care about, it's fair to say the system's not running smoothly.

When I was fourteen, or so, I got so angry about a couple of things that I wanted to see Democracy fall over.

It just did.

Reasons to be Happy: A short list, but a list nonetheless

* Don't worry, be happy ... It's just that we're Americans. We staged a revolution and haven't stopped fighting since. Just because the most visible manifestation of that fight has come grinding to a temporary halt doesn't mean the sun won't rise.

* Don't worry, be happy (reprise) ... We're Americans: nothing's stopped us yet.

* At least it's happening now when only a few people will get hurt; even if it comes to fighting in the streets, it'll be a few riots. What it won't be is three million frothing, armed right-wingers mowing down legions of peaceniks in the streets. That comes later; much later, we hope. In the meantime, egos are bruised, reputations are shredded, and credibility is bleeding, but the casualties aren't much worse yet than in previous years.

* You want it, you got it. Haven't "the People" been screaming for "change" for a while, now? If this doesn't force some sort of fundamental change, we don't deserve democracy or its accompanient liberties. Of course, sometimes I think that's the point.


Let the world laugh at our electoral fumbles:

* We deserve it.
* We need it from time to time.
* It's all pointless; I'd like to see anyone pull off a faultless election for a nation this size. We're used to it, and if we can screw it up like this ....?


I had told several friends that I would leave the country in the event of a Bush election. Now it seems such a circus that it's worth staying for no matter who wins. Even if we have to suffer through four years of George Dubya, I can't imagine elections will be so thoroughly pathetic for a while. It's a little bit hopeful, in it own right. But any excuse to stay on home soil, I suppose.

Blowing in the wind?

Or blowing away like the smoke from my last bong-hit? Change, it would seem, is so determined to come that it's looking to prom night for hints. What numbness is required for the American giant to sleep through this row? Rather, I think that the opportunity for change has skipped knocking, and has crept in, up the stairs, and hopped into bed with the American voter. To reject change would invite an ugly scene similar to my last break-up, with everyone standing around, pointing fingers and yelling, yet knowing that tomorrow was, indeed, the same old ....

The Electoral College has finally bitten Americans just right; how many people are sore enough to keep hounding their congressional delegations?

Two-party restrictions, conditions for matching funds, billionaires trying to buy elections ... The election results this year look like next week's Springer lineup:

* I'm the most popular, but I still lost the election!
* I'm afraid of losing, so it's only fair to stop figuring out if I won or lost, and call me the Winner!
* Dead men and the women who love their offices.
* Manufactured candidates and the former Presidents who love them.
* Who needs the Beatles, it's the Gay Invasion!

Who do the people expect to blame? The "system"? Well, who's in charge of the System? How can everything be someone's own fault in society except for this?

Democracy might be doing its best Heaviside Layer, right now, but come on ... it's tired. In 224 years, we've only accessorized, and never once changed our clothes, so to speak. It's been a hard day's work for Democracy. I'm not worried about the future of things in a certain sense because, well, how bad can it get? The United States aren't going anywhere; in a world where such a Liberty has existed, I doubt a vacuum of such proportion is possible. And nobody is prepared to step up and take our place.

So Democracy has fallen. It can get up, but who says it needs to? For the moment, it can reach its beer, and that's all that seems to count. Sometime around January, our proud Concept will heave itself up off the bathroom floor and get a gander of itself in the mirror; the resulting distress will break the mirror and mandate at least four years' worth of "interesting times" in a slightly proverbial Chinese sense.

Comfortably numb

So I wanted to see it happen. So it's happened, seemingly to my satisfaction.

Why, then, am I still numb to this? Perhaps because I'm sad to see it get to this point? Perhaps because now that it's happened, I'm unsure it will have the full effect I hope for? Sure, we'll recover, but will we make the necessary changes? Will we have that Michael Jackson moment when we ask ourselves to change our ways?

For the next four years, I will be forced to notice certain bumper stickers. Depending on who wins, we'll see the classic, Don't blame me, I voted for Gore/Bush (circle the loser) bumper-stickers. I will take that opportunity to run such a driver into the ditch, so that their last conscious thought before they black out on impact will be my shouting voice: "You voted for either one of them, you pathetic moron!"

I could feel arrogant. For the first time in my voting career, I choose not to back a major party and they both manage such a lackluster performance that ... well, it really is indescribable, after a certain point. But Wayne Hoover, indeed.

These might be among the times that try mens' souls, but Kilgore Trout is laughing his ass off.

Nagging thoughts (drip-drip-drip)

Though not so much as a Proverbial wife, a few sentiments keep mulling around.

* A couple of conservative religious people I know seem to be taking this poorly. Sure, we've got two soulless sons of political dynasties duking it out for the Presidency in the year 2000, but both these dynasties have had ample opportunity to ruin the world before now. Anyone care to speculate or otherwise describe how this is affecting Apocalyptics? (Do we care?)

* I can't shake this nagging feeling I have every time a Gore or Bush supporter tells me what's wrong with the other candidate that I want to just punch them as hard as I can and yell, "This is all your bloody fault!" (Okay, moreso Bush supporters since I'm generally a bleeding leftist, but still ....)

* I bet Republicans are looking at Gary Bauer and wondering, What if?

* I bet Democrats are looking at Bill Bradley and saying, Well, it could have gone slightly worse.

* I bet Ross Perot is looking at Nader and saying, Wuss! (Or the thirteen-word Texan equivalent thereof.)

* I can't help thinking that we'll see generally obese comedians for the next few years. Whichever administration is the one, the gags will write themselves. All the writers and jokesters have to do is get fat on the residuals.

* I bet Lon Mabon is thinking, Forty-nine per cent! Why, this is as much a mandate to try again as our forty-eight per cent, last time; and the forty-nine the time before, and the forty-nine the time before, and the forty-eight before that, and ....

* Somewhere, Osama bin Laden is saying, Gore? Bush? I could take 'em both ....

It's been a heck of a season, eh? Raise a glass to the Electoral College. Maybe that's the problem, anyway. George Dubya was too worried about his entrance exams to put on a good campaign ....

Tiassa :cool:

Whether God exists or does not exist, He has come to rank among the most sublime and useless truths.--Denis Diderot