It’s not that I haven’t been paying attention to all you’ve been up to for the past six months or more, it’s just that I can’t maintain interest in this made-for-TV “reality show” the way some of my fellow Americans can, and I’m long past faking it. Plus, there’s no good reason why it should take the people of our fine little country this long to make a decision. Strikes me that the only reason why the campaign for president runs for two damn years (and even longer than that, behind the scenes) is that the political industrial establishment has kids in college or wants a new boat.
First off, let me say that I’m disappointed at the overall quality of the candidates, and I don’t just mean the ones of you who are still in the race now. The Republican Party crowed about putting up such a highly-qualified collection of candidates, but so many of them turned out to be real dopes. I don’t need to go into details, you know who I’m talking about…and most of you agree with me. The Democrats who made an effort aren’t inspiring anybody, either. (Is the simple fact that a person puts him-or-herself up as a candidate for president prima facie evidence that they’ve really got a screw loose and can’t be trusted with the job?)
Watching the Republican race from the sidelines has been a demoralizing experience. I get it that people are unhappy with the quality of our national political leaders and want a change, but I’m saddened at the utter lack of critical thinking that seems to have gone into the winnowing process that’s produced two favorites who are demonstrably unfit for the job. You lie right to our faces, act like eight year olds in a playground argument, say anything that comes to your mind and scream that it’s true because you said so, and we cheer you on? Maybe we’re enjoying the catharsis, getting a rush from screaming that we’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more…that’s fine, as far as it goes. But if we’re not careful one of you could end up with the responsibility of defending our asses from enemies foreign and domestic, and I’m not too keen on that prospect. I mean, what would happen to our country if one of you wins?! I take some solace recognizing that far less than half of Republican America is supporting any of you, and as a student of history it will be exciting to watch a political convention where the winner of the nomination is not known before the first gavel falls.
The Democrats? Meh. Will any third-party candidates, or ultra-rich independents, get on the ballot and make the general election really interesting? I hope so. Will national cable news channels stop pretending this is just a fun-and-interesting way to pass the time until they launch the next branded coverage of some run of the mill disaster? THAT would be really interesting…
Anyways, this is one for the history books and I sort of envy the future students who will read about it and wonder, “how the hell did that happen?”