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Assange's Believe It or Not!

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Almost all Americans paying the least bit of attention to the election have split the doctrines of the No Nothing Party between them and embraced the ones they found most appealing. A good sixty percent or so of the populace wish only to have our nation operated by figureheads (one is tempted to say "bobble heads"). Whether they are prepared or not to issue orders and make decisions in the Oval Office hardly seems relevant when both major candidates are making the election out to be one about the style of leadership the country needs, not the substance of governing necessary to rescue the country from its impending doom.

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
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Our politicians are preyed upon by employees of organizations that claim to be involved in gathering and broadcasting news, but have forgone the basics of journalism in favor of looking for the most popular method of holding up any incident as compelling evidence of one thing or another. Where once reality was observed and fitted into our understanding of the world, what is sold as news now is anecdote peddled as synecdoche. Every utterance of public figures, every recurrence of gun violence, every instance of brutality represents the Problem in today's world. Equally, evidence that contradicts the assumptions of Trump's deplorables, Hillbots, or Bernie-or-busters is a clay pigeon waiting to be shattered by a spray of deeply offended shot.

Any use of incidents as examples of a broader pattern, even when those incidents appear to occur randomly but demonstrate a troubling consistency, is fraught with difficulty because explanation by way of examples has ceased to hold any meaning. Every action or event has its own idiosyncratic spin like bosons, with no two being able to exist in the same quantum of space. Conversely, when every occurrence is similar to every other, such as Donald Trump's pronouncements on any subject, we can all be assured that everyone, except those deplorables, draws the same conclusion. Or rather, anyone who does not must be a deplorable himself.

What is even more bizarre is that people are complaining about the timing of when information becomes public and the motivations of those making the information public. Why does it matter? A lot of people initially did not believe or did not want to believe Woodward and Bernstein. The problem was that it came out during the election campaign against a candidate who could rightfully say he had, in the past, been wrongfully challenged about his ethics. As a result, Nixon landed a handy landslide. All that left us with was eighteen months or so of painful discussion about the involvement of the White House in the Watergate break-in. Would a McGovern presidency have been better for the country? Possibly not if you think about it. He was a rather weak leader.

Nothing in this world can ever make up for the various times in which Hillary Clinton has demonstrated her condescension toward true progressives, her unchanging focus in the past sixteen years on being elected president, her deal-making regarding the Iraq War vote that sums up her incapacity to represent New York State effectively in the Senate, her ruinous hubris as Colin Powell described it, and her efforts to cover up the truly wrong things she has done by using the inept attacks of the right as proof that she can't possibly be doing anything wrong.

Indeed, the GOP, Tea Party, and Donald Trump have consistently picked the wrong things to criticize about Clinton, which makes perfect sense because they are far from rational, intelligent opponents. They are so bad they chose Trump as their standard bearer. Their ineptitude should not, however, give Clinton a free pass to the White House. Any right thinking person ought to be able to see that this situation requires an upwelling of participation by everyone who does not want the lesser of two evils. There is a reason the people most knowledgeable about political analysis are shaking their heads in disgust and wondering what it will take for Americans to see that their political system really does need to be overhauled. The only thing that defines if a goal is realistic is if it is achieved. So, rather than saying turning a thumbs down to both major party candidates is unrealistic, how about embracing that option and achieving it.

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Bear Kosik is a political scientist by training. His Remaking Democracy in America was published in the fall of 2018 by Stairway Press. Well-received science fiction novels (two under Hugh Dudley) are available on Amazon. Several screenplays (more...)

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