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Doomsday Election

By       Message Mike Whitney       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   7 comments

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From Counterpunch

Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump
(Image by justjared.com)
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This is what it must feel like to be on Death Row, to be waiting for the moment when the iron door clangs open for the last time and four burly guards escort you arm-in-arm to the room where your life will be extinguished. That same sense of dread hangs over the presidential election of 2016.

No one is happy about the election and no one anticipates better days ahead. America's "glory days" appear to be in the rear-view mirror while the steady downward slide seems to be gaining pace. This year's presidential campaign has brought all the anger, anxiety and frustration bubbling to the surface. Nerves are raw, people are on edge, and the trepidation is so thick you could cut it with a knife. All the recent surveys tell the same story: Americans are sick of the mudslinging, sick of the scandals, sick of the recriminations, sick of the two party duopoly, and sick of the two candidates, the two most distrusted and reviled candidates in the country's 230 year history. This is from the New York Times:

"An overwhelming majority of voters are disgusted by the state of American politics, and many harbor doubts that either major-party nominee can unite the country after a historically ugly presidential campaign, according to the final pre-election New York Times/CBS News Poll...

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"With more than eight in 10 voters saying the campaign has left them repulsed rather than excited, the rising toxicity threatens the ultimate victor. Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidate, and Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, are seen as dishonest and viewed unfavorably by a majority of voters...

"After weeks of Mr. Trump's accusations that the election is 'rigged,' a little more than six in 10 of his supporters say they will accept the results as legitimate if he loses. More than a quarter of Mr. Trump's supporters say they will probably not accept the outcome if Mrs. Clinton is declared the winner, and nearly 40 percent of them say they have little or no confidence that Americans' votes will be counted properly."
(Voters Express Disgust Over U.S. Politics in New Times/CBS Poll, New York Times)

The growing sense of desperation in America today is palpable and it goes far beyond this one, isolated election cycle. The steady erosion of confidence in the nation's main institutions is evident in Congress's public approval ratings which seem to be stuck in single-digit territory. The public probably feels equal contempt for the Loretta Lynch Justice Department which is loaded with Clinton toadies that have done their best to quash any investigation into the illicit pay-to-play machinations at the Clinton Foundation.

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And, let's not forget the media which has lost whatever shred of credibility it managed to salvage after its myriad of war-promoting lies about WMD, mobile weapons labs, aluminum tubes and Assad's imaginary chemical weapons attacks, attacks that were invented from whole cloth at one of Washington's many neocon think tanks where these fake ideas are typically hatched. The Fourth Estate's latest gambit is an idiotic attempt to prove that Vladimir Putin is trying to hack our thoroughly-corrupted Third World voting system to achieve some nebulous political gain. What a joke.

No, Hillary, Putin is not gaming the system like you did in the primaries with Bernie Sanders, nor did he put a gun to your head and force you to delete the 33,000 missing emails from your private server. That was your handiwork Ms. Clinton, although you have a done a masterful job in deflecting attention from yourself and passing the buck for your own sleazy, criminal activities onto Moscow.

But, back to the media. This from Gallup:

"Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media 'to report the news fully, accurately and fairly' has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.

"Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans' trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans' trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007...

"Bottom Line: 'the slide in media trust has been happening for the past decade. Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of Americans feel that way. Now, only about a third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.'" (Americans' Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low, Gallup)

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"Designed to inform the public"???

You gotta be kidding? Droopy confidence in the media is a triumph for ordinary working people who have begun to see through the charade of "unbiased coverage" and realize that the corporate owners of the press manipulate the news to shape perceptions and maintain their stranglehold on power. That's what's really going on, and that's why a growing number of people have swarmed to Donald Trump's campaign. They see Trump's lack of political correctness as a sign that he is not owned by the Washington oligarchy of racketeers who invent teleprompter candidates like Obama and Clinton who are never certain what they actually believe until they see it printed in bold letters on the screen in front of them.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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