Ever since I first got online, unsolicited opinions have appeared in my in-box from both people on my mailing list and from those I have never heard of. The purpose of these e-mails was to tell me who to vote for, and usually included some small gem of reasoning that served to summarize the pith of the issue, including such breathtaking intellectual breakthroughs as “its time for a change” and “stay the course”.
I never paid much attention to these cheeky items. Instead, after a brief wonder at the brass of people to tell me how to vote, and the more acute disappointment of learning that dear ones had been sucked into the vortex of the two-party delusion, I “changed” my spam settings, and stayed the course by doing my best to ignore these intrusions in the belief that in leaving well enough alone the storm would blow over and the pests would remove themselves.
However, since we now have so improved our democracy that campaigning is perpetual and governing intermittent, this plague has become a constant and growing irritant from which I am unable to find shelter. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”, so the saying goes. In that spirit, although still mindful of the bad taste offering my opinion without being asked represents, and because all sorts of spirits are loose upon the land, I have decided to shake these bones and for the first time add my coal to your inbox.
Your Pal, Swanto Esq. III
All Hallows Eve, while never confused with Good Friday, this year is the last Friday before Election Day. (Thank God!) A “passion” of a different type grips the land. The bile is bubbling in the cauldron. While not on the road to Calvary, both candidates have submersed themselves in a crucible of ambition, and their more devoted partisans expect deliverance from the Devil that the other side has come to represent.
Shoot me now, for I expect no deliverance. Not only do I not share the idea that either the Republican or Democratic Party can provide deliverance, if I have a passion (other than for my honey) it is in the belief that these two parties so righteously engaged represent the problem we need deliverance from.
In order to dramatize the “races”, to excite and inflame our interest and support, we are told that there exists unprecedented urgency this year; that this election stands out in importance; that upon the results rest galactic consequences.
This is all partisan rubbish Both parties, and their candidates, continue to hide from the responsibility of true leadership: to tell people what they don’t want to hear. If they were ready to deal, this election might be important. Instead, both pander to a base that prefers the worn out slogans and half understood mythology of the past. Substance is only dealt with when the incompetence of partisanship results in disaster. This is strikingly clear in both the energy and “financial” crisis.
It is no wonder both parties have placed a celebrity on the top of card.
When boxing was more popular promoters presented the public with an evening’s worth of entertainment. Like our ballots, a night at the fights begins with the lightweights, moves up through the middleweights, to the headliners; the heavyweights.
Because the heavyweights might turn out to be two less than talented palookas, the other fights were offered; just in case Boxing has withered, heavyweights have come to dominate the sport, and cards have given way to single headliner events. As American consciousness has withered, the person at the top of the card (ticket) represents the triumph of personality over substance; the promise that a single individual will through the exercise of personal qualities effect a reordering of our lives. This is exactly the opposite of the true situation. It is the “undercard” which will be the aristocracy that rules; and yet, who, in any honesty, can say they know anything at all about all the other names on the ballot?
Instead of purpose, we get personality. This is a condition made necessary because neither party can be relied upon to stand on principle. What ideology, government, and party can’t effect, fix, or even address, will be made right by the “special” qualities in some individual’s personality. The greater the void of leadership, the bigger the personality needed.
We need no further proof of the historical insignificance of this year’s election than to see the historical, record breaking, size of the personalities headlining the show.