I don’t have to apologize for a political blog this time. Everyone is talking about the ‘debate’. Some pub in Vancouver promoted the event (like a prizefight complete with Don King) and expected 75 people to show up. Four hundred came.
We live in the forest in another country and we still watched…along with people in Ethiopia and Chile and Mozambique. They reported that over 100 million watched the debate and I am sure that is an underestimate.
I think they just counted the ‘Mericans, when they reported that. Hell, they were even quoting people in Sierra Leonne and the Ivory Coast!
But that is the ‘spectacle’ that has become this presidential election. Sad. Weird. Unprecedented and so incredibly ‘Merican. Celebrity Politicians!
In some way, I suppose, we should be glad. The electorate is engaged. There will be a turnout…likely a modern record turnout. That’s a good thing for a democracy.
But maybe they WON’T turn out. That, too, might happen. So many Republicans are so completely disgusted at their nominee that many will NOT vote so it may SEEM like voter ambivalence (if there is a low turnout) but NOT voting has always been more of a protest than lethargy. It is NOT necessarily ambivalence.
Everyone knows when an election is being held and the majority everywhere clearly don’t like their choices most of the time so many simply do not vote. In 2008 the Canadian Conservatives got only 37.6 per cent of the votes cast by only 59 per cent of those eligible who actually voted. No one liked anyone in that case. Bluntly put: we don’t like career politicians….we just don’t.
And so it may be in the US this time around.
But this time I think they will vote. The choice is SOOOOO bad, it will prompt voting.
I, frankly, thought Clinton wiped the floor with Trump. She nailed him and, where she may have missed a nail or two, he filled in with his own self-crucifixion. “That’s called doing business” was his response to his ‘bottom feeding’ after the 2007/08 financial crash. Even Wall Street winced at that.
But this is NOT about the Donald or the Hillary. You have had that from smarter people than me. And it is NOT about democracy or the sham, lies and crap that go with it either.
This is about something very much smaller. This blog is about the superficiality of –not only the so-called debates — but the spectacle, made-for-TV nature of the serious business that is managing the United States. The job itself, has been sullied, demeaned and made into a reality-cum-celebrity show.
My first response – had I been in Hillary’s shoes – would have been humiliation and embarrassment. ‘Surely, after all these years and all that I have done, right or wrong, I should not have to stoop to this!’
Even the announcer on the website I was watching before the almost-a-sitcom-show began said, “The Trump team is already celebrating. That they have actually come this far, to this elevated stage is a major accomplishment for them!”
It was notable because it was so true. Trump should never have gotten past the doorman.
And, why do I say all this….? Well, as a Canadian, I am pleased that we threw Harper as far into oblivion as we could — far short of where he will eventually end up, I am sure. But then we went with a ‘pretty boy’. Just-in has no experience. He has not got ‘chops’. He is still ‘just a celebrity’. Like a Kardashian. Lots of show. Not much ‘go’. Not yet, anyway.
To be fair, it was enough that he put a nice Canadian face on what was previously a mean-spirited, haughty, arrogant, paranoid official position (Harper). But image only goes so far. He has to make some really good moves. And he already dropped the ball on site C (Peace River). He’s good looking but, so far, that’s all he has shown.
And that is the point. That is what I am saying. Have we become so shallow that all you have to do is look good, be rich, have a trophy wife or talk dirty? Have we all become so vulgar, base and coarse that not only our movies and entertainment is gutter-level but so — NOW — are our politicians?
I suppose I shouldn’t complain. If we all are really that stupid and primitive, I may have a chance at being an elected politician after all.