Scraping the Bottom

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.

 

13 thoughts on “Scraping the Bottom

  1. Bill Maher satirist host of his television show “Real Time” attacks the doctrines of American society like ‘trickle down economics.’ When asked why the American economy does not work for every one, Bill said, “Because it’s not supposed to!” Many in American society need winners and losers. The losers are often blamed for their circumstances. Many blame poverty on the impoverished. Flint has lead in its water supply but so far Congress has refused to help in the remediation of Flint’s water crisis. During the debate Trump described tax evasion as, “Smart.” When Romney was running for president he expressed a disinterest in the 47% of voters he estimated to be among his non-supporters a largely disadvantaged group. America seems little interested in mitigating inequality but at te same time some are calling for change. This change if it comes will be ‘more of the same.’

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  2. eh anonymous,,, is that you jdc , if so kinda impressed you’re getting HBO then again I suppose satellite is what all you OTG people have, do you get al Jazeera as well,,??

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    • Its me. No. I am not very discriminating…..I search and the first one up was CNN Net or something….good enough….but the comments after and the critiques and reviews were of prime interest and they were a smorgasbord..
      I sought the WST and the BBC and the NYtimrs. I always check CTV and CBC for no real reason….Sally checks Mexico. I check China and Hong .Kong. But this time it was everyone..Clinton won but what she really win? Round one of a three round fresh show. She had to beat him two more times….and for what? Defeating a mentally challenged bully?

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      • Trump might be self destructing after doubling down on comments he made about Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom he called “Miss Piggy”, after she gained around 12 pounds in 1996. For those who struggle with weight this fat shaming this might lose Trump votes in that key demographic.

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  3. You wouldnt be elected because you tell the truth.
    Voters dont want reality….
    They want lies.
    Hence
    Trump.

    Was it Mark Twain that said,” If voting really mattered we wouldnt be allowed to do it…”

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    • The hardest part of telling the truth is KNOWING what it is first. There are so many ways to spin a story and, unless you were there and knew everything leading up to that moment, you are always getting someone else’s view and analysis. We THINK we know the truth – but we don’t – we just know what someone TOLD us was true. The Donald knows nothing. He is willfully ignorant. But he has advisers. His ‘extreme’ advisers are guiding him and, where he decides to go it alone and with his own gut, he looks even stupider. He has as much chance of being right as a broken clock…maybe. Clinton has a better ‘chance’. Better resources. Better temperament. Her advisers have real information. But even that real intelligence gets spun before being presented to her. And her advisers can lie, withhold and embellish information as well as the right wing extremists. They can misdirect. And, if you need proof of that, look how Bush and Tony Blair, even Colin Powell, BELIEVED there were weapons of mass destruction – all based on so-called CIA/NSA/Joint Forces intel. But they didn’t KNOW. Maybe they didn’t care….but it would seem they were mostly misled and wanting to be misled so they could beat up Saddam. The truth would have gotten short shrift in that environment. It gets no time at all in the BC Liberal government. And I am starting to wonder about pretty-boy – he just conditionally approved a giant LNG port up the coast – no local support for that! Same for site C. Who’s he listening to?

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      • Who’s Trudeau listening to?
        The lobbyist faction that paid for his election campaign.
        Same old same old and I expected nothing more….BUT we got rid of Harper and thats what counts.

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      • The lobbyist faction? That’s what I think, too. But I also think he loves being a celeb and that comes from youthful ‘fans’. They are even more impatient than I am. He has to deliver on something and something that idealists want, NOT lobbyists.

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      • The Lobbyist trolls that should be legislated out of existance( I can dream cant I?)

        I dare say Big Oil and the petroleum lobby donated tons o money to the Liberal AND the Conservative campaign.

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  4. I too was wondering how you “saw” the debate. I was sure you didn’t have TV. Then I forgot that just about everything live streams these days. Our cabin connection is too poor for that so we went to town to watch on cable TV and then I double-downed for the Garden Club the next night since we were here. Now it’s time to leave the “pleasures” of city life behind and head home where it’s a quiet, sane world. – Margy

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    • Yeah….that is an increasing question, it seems, for those looking to move off the grid. “How can you get….?”

      There is no question we consume less. No question we are ‘not-as’ plugged in. No question – we are greener and more self sufficient. Way more happy and independent, too. More OTG than even rural farmers in some ways. But the real definition of OTG does NOT exclude satellite connection, propane, solar panels and water pumps and heaters. We live a modern, comfortable life albeit at a smaller, slower, lesser rate of energy and material consumption and we do it without 95% of the umbilicals that city folk have.
      Honestly, OTG – the way we do it – is the best of both worlds.
      But, if I convey that message too much, I start to get mean-spirited, nasty criticisms accusing us of being rich or inheriting pots-full. And that annoys me. We came with a modest nest-egg – just enough to buy the materials for the house WE built. We live very, very economically – below any urban poverty line. And yet, we live well. Which should make the nasty-meanies really wonder where their money goes…
      Thanks for the ‘opening’ (small as it was) to let me vent that.

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  5. Who pulls the strings at the level of federal politics in Canada? A major consideration is the actors in the Confederation. The provinces a disperate and often disgruntled group perusing at times conflicting agendas that at times seem irreconcilable. The federal government often hears from the social homogenizers who posit a list of behaviours that they think ought to apply without exception to all Canadians. They the SCs are confounded at times by the Charter of Rights. The austerity school of budget hawks that want cuts to programmes that they identify as fat but in reality it’s not about the cost. Their real objection is ideological not economic. But it’s easier to say the programme is too expensive. The folks who think that government must be in the thrall business: economic Darwinism. Finally, the group like the ‘Freemen’ who want no constraints whatever and judge
    government through a single lens. For them all forms of government are evil. All politicians are self serving, corrupt and picking the pockets of the voters. The trolls exist but they do not have the political capital to steer the direction of the federal government.

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    • I have to say, I have a lot of friends who might have said all that after a few scotches and a few who need no enhancements whatsoever to rant like that but….I must confess, the voice is not distinctive ENOUGH…….who are you masked man?

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