As a nation we are being crucified between two thieves. But we are not on this cross because of our holy sacrifice. We are on this cross as a final indictment of our debasement.
Strong word: debasement. A wonderful word meaning “to lower in character, quality or value.” The perfect word to describe a nation of free people who devote so much attention, time and money to promote the candidate that represents them, only to arrive at these two examples. There is nothing left to argue. These two.
We have become metaphor. We are the yin/yang or the binary stars spiraling to ultimate collapse. I am incredulous that most argue generally by pointing out how bad the other candidate is. Even the candidates themselves struggle to self promote with anything remotely plausible.
Conversely, I can find it preferable to the people who actually argue for how wonderful Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are. Really. Pointing at the other clown is suddenly an almost quaint deflection. To actually argue for Hillary Clinton is to participate in a self-delusion or an outright lie. The same for Trump. Not much of a choice, self-delusion or an almost-criminal with contempt for the truth. Debased.
The Trump candidacy is the equivalent of America throwing a chair in frustration. An overreaction to Republican fecklessness and eight years of a Democratic administration sticking its thumb in America’s eye at every opportunity. The Donald has responded to this ember with a fan and a can of gasoline; the anger now is metastatic.
The Clinton candidacy, self entitled and punching the “first woman pres” from the checklist, is corrupt beyond measure. She’s actually alienated die hard liberals as witnessed by the Bernie Sanders movement. She makes Richard Nixon look like an angel. A bellwether of cultural collapse could not be more clear, yet it means nothing.
An existential flash-bang has exploded; blinded, deafened and groping in our confusion, we seize on our most elemental support. Hence what remains is our attachment to an idea— Save self.
What this saving looks and feels like is what divides us. The speed of life and the volume of information has outstripped our ability to assimilate and organize a cohesive rationale for who we are and where we are going. This metaphysical overload, accelerated by 9/11 and the subsequent years of constant war, pestilence and disaster has pushed us to the breaking point… “God save us,” say some. “God save us” say others.
Somehow this ” leaping for the lifeboat” self preservation has metamorphosed into a farcical duopoly of hopes. Hillary Clinton as a defender of women, and Donald Trump to save the Supreme Court. It is its own parody. How do we respond? Inescapably, we are, collectively and individually, suffering from mutually-assured derangement. Trapped in the binary. Perhaps it is time for a” third rail” decision? A fifties electric-shock treatment, “as crazy as it sounds it just might work.” It sure as heck beats this self-inflicted lobotomy.
It is too late, of course, “Alea iacta est,’ the die is cast. We have painted ourselves into a corner, and as unhappy as we may be with how we came to be in this place, here we are. All our attempts to change or fix or escape from what we have wrought are wrong and messy. We must calmly, patiently wait for the paint to dry.
Lets take this time to dial back our anxiety and search for some inner peace. That is what we can all agree on. For myself, this has exceeded the comfortable preservation of normalcy bias. The ship has struck the rock. The hull is filling. What happens next might well mean survival or being sucked down with the ship. Will we persist in saying “it will be all right?”