As I write this at 8:07 EST on Election Day of 2016, I feel obligated to throw out a couple of clichés, for we couldn’t really exist without clichés. Without clichés, we’d have to be always original, which would exhaust us, and I’m pretty much always exhausted anyway.
Cliché #1: “This is the most important election in our lifetime.”
You hear this cliché every election, even during the 2012 presidential election, which featured two very rational Christians with opposing economic views, who, by the way, had both ushered through a program to provide healthcare to their constituencies.
This election, on the other hand, pits two very different people against one another, one, a rationalist, the other, a megalomaniacal Exposed Nerve of Spasmodic Resentment.
So this time around, the cliché is valid: this is the most important election in our lifetimes.
For whatever reason, many people tend to despise Hillary Clinton. Part of this antipathy, I think, is the product of a long history of [cliché alert] hatchet jobs perpetrated by the Far Right, which dredged up the White Water non-scandal, accused her of murdering Vince Foster, and now of being funded by the same people who bankroll ISIS. If you keep hearing over and over accusations of misconduct, you eventually come to believe that a person accused of so many misdeeds must be dishonest.
Plus, her being an uppity woman doesn’t help
Of course, it’s not as if Clinton doesn’t possess flaws. She’s calculating (viz. the Iran war vote) and can pay fast and loose with the facts, as we’ve seen with the private email server; however, when it comes to mendacity, ain’t no politician I’ve ever encountered can [cliché alert] hold a candle to Donald J Trump. Here’s a handy link in case you doubt it.
What terrifies me most about Trump is his disdain for democratic institutions. According to the New York Times, he’s contemplating creating a Super Pac to fund entities dedicated to avenge people who opposed him during this election. In other words, he’s assembling an enemies’ list. If he were to be in charge of the executive branch, and Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, he would be in position to actually make his radical ideas reality by building a wall, deporting millions, establishing a religious test for immigrants. I can see him embracing rogue agents of the FBI and colluding with Putin, emulating him by ruling our Republic as if he were a mafia don, in other words, turning the US into a thugrocacy.
Cliché #2: Today’s election is the only poll that matters/turnout will determine the outcome.
So here are the choices.
- Stay home reading the collected poems of Ezra Pound.
- Embrace self-sanctity and vote for Jill Stein. As you watch the Dow plummet with Trump’s election and your retirement savings [cliché alert] go up in smoke, at least you can go to sleep at night knowing you were true to your ideology.
- Vote for Gary Johnson. Ditto the Dow and your retirement savings. So what if he thinks Aleppo is subgenre of Jamaican ska, wants to abolish the fed, favors banning student loans and allowing people on no-fly lists to keep their assault weapons!
- Emulate Ted Nugent and vote for Donald J Trump.
- Emulate Bruce Springsteen and vote for Hillary R Clinton.
- Emigrate to Costa Rica, Ireland, Portugal, etc.
One last cliché: The choice, fellow Americans, is yours.