May the Worst Man Win

This Super Tuesday, it became readily apparent that Bernie Sanders and his unprecedented run were finally done for. So now that we’ve finally dispensed with the one candidate that genuinely cared, who remains? Donald Biff Tannen Trump, Ted Insane Zealot Cruz, and Hillary Nixon Clinton. Well, if those are my choices, then I may just vote Trump to finally burn the whole thing down, because we clearly deserve it.

But wait, Hillary isn’t a narcissistic populist or a religious fanatic, so why do I hate her?

It’s not because she lies constantly, or that she voted for the Iraq war and the PATRIOT act, or that she was against gay marriage until it was politically convenient. It’s not because she’s wholly owned by financial institions that put our very economy at risk. It’s not because she set up a private email server to circumvent FOIA, and removed classified headers to freely share sensitive documents, or that said server was hacked by at least one foreign entity. It’s not even because she won’t release her Wall Street speech transcripts until everyone else does, since that’s how a leader acts.

No. While those are all completely viable reasons, they’re basically politics as usual at this point. The principal source of my frothing rage is that her last name is Clinton. This isn’t the UK, where The Queen is basically just a figurehead. The president in this country has actual power. That we’ve come full circle and essentially erected a political dynasty when we first elected Bush Junior was bad enough. That we are cheerfully repeating that misadventure with Hillary has transformed a bad joke into an ongoing caricature. At this point, would it be any surprise to see Chelsea eventually bid for the presidency? After all, if Hillary gets two full terms, 2024 would be her earliest opportunity to embrace the family calling. It’s only fair, since nobody in a country of over 300 million people is more qualified than one or two families.

And what incentive is there to vote for her at all? Because she would be the first female president? What about Carly Fiorina, or Sarah Palin? Simply being a woman is not a credential, or either of them would have been fine choices. How about Supreme Court nominations? Assuming Republicans can thwart Obama’s selections until the election, Hillary would be more likely to push for somewhat liberal candidates. How about joining the rest of the developed world and opting for single payer healthcare, so we stop spending twice as much? Well, Hillary says that will never happen, despite her support for it in 1993. How about legalizing Cannabis? Well, she currently supports state efforts and taking it off Schedule I at least.

Of course, Bernie would have pushed for legalization as well as a liberal Supreme Court, so those are just generic Democratic party expectations. Yet he would have done those things without the copious political baggage. But what do we expect when Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, worked on Hillary’s campaign in 2008? And when major Clinton supporters do things like buy The Onion. Satire that recursive will probably end the universe all by itself. In any other world, Bernie would have been the political underdog taking on the establishment candidate and been a media darling. Instead, he is ignored, ridiculed, and gets 16 negative articles in 16 hours written about him just by the Washington Post. Could they at least try not to be so blatantly biased?

This entire election is a Shit Show. No matter who wins now, we all lose, and deservedly so. In that case, why not vote for Trump? Sure, it’ll severely damage our international reputation, trade partners, and potentially result in attempts to flee the US Dollar as the world reserve currency. But it sends a message. Trump is the global “None of the Above” choice, because he’s so utterly pompous and satirical, the message is unambiguous. Beyond that, we deserve it anyway. We deserve all of it. We watched Idiocracy and gleefully transformed it into a documentary. If there were ever a refutation of American Exceptionalism, the 2016 election makes the best case I’ve seen. It’s a travesty, it’s insane, it’s idiotic, and it’s a perfect representation of what the US has become.

We let this happen. Hopefully we’ll learn from it and do better in 2020, but I’m not optimistic.