Popping the Zit of America's Democracy
It's finally here. The day before the election and the day when America pushes its two index fingers together against the zit that is our electoral process. Much like a zit, there will be a purge of bacteria known as civic duty. Yet after the zit is popped, we will feel the pain and inflammation that our democracy has built in.
Over a year ago, I called Clinton and Trump the two biggest cult leaders of this election. While I, like almost everyone else, was wrong about Trump successfully getting the nomination, I was correct in identifying what his brand would become. There is a messianic quality he delivers to his audience. They adore him, and without him there is no other option. The confluence of a disaffected former majority with a choice between him or a person who embodies all they see as bad in Washington has created heartburn in the body politic. The GOP can't fully stomach him, and the left has a revulsion against a steady diet of nationalism and political incorrectness.
So what will happen on November 9th? Most likely, we'll have a Clinton in the White House, a GOP House and an ineffective mixed senate. A perfect recipe for gridlock, partisanship and ineffective government. My ego loves this idea: government is terrible at most everything it does. If a child is acting terribly, you don't punish it by giving it more freedom. You punish it by taking away it's toys. If you prevent the government from getting more toys, then you encourage good behavior.
And then there's my id telling me that this gridlock only breeds even seedier deals and relationships because that's the only way to get things done. My fear is that this arrangement would only end up further entrenching factions across the entire political spectrum. While the left may be giggling over the impending GOP civil war, they mustn't enjoy that schadenfreude too much: their side is next. When your brand is identify politics and pleasing special interest groups, you inevitably end up without any money and unable to please anyone.
None of the candidates are able to please me. Since there's no option for me, should that mean I should abstain from voting? Should I refuse to engage in this contest? My answer is not anyone else's, so I will abstain from sharing. If I vote, it won't be for a major party. It may not even be for anyone with a party affiliation. It may be for Harambe. Should you vote? If you want to and you think it will make a difference. But instead of debating what will happen or making predictions, I'm going to list 10 things I am most curious about after the election.
- Watching what happens to social conservatives and evangelicals politically. Could they find a home in the political left via identity politics?
- What happens to Trumpism? Can it continue to exist for years after its standard bearer's first act?
- Marijuana ballot initiatives aka where is the next weed tourism location of America? How long until this dam breaks.
- What happens to those who endorsed Trump. Will the be celebrated or exiled?
- What about Bill? Is he first man or will he overtake Hillary's role post 2016?
- What will happen to potential presidents Mike Pence and Tim Kaine? We're one impeachment away.
- Will anything ever change in the Middle East? With these two, most likely not.
- Immigration: This will probably be the central issue coming into 2017. Or not, since we've said this many a time before.
- Does the Libertarian Party have a chance ever? We thought it was this year. Then the Aleppo moment happened, which actually did more to highlight the devastation than news coverage on the actual topic.
- What will become of Black Lives Matter in a post-Obama world?
Only one day before the end of the beginning.