I’m pissed off. For so long, I and other independent political observers could only speculate that America’s tender democracy — a system so beloved by so many so-called patriots that its advancement around the globe has cost this nation almost unfathomable quantities of blood and treasure in wars both hot and cold — is tragically flawed, not so much by any philosophical error on the part of the Founding Fathers, but by the willing ignorance of the citizenry and the dutiful deception and manipulation of that once-proud body by its government. Anyone paying attention could also reasonably deduce the mainstream media has sold out, as well, trading Truth and substantive discourse for ratings buzz and cheap headlines. The whole thing, it could be reasoned, is broken beyond repair.
I often took solace in the uncertainty of my cynicism, though, the inability to prove my pessimism, the thought that maybe I’m just one of many arrogant doomsayers incapable of seeing all the inherent good in a system built around something as fair as the Jeffersonian concept of one man, one vote. It’s romantic, after all, isn’t it? And there’s something to be said for romantic notions of equality. At the very least, perhaps the little plan outlined all those years ago on a now-tattered swatch of parchment deserves the benefit of the doubt.
But then this fucking primary season happened, and my worst fears have been confirmed, all those monsters lingering in the closet of my consciousness proven real by this campaign without end. I knew it was coming, too, when after having overachieving through Super Tuesday and then rattling off twelve consecutive primary and caucus wins Barack Obama had still failed to wrap up the Democratic nomination for president. The whole affair has since devolved into a back-and-forth battle between whoever happens to be most popular at a given moment in time, Obama or Hillary Clinton, based on some bullshit tangential issue that, thanks to rampant media harping, grips the nation and distracts from the things that matter most — economic and health-care plans, foreign-policy goals, ending our current war and avoiding our next one. (more…)