Getting Out the Vote

The Christian Science Monitor’s Jonathan Curley wrote a hopeful vision about the significance of tomorrow’s election:

… this election is about the heart of America. It’s about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten. It’s about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren …

While on the ground, and talking to friends and neighbors, I get a completely different picture.

It’s about a highly politicized public resenting the pervasive influence of the half of the country they can’t stand. It’s about bitter split-ticket voting. It’s about an electorate that doesn’t or can’t understand objective reality, or the nuances of their opponents’ arguments — only that the other side must be wrong, or immoral, or crazy, or elitist, or out of touch, or hopelessly and blindly religious. It’s about Americans entering the voting booth with their certainty that, were they not to vote against the other guy, fellow Americans will destroy America with their vote.

It’s about feeling embarrassed on behalf of your political enemies, but more for what your political friends are saying.

It’s about blowhards of all sides, colors and creeds distorting reality so they can stay in power, and how the first action of these blowhards will be to immediately start up their re-election campaign. It’s about timely political endorsements from one’s ideological opposition, but only once your opposition’s candidate skirts the edge of implosion.

It’s about rare honesty getting lost or discredited in the torrents of vague, contradictory rhetoric, dissembling, and lies from each candidate. It’s about fear and paranoia ruling each day of the more than two years this campaign season has lasted. It’s about messages of hope, and change getting cast in truth, and retain some veneer of respectability — but more about each candidate’s mob of supporters choosing to trample that message.

It’s about getting the government we deserve, that which will tell us the lies we want to hear, or the truths for which we wish to castigate someone.

It’s about America. God bless her.


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