I’m on Stage 4 of the five stages.
So much depression.
Because this year’s presidential election is the shittiest election of my middle-aged life, is why.
A little while back, I was all kinds of stoked because we had a really good candidate.
Not perfect—hey, we’re all human, but I liked what he had to say, and I liked his record. Obviously, you don’t have to like the person you’re voting for, but it helps—it helps a lot to like the lucky recipient of your precious American vote, especially if that winner-winner-chicken-dinner is planning to run the flippin’ country.
But we didn’t have a clue last summer that this election wouldn’t be just the usual shit show; that it would turn into a circus.
And not in a good way.
True to form, the Republican party flailed and thrashed about in their predictably batshit crazy way during the primary, except this time they went the extra mile and secured whatshisface as their candidate— a mean and spoiled rich kid with no accountability (because billionaire!) and no sense of personal responsibility.
And from the looks of things right this second, we’re about to hand this dangerous fool the nuclear codes.
But not to be out-batshitted yet again, the Democratic party set about exposing itself like some sort of poorly aging, berserk political flasher about to pee on itself. Right in front of God and everybody, the Democratic National Committee revealed itself as so fucking crooked and corporately controlled that it was downright shocking for those of us who thought a helluva lot better than that of our party.
Well humble me now, Lord.
We watched the DNC literally lie, cheat, and steal to “nominate” the pre-determined candidate their corporate sponsors paid for. I find it pretty damned hard to muster up enthusiasm for such a candidate, no matter what it says on my voter registration card.
I know, I know, Trump will get elected and it’ll all be my fault for not shutting the fuck up about the rigged Democratic primary and the crooked Democratic party.
So first I went through Stage 1.
That was the stage where I pretty much realized it takes some chutzpah for someone to cheat their way to my party’s nomination, and then expect me to trust them.
Years ago my dad advised me to never, ever trust someone who says Trust Me, even if figuratively, and that’s proven to be some damn sage advice, so thanks, Daddy.
I’m outraged that we’re where we are: We’ve handed the keys to our country over to a handful of corporations that control our food, our healthcare, our entertainment, our environment, our news, and our politicians. Shit, we’ve actually voted for these evil entities by continually voting for the “lesser of two evils.”
And we strut around like we’re the best thing since the Roman Empire. I just sure as hell hope we can rectify what this god-awful election is bringing into the light of day before we fuck everything up for good.
I don’t think the anger that coursed through my tree-hugging, justice-minded, system-bucking veins was unjustified.
Then I moved on to Stage 2.
I hoped and hoped that in spite of the brazen favoritism, cheating, and primary rigging happening before our eyes, the better candidate would get the nomination; that somehow the party would do the right thing.
- I kept thinking the vote blue, no matter who crowd really meant that.
- I kept thinking the Democratic party really was trying to choose the best candidate.
- I kept thinking that if beating Trump had become the most pressing issue, then the party would nominate the stronger of the two remaining candidates.
- I kept thinking more and more Democrats would become more and more outraged by the poisonous influence of money on the Democratic party.
So, yeah. Denial. I was right there.
Next was Stage 3.
It feels like one of those emperor-is-wearing-no-clothes things, where some of us are trying really hard to calmly, logically, respectfully, and intelligently point out the obvious about the Democratic candidate.
But that’s standing in the way of the system we’re bucking, so we get the ol’ “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” line, and are warned that everything will be ruined if we don’t get on board with what was decided by someone who most certainly did not have my best interests, or the best interests of 99% of the population, in mind.
Instead of Democrats using our supposed high intelligence and penchant for justice to demand that our party act lawfully and with integrity, we troublemakers are told to get in line because Trump. I’ve tried to talk about this. Goodness, I have.
I tried and tried to be all critical thinker, and I do think it’s made a difference to some, but the noise from all the un-independent, un-neutral media in America is pretty much drowning us out. Or trying to.
Stage 3 may have been a necessary part of the process, but it got me frustrated and restless.
So then I packed up and moved on to Stage 4.
Democrats (and anyone deemed not “deplorable,” I guess) are told that the acceptable, respectable, reasonable thing to do is vote for the actual politician instead of that very American of candidates, the outsider, or for anyone else, of course, because a vote for anyone but the acceptable, respectable, reasonable politician is a vote for the Hitler guy.
It all sucks so much, and I cannot, no matter how smooth and slick the vote-for-her-or-else arguments continue to be, shake the feeling that this election is basically asking me to choose between gangrene and lifelong dysentery.
Fortunately, my life philosophy/motto is what’s guiding me through this terrible, awful, no-good election:
Think with your head, feel with your heart, go with your gut.
And my gut is out here flashing warning lights and sirens all over this election and the accompanying admonishments from its sales reps.
I have no doubt at all that the Hitler guy is hella dangerous, and just because I don’t believe the DNC’s hype doesn’t mean I’m underestimating the Republican party’s awful candidate.
But if because Trump is the issue, then why did the Democratic party force such a weak candidate on us? It just doesn’t add up.
I have a hunch that the Democratic party thought it’d be super easy to slip ol’ Clinton 2.0 into the POTUS slot, but it’s turned out to be anything but easy, and now the party is running scared. Freaking out, in fact.
Shit, I’ll admit the Democratic candidate is better than the Republican candidate on the qualified-for-the-job side, as well as the curb appeal side, but what I can’t for the life of me go along with, is the possibility of her corruption machine getting our full go-ahead once she’s sitting there in that elliptical office.
Hitler guy vs. the mob. Crap.
Both parties are wretched. They’re bought and paid for and eat-up with corruption.
They both serve the same master: money. The big corporations. Profits over people is what we’re all up against.
We knew this about the Republican party, which has hardly bothered to pretend otherwise, but now we know the high-minded Democrats are one and the same—and not even trying to deny it.
The DNC shoved their pet nominee down our throats. There was never a fair process, and it was never the party’s intention to act in the nation’s—or the voters’—best interest, much less give each candidate a fair shot.
So I’m grieving in Stage 4 because—
- The major party female candidate we finally have didn’t earn the nomination fair and square.
- I’m called a misogynist, an uncooperative threat, and accused of sabotage and spreading conspiracy theories when I question her placement as the party’s nominee, and when I question the party’s motives.
- The pursuit of the All-Mighty Dollar with its sidekick, Un-Checked Power, has just about ruined the country.
- Americans are as gullible as my toddler was when someone used to say, “Got your nose!”
- Americans watch too damned much television.
- Even the once-respectable NPR and New York Times are part of the Democratic party’s spin machine.
- It’s bizarre how willingly it’s overlooked that David Brock—the very same creep who convinced Americans that Anita Hill was just another silly woman when she called out Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment—is running the Clinton campaign.
- The news we see and hear is selected with the goal of keeping the nation in fear. (Oh, how very House of Cards!)
- The Dakota Access Pipeline protests were going on for weeks before the mainstream media finally aired the story, and only because social media was abuzz with it, such is the state of news reporting in the U.S.
- Americans just keep on clinging to the lesser-of-two evils fuckery—how bad does it have to get for us to put our big American foot down and change the fucked-up system we’ve created?
- So, so many Americans would sooner stagnate in the status quo, damned and determined to make it work, than buck the system.
- The Democratic candidate we’re supposed to believe is legit is struggling mightily, hanging on to the lead by the thinnest of threads, dragging along sick as a dog, and there’s a runaway bully with a swastika on his arm about to overtake her.
- My mere concern that the Democratic candidate is perhaps in poor health is the sort of thing that’ll cause all manner of backlash at me for even wanting to discuss it. It looks like she’s pretty bad off, actually, but even if it is “just pneumonia,” I’ve had that mess, and it was no picnic. I’m seriously not sure what pills she’s eating to keep going.
Look, I’m scared.
I’m scared because on the one side we’ve got the doomsday guy. I would have thought it’d be obvious how threatening he is, but surprise, surprise, a lot of people are going with this bone-chilling option.
And on the other side, we’ve pretty much got a Trojan horse, the one who’s supposed to be the good candidate; the one who’s supposed to represent the social justice/everyday American/environmentally conscious/educated/discerning/equality-minded party.
But shit, the Democratic candidate is no progressive, which I’ve said before, but for fuck’s sake, she’s really, really, really not a progressive.
She’s pro-fracking. She’s a paid speaker for mega-corporations, she chose Tim Kaine as her VP pick—essentially telling the progressive half of the party our vote was assumed, and the icing on the cake is that she was in cahoots with the DNC to steal her nomination.
I can’t just “get over it and move on” to elect her to the highest office in the land.
I know, I —I just won’t shut up about the emperor’s naked ass.
And I’m really struggling with this election.
My gut is telling me that this isn’t just another presidential election. And it’s not even just an election between a dangerous racist and an ailing corporate puppet, because we’re at a big, big crossroad—nothing will ever be the same after this election.
Assuming the results are real and not concocted, hacked, or rigged come Election Day, I think we’re going to see America’s immense dissatisfaction with all this election has revealed. I don’t think we’re going to see the usual two-party race with a few votes for the outliers sprinkled in, but instead, a tangle of votes all over the place.
Come November 8th, it’s going to be obvious how much damage the two parties did in alienating the voters they were assuming they had.
And afterwards, the usual blame game will commence, and we’ll be in a shitty state of turmoil for a while—I mean, it’s not like we’re all going to calm right down once we’ve got our POTUS.
Unless Trump immediately finds The Button That Blows Up Everything, we’re headed for some serious come-to-Jesus time once this election is blessedly over.
If I sound like a conspiracy theory nut for listening to my gut, for bucking the system, for doubting the integrity of both our major candidates and parties, and for calling the DNC to task for its lack of lawful behavior, then so be it.
The thing is, I have a choice here. And I have a voice.
And I have a vote—my one precious vote that I don’t intend to squander.
If my gut says Oh Hell No, then I’m all ears.
Fear tactics and threats only make me want to peel back the layers to see what’s really going on.
And I tell you what, if we weren’t actually living this nightmare, It’d be a hell of a lot easier to enjoy the show.
But a lot is on the line. In fact, as far as being the fair and noble nation we say we are, along with a respected world power, everything is on the line.
How about that… I just talked myself off the Stage 4 ledge.
Okay, so on to Stage 5.
It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Let’s you and me roll up our left-leaning sleeves and work on fixing this beast we’ve birthed. I’ll be back around with some solid stuff you can do to help without having to quit your day job.
I’ll have some down-ballot info for you, too. After all, POTUS isn’t the only game in town—those ballots’ll have more than just that one rock-and-a-hard-place choice for us to make.
So I’ll see you next time, you rabble-rousing tree huggers.
Peace out, friends.