At the time I writing this we are 36 days aways from election day. Between both sides, whomever people support, the vast majority recognize this has been the most tragic elections in decades. Perhaps even the past century. We have two people that represent the absolute worst aspects of the corporate ‘upper crust’ of America. Possibly more horrendously reprehensible than we have seen in decades. People may decry the ‘equally awful’ argument, which is fine, and most of us, including myself, will end up voting for the ‘lesser evil’ of two repulsive people. In a grander view of it all, how disgusting have we become that we defend our chosen candidate with such ferocity while knowing, in the back of our mind at least, that this candidate is a truly repulsive human being and that in such passion we are defending the repulsive? I am guilty of this completely, the vast majority probably are, and it comes to a self-reflection for one to realize, ‘wow, we really have fallen, if perhaps we were ever better to begin with’.
And there are the less self-aware of both sides that genuinely and sincerely believe their candidate is a wholesome and good person. I cannot find myself to be angry at them, only saddened that they feel so desperately the need to believe in the goodness of a candidate that they do coax themselves into having such a faith. How can one be mad at people who desperately want to believe in a good candidate, or a good at all? One could smugly dismiss them as naive for having that faith, but I don’t think its wholly naivety as much as it truly is simple human desperation.
Many expect Clinton to win, partly because she is more seasoned at the ‘political game’, and partly because that which is most familiar is likely to continue. I cannot expect anyone who supports Trump or only opposes Hillary, to be in any way disappointed or angry if Clinton does win. People prefer a failing familiar situation to an unknown and possibly better situation. It will be unlike America to choose something that is unfamiliar, whether it would have been Bernie Sanders, or whether it could be Trump. The failing policies, domestic and abroad, of the past two decades would continue. As Obama promised ‘Change’, and little change occurred aside from the worst, except that false promise is not sold this time. It is only the promised continuation of what has been, which is only the familiar failure and misery we already know too well.
Humans prefer a miserable failure to an unknown alternative.
If and when this ‘demon’ that is the spectacular failure of the past two decades continues to live, to be continued, it will be due to this preference to the familiar. There are those ‘across the pond’, of the New Right and other ideologies, that do not expect America to be anything other than what it has been for the past two decades. Mind you, this is not a compliment, rather this is to expect the rabies ridden dog to continue on with rabies. While the rest of the world has to ‘deal’ with this dog, as usual.
Taken further, even if Trump wins, and this ‘unknown alternative’ path is taken, they still do not expect much different, because one must question if this ‘unknown alternative’ will truly end up being such an alternative or only the facade of being an alternative. Personally I would rather vote for the ‘unfamiliar and unknown alternative’, even if a gamble, than to continue the horrific and stench ridden policies of the past two administrations. This isn’t being a radical. This isn’t burning anything down. This isn’t even youthful idealism. It’s more a passion for development, even if unsafe, rather than continue with the pallid and decaying. A person with feeble drive will cling to the familiar, even to to worst extent. This election, in all its protest and anger and fear of change, perfectly demonstrates how sickly it currently is. It is full of sound and fury, and as empty in spirit as it could possibly be.
Call it pessimism or realism, but one can best predict what will occur based on what has previously and conventionally occurred. What we have seen under the Bush administration and under the Obama administration will only continue full force under a second Clinton adminstration. This is worthy of severe lament, and something we should only be ashamed of. Under a Trump administration, there is the ‘wildcard possibility’ that the this continuation be broken, for better or for worse, or perhaps not broken at all. If it be broken, for the better or for the worse, it will at least shatter and dissolve the ‘demonic’ and ‘brimstone’ order that currently exists. Necessary destruction is required to bring about required creative chaos that can bring forth birth and development. Of course this is an unnerving sentiment, as it should be, but it is better to embrace creative chaos than suffocate on the continuation of rot.
This election season increasingly feels more like a Dostoevsky novel. That isn’t anything to celebrate, regardless of who wins, and if anything it should prompt us to seriously analyze ourselves concerning how two utterly repulsive candidates such as these became our chosen candidates, and more importantly, why are we so fragmented and bankrupt as to continue defending and supporting our chosen one, despite acknowledging their repulsiveness? Again, I am just as guilty of this as any other. Perhaps this election, like a miserable sinner acknowledging their toxic vices, can teach us about ourselves and lead to a redemption of sorts in the future. Or perhaps it doesn’t, and in another eight years, we have an equally disgusting race and have just as disgusting candidates, if not worse, and repeat this all over again.
What hell have we created for ourselves then?