Politics as Usual

“Don’t be depressed about this latest election, Elie,” said the skeleton, sitting up awkwardly in his grave.  His head was hanging at a disquietingly sharp angle to his neck bones.

Jeez, dad, that looks uncomfortable.  

“I don’t feel a thing, no nerve endings…” he said, twisting one arm completely behind his back to demonstrate that he was free from physical pain.  “Just one more reason I’m glad to be dead today.  I’m a member of the grateful dead, you might say.

“But don’t be depressed about this election.  It was decided by a dying breed of haters, the same older group that voted to fuck the young of Britain by voting for Brexit.   The demographics show that most people under 45 voted for Hillary.  Over 45 they were solidly behind the other fuck.  The winner of this election got less votes than Romney did in 2012 when he lost to Obama by five million votes.  There was little enthusiasm for Hillary and not much of a turnout for her. 

“The Ku Klux Klan officially endorsed the hate spewing candidate who is today the president-elect of our jarringly divided United States.  The Klan’s paper was one of only three papers that did.   Don’t be depressed.   Their day is almost over.”  The skeleton scratched the side of his mandible.  “Of course, so is yours, now that I think of it, but that’s another matter.”

The cat threw up twice today, copiously.  

“Well, he speaks for all of us, Elie.  This is nothing new in politics, though it might be new to us here in the USA! USA!   All over the world hyper-macho nationalist, corporatist strongmen are gaining the upper hand in politics.    The world is heading for a cliff in a leaky canoe and buggery and cannibalism always break out at times like this. 

“Liberals always make the error of thinking that the facts matter.   People who feel screwed, and angry, are sick of the so-called facts.  A bunch of entitled supreme assholes in robes can say that homosexuals can legally marry, the haters know the real deal:

‘it doesn’t make it “a fact”, doesn’t make it right.  God hates fags, you know that, you know that in your heart.  If you don’t know that, I feel sorry for you, in fact, I’ll drag you behind my pickup truck on a rope, that’s how sorry I feel for your sorry ass.’  

“You read Harold Laswell’s study on advertising and propaganda, written in the 1930s.   He says, plainly, that the genius of America, its religion, actually, has always been advertising.   You can take any product, no matter how noxious, and convince most Americans to buy it with a winning ad campaign, particularly if you touch nerves of fear and hatred.  Was there any reason for any American boy to enlist in the First World War?   They came up with dozens of reasons, slogans, jingles, signed up and shipped off a million or two eager volunteer ‘dough boys’, very excited to go.    

“The new president is a brand, has been branding himself since he was born on third base with his modest $1,000,000 loan.  His wealth and power is based largely on his brand, he says so himself.  His brand is being a brash, asshole boss who fires people on reality tv. Take that to the bank.”

“In the brutal short-term hate often trumps decency.   This election is just another case, Elie.  Is it a shameful day in America, are we now a world laughing stock?  Absolutely.  Is this worse than Cheney and Bush?  Yes, hard as that is to believe.  Will future Republicans hide Trump the way they hid Bush after he bumbled out of office?   Most likely.  

“But you also know that the lesser of two evils is still evil.  Virtually everything that was spewed about Hillary was complete bullshit, the long campaign to vilify her was motivated as much by good old fashioned misogyny as by anything else.  Like the seething hatred against Obama was, in large measure, racist in nature.  

“The same way Obama expanded oil drilling beyond the dreams of Dubya, and the secret kill lists beyond the wet dreams of Cheney, the secrecy of government beyond the paranoid longings of Nixon, and the enrichment of the top 1% beyond the highest hopes of Reagan, Hillary would find many ways to break your heart.  The system is built to serve the wealthy elites, always has been.  Presidents serve at the pleasure of the billionaires who own them.

“Now, I’m not saying that it makes it right that this psychopath is the president-elect, I’m just saying, the lesser of two evils is not really the best people can do.  You read Howard Zinn’s People’s History and saw him speak.  He said, as an old man, that his hope rests in those, admittedly rare, but also consistent, moments in history when people organized, demanded and won the overdue changes for the better they need.  

“It has happened over and over in history and it is the way the moral arc of the universe is bent.  It needs to happen now– a mass movement, and this may be the ugly push that’s needed for millions to organize, raise a coalition that will advocate effectively for their deepest concerns. 

“On the other hand, I’m saying that to make you feel better.  You people are fucked.  Your mother wanted to know, right before she died, that Sarah Palin would never become president.  If she hadn’t been cremated, her bones would be spinning in the next grave.  

“Me, I realize what craven, cowardly, hateful fucks the lynch mob is, it doesn’t surprise me when they gather with veins popping on their necks and their eyes bugging in rage, looking for a scapegoat to hang from a tree.   Hopefully it won’t come to that again in the USA! USA!  I certainly wouldn’t put it past the fucks, though.”  The skeleton adjusted his head so the angle to his body was marginally less disturbing.

“Well, I hope that makes you feel a little better, Elie,” he said.  “By the way, you realize, of course, that November 9, today, is the 98th anniversary of Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicating the German throne and the formation of the democratic government later known as the Weimar Republic.  This democracy would, fifteen years later, be headed by the unreasonable Mr. Hitler.   Not for nuttin’, I’m just sayin’…” said the skeleton, yawning and returning to his long nap.


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