The 2008 election took place before there was an Economic Undertow. Little was said about the 2012 election, except to note a winner. There is an election later today; the end of a mad theater of mendacity and worse; it is possible the entire mess will be done with by this time tomorrow but do not count on it.
One word that describes our precious country is incompetence. We have gone from being the ‘we-can-do-it’ nation that put a man on the Moon to the ‘hire a Mexican to do it’ nation that cannot find its ass with both hands. The fact of our dysfunction and the country’s reliance migrant labor are what gives form to the efforts of Donald Trump. Yet he acts against himself: he is the lazy-man of American politics who requires others to do his heavy lifting. This does not mean physical labor but instead the struggle to become clear in the mind, to craft out of disparate- and contradictory elements a policy outline or philosophy of governing. This is never attempted, it is too difficult, instead there is the recycling of old, bankrupt memes. The candidate’s absence of effort leaves a residue of personality: Trump is a blank page upon which others paint in the sketch, an actor who aims to meet (diminished) public expectations and nothing more, sound and fury significant of nothing in particular.
But, so is Clinton, who is distinguished as the most corrupt prospective leader in American history. Clinton’s missteps include the sale of her office to the bosses of other countries, using her position to promote of wars for personal gain as well as selling herself to the bankers and other finance criminals. Corruption is not limited to the one particular candidate: both are known to consort with convicted criminals, with criminals, with criminals, with more criminals.
The winner will wind up being irrelevant. We are caught in the grip of forces we refuse to understand, outcomes are being driven by events. A very real danger is the winner will seek relevance the ‘old fashioned way’, by tyranny, intrigues and cruelty, by craft and viciousness.
Both candidates are the products of big business, it is revealing this is the best leadership that big business money can buy. Neither one can escape the defects of their characters. That they are expected to be taken seriously is evidence of how far we have fallen and how little in the way of institutional resources we have remaining to us.
I cannot bring myself to endorse anyone. You are on your own, and good luck.