The provocative and invective-laden nature of the US Presidential election campaign and much of the associated rhetoric has effectively eclipsed news and authentic discussion concerning substantive issues and policies – disarming informed debate and holding for ransom the very future of American democracy.
The American electorate has been treated to a political vacuum of unheralded and deadly proportions. It appears a new American nightmare is ready to emerge no matter who is elected.
With the so-called US election just days away, the campaign thus far and its ultimate results have become a huge pit in the stomach of western society and a garish circus to the rest of the world.
No other US election campaign in memory has ever had as its main focus an ‘attack mode’ that has become so virulent, toxic and media-driven that it has extinguished all forms of rational thinking and overshadowed the necessary discourse of issues, policies and programs so crucial to a seriously fractured United States of America.
In fact the term – “united states” – seems an anathema – a dichotomous descriptor of a schizophrenic collection of territories situated below the 49th parallel and above the Mexican border.
Mercifully this political and cultural schizophrenia is currently quarantined within these borders and the vastness of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans… although this may change after the morning of November 9th.
This social and political dichotomy rings loud each time the current President of this disjointed and turbulent nation stands and smiles behind a podium in the White House Rose Garden fulminating over the fictitious American Dream. The American media takes it all in – thirsty for substance but relegated to drinking the same old punch of Presidential platitudes.
Never – since the ravings of a bombastic Nikita Khrushchev or the disgraced Richard Nixon – has a sitting head of state been so out of touch with reality and dismissive of the demise of his country. Sure, job figures are up, the housing crisis on a back-burner and some new infrastructure is in place. Yet there are other more prescient symptoms that cannot be ignored or remain unarticulated.
The harbingers of the dream’s demise are as indisputable as they are self-evident. American police are killing citizens at an alarming rate, a Congress in stalemate, racism rekindled, three percent of Americans own 250 million guns, the 597 billion dollar US defence budget dwarfs the spending of Russia and China combined while a paltry 42 billion is spent on primary school education. Sadly the list does not stop there…
Add to the list the incendiary pipeline protests by the indigenous people of North Dakota. Protestors are confronted by the systemic eagerness of American para-military police to shoot first and never answer questions later. Will the blood of indigenous people be mixed with the oil that will flow across the Dakotas after the pipeline is built when FEMA and tanks step in to settle the matter and legitimize genocide?
It seems the escalating subjugation of indigenous people and framing the American police state and its military as the vanguards of good and power is the ultimate political imperative, while American children are kept illiterate and poor – 2.5 million of them endure homelessness each year.
Are these the hallmarks of a dream or a torment?
These are but a few of the symptoms. These danger signs are poised to become even more magnified and pernicious when an apparent madman or an alleged criminal becomes the most powerful leader of the free world.
This is not hyperbole or a hollow prediction – it is an indictment of things as they are and, of those to come. At issue here is a challenge facing political observers, pundits, journalists, Rose Garden chatter-boxes or… you to answer these questions:
- What will ever alter this incessant cycle of instability, social anarchy and political loss of consciousness?
- What cabal entices Americans to engage in a election in which nobody wins, and,
- Who is really in charge of manufacturing this madness?
This is the American Dream? From the vantage point of even the most casual and disinterested observer, this is the American Nightmare.
What solutions have been spun through the media or advanced by the candidates? The cognitive vacuum created by caustic campaign rhetoric seems to answer that question as personified in debates and fed to the electorate by the media as beguiling entertainment.
What choice is the American electorate faced with? The stain-driven personal and political credibility of one candidate who many are calling a criminal or a sociopathic misogynist whose incessant ramblings and lies make headlines almost daily.
While the electorate looks for solutions, the media instead feeds on campaign hostilities, the fossil fuel industry continues to stuff oil down the throat of anything that moves, systemic secrecy reigns, the environment calls out for help and nuclear missiles stand in silos ready to defend a collapsing dream. Have there been articulate solutions to these enigmas made by either suitor for the throne of the free world?
Onlookers could continue to scold and berate the campaigners, US politicians and US institutions for what they are not doing or suggest what they should do. What real good will it do? – they’re not listening anyway. Many feel disenfranchised and will opt out of the election – leaving despair the deciding factor in the demise and imminent collapse of the American Dream.
These options are indeed frightening.
One cannot remain insensitive to Americans who scream in desperation into their pillows at night hoping this nightmare will be over soon so they can get on with the next one… a madman or a criminal for President.
The most sad feature of the election results – which ever way it goes – won’t solve a thing.
There are only two choices here.
If the sociopath were to triumph, a desperate planet will have a lunatic at the helm – fingers twitching towards the nuclear button as he bakes bricks for a wall.
If the reviled and FBI-dogged madame should be victorious – little will change. A stench of sameness will settle over the land after the election soot settles. If the madame does claim the White House a collective sigh of relief will only permit US citizens to be consoled temporarily. The system will move on – a continuance of the dangerous same-old same-old with perhaps a somewhat slower but nonetheless painful spiral into historic oblivion for the American Dream… if there ever was one in the first place.
America and the rest of the planet are destined to an awakening on the morning of November 9th. An awakening from the end of one nightmare – only to get on with the next one.