The eternal sunshine of the clueless (voter’s) mind
I’m – in case you didn’t know – an assiduous student of American politics and psephology and have been for years. But my real specialty is the psychology of elections versus the process itself. Our system is much like spectator sports in that it’s a spectacle and all you have to do is watch and wait for the score. You needn’t know how the teams got to where they are or the issues that are before the voters. No siree, presidential politics is about a team that you’ve identified with and usually that of a parent, typically your father. It’s a team that identifies and labels you. That identifies you via the tribe or clan. You wear the team colors proudly and what’s more important is to dislike and declaim against the opposition versus buoying or propping up your team.
American presidential politics now is essentially divided into two camps: Hillary and Trump. And you can watch television news commentary or read all you want about the positions and platforms of the two, but you’d be wasting your time. The two have no positions and platforms but have teams and audiences and fans and those folks are whom you vote for or against. American voters care little for issues; they want bumper sticker playbook shibboleths, sayings, truisms and trite phraseology.
Let me explain. First, I’m not suggesting that there are no issues or platforms or positions. Of course there are. It’s just that no one knows them or cares one way or another. What the voter and commentator look to are appearance, hair, weight, pantsuits, combovers and philandering husbands. And those are the deep issues. And you can blame or credit social media and microblogging with fueling this minimal depth of analysis. Reaction today is patellar, kneejerk and Pavlovian. Hardwired and rote katas that spew reflexively. Think gag reflex. Autonomic reactions. And what’s interesting is that in classical reflexive responses there are reasons for such. Learned or experiential bases for full-throated reaction of disgust distaste or dislike. Here, there are no reasons other than the team the object of loathing is on or one’s own professed affiliation with political pedigree.
When Sarah Palin in Ames, Iowa, endorsed Donald Trump it was a masterful stroke of genius. (And let me remind the reader that I am a political atheist, a black belt in realpolitik and will write my own name in as my choice for POTUS as I do every four years.) Why? It provided Trump with more stolen news media real estate by forcing the attention yet again on him via the inclusion by endorsement of the most loathed person of the political left. A woman so reviled and detested, so organically disliked, a woman who’s the subject of parody and mimicry, a former governor of Alaska who, her detractors swear, thinks she can actually see Russia from her house. (She did however say"They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska” – if that’s in fact a distinction.) A woman with a funny accent and with a daughter whose pregnancies whilst unwed both enrage and delight her detractors as rather inconsistent with stated family values and support of premarital abstinence. You get the picture.
And remember, it’s not at all about anything Sarah Palin believes or endorses or represents – though, admittedly, I myself am unsure of what that would even be. But that is irrelevant. She captures the attention of the country through the detestation that she generates along with the dislike of Mr. Trump coupled with a rabid and ravenous fan base that he enjoys as well as that of Palin, for no other reason than that she drives the progressives and liberals an lefties nuts. See?
Enter Hillary pilloried. She’s alleged to not only have been the violated wife at the hands (and other appendages) of her randy rake and roué, the debauched Bill, but also accused of not only covering up but targeting those women who dared to expose Bill’s behavior. Exhibit A: Roger Stone’s “The Clinton’s War on Women.” Hillary’s been dubbed a series of hateful monikers I shan’t repeat and has taken the position and target of Benghazi coconspirator forever attributed to “What difference does it make?” as well as being involved somehow in Vince Foster’s death, Whitewater, the Rose Law Firm ‘Filegate’ scandal of sorts as well as ‘Travelgate’. Hers has been a more refined and highbrow bill of particulars rather than the somewhat generic besmirching of Trump as braggadocios, pompous, bilious prevaricator.
As you may have noticed, no other candidates have been mentioned. They certainly have their own baggage of sorts but nothing that equals that of Trump and Hillary. In fact, this might be the most detailed and comprehensive review of the candidates, viz. that as seen from detractors. Now, certainly Trump and Clinton fans must point to something of note. An accomplishment or pledge or platform. Yes, certainly.
Trump is a plain speaker a business man. A no-nonsense straight shooter. A billionaire not beholden to special interests.
Hillary is a brilliant experienced woman, accomplished in her own right, a former Senator and Secretary of State. And while her detractors may think of her as entitled, her acolytes and apostles consider her placement well-deserved from a woman who’s enjoyed a front row and ringside seat to the interstitial machinations and maneuverings of government. And she’s a woman and it’s about time a woman takes the helm.
And there you have it. The race detailed and dissected. Pared down into its constituent parts for your review and consideration.
And whom should you vote for. Do as I do. The name’s LIONEL.
I’m Lionel and I approve his message.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.