Barring any hanging chads, The Victor will be declared sometime tonight. Then, those who sought that victory by gleefully seeking to divide will put on their false piety and call on us to come together as Americans.
The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Trump and Clinton Circus of 2016 will draw to its close with about half the voters choosing him, and half choosing her. Five percent or so, me included, will have chosen someone else.
The lament I’ve heard more than any other in this lamentable election goes something like this: “Over three-hundred-million people in America. How did we end up with these two?”
The blaming always starts with the media. You can blame the media with impunity because virtually every survey shows trust in the media at historic lows. The media may actually rank below Anthony Weiner in terms of respect. Every candidate, every political party, even many in the media, blame the media for our electoral troubles.
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You can blame those political parties. Despite platforms and platitudes, their primary purpose is the election of candidates with the initials R or D. We now see clearly that the parties will stand with virtually anyone who sports their jersey if they have a shot at winning.
You can blame the Unions or Big Business. You can blame Citizen’s United, the court case that affirmed corporations have a right to freely speak their political views in the form of virtually limitless donations to political action committees.
Better yet, you can blame George Soros if you’re Republican or Sheldon Adelson if you’re Democrat. Or Hollywood, or the NRA. In America, we like our villains to have faces and our enemies nefarious names.
And of course, you can blame the candidates. In so many ways they are the real “basket of deplorables.”
The madness pervading our political system is the result of the gaslighting of America by the two major political parties, the powerful interests controlling them, and the media covering the fray. They conflate to narrow the choices to only two, and then convince voters they must choose one of them even be they evil.
Yet, blaming these players alone is too easy, resting within reassuring reach on the surface of our ills. Truth runs deep. It is found in the quiet of the heart and soul and conscience. If we are willing to risk pushing our own selves aside and listening for the voice of truth, we will know where fault lies and what change is required.
So, “How did we end up with these two?”
After all, it was you and me.
To change the system would mean changing ourselves. Most would rather go along with the gaslighting. The comfort of blame feels better than the pain of change, as every addict knows.
And yes, this morning I did cast my vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. Tonight, I will sleep well.
Johnson didn’t know the name, Aleppo. However he does know the role our Founders intended the federal government to play in our lives, and he does know right from wrong.
That’s more than I can say for the Ringling Brothers candidates.
Keith Larson is a regular Observer contributor. Follow him on twitter at @clublama.