Another campaign season is upon us and my eyes and ears already bleed from the ceaseless bloviating onslaught. Candidates rain down like fallout from a nookular bomb. Campaigns spend millions in corporate donations and $500-a-plate rubber chicken dinners – KFC should be so lucky – while agonizing over the sorry-arsed condition of campaign finance reform. Lobbyists are trampled in a lemming-like rush to have their picture taken next to their pre-purchased candidate. Never mind they’ll hold giant black hats over their faces when the photos make a NYT article about influence peddling. I’ve voted for more than 30 years and I ask the same unanswered question each time, “There are 300 million frickin’ people in this country and these clowns are the best candidates we can field?”
Like a certain unnamed Gulf Coast hurricane, these bruising bitchfests are massively disastrous. For one, they’re waaaaay too long. Does anyone really need two years of uninterrupted caterwauling to decide which candidate is the least of a million evils? We’d be much better off if we simply said, “The election is next Tuesday. You have seven days to equivocate your position before we punch our choices into an electronic voting machine that will lose all the data anyway – except in Florida where their cracker jack, leading edge technology uses 1950s punch cards that apparently require more manual dexterity than many Floridians can muster.
The unseemly jockeying for first dibs on early primaries also contributes to the mess. If states keep moving the start dates back, people will vote in primaries before they’re born. Prepare yourselves for the rabid argument about exactly when a baby becomes a voter – conception, embryonic stage, or fully birthed decider. I fail to see how candidates dropping in for a planned, spontaneous Manchester coffee klatch serves much purpose other than giving the candidate free morning coffee and seeing New Hampshities modeling the latest in plaid cold weather gear. The cat-scratch campaign fights inevitably leave even the winning candidates so bruised and battered most people would prefer the Bin Laden/Musharaf ticket to McCain/TBD or Clinton/Barrak.
Pubic Hairs in the Coke
It’s not like all the money, primaries, unreliable voting machines, and rivers of fresh Iowa coffee mean much anyway. Eleven percent of registered voters will show up, vote their conscience, and find out that – despite winning the popular vote – the loser wins because the Supreme Court gets a political hair up it’s collective ass. Probably a pubic hair recovered from a Coke can at that.
No other nation on the planet has an electoral system quite like ours. Like many things, we’re going this election thing alone. Third World dictators run better elections than we do – just ask Jimmy Carter. Say what you will about Saddam, but he turned in overwhelming numbers. Ninety-nine percent voter turnout and garnering 100% of the vote isn’t easy, even in a totalitarian country. I’m beginning to wonder if raping, pillaging, and burning might not be a better system. At least it has the virtue of clear, unequivocal results.
My eyes and ears can only take so much. Could someone set the alarm clock and wake me up about a year and a half?
I’ll need my omnipotent strength to smite the winning Crapweasel as he takes the oath of office on the Bible…or Koran…or Torah…or….