I know I should care about who might be the next president of the USA, but frankly I can’t gather the enthusiasm. It isn’t that I have anything against either candidate, quite the reverse: I can see nothing to recommend either of them.
As Alexander Cockburn said of the best of two political evils, it is the choice of “a man on raft facing the decision of whether to drink seawater or his own urine.”
The problem is that democracy is following tv and is dumbing down the world over, but this is open for all to see in the States. Politics has become even more populist than it ever was and the candidates have to appeal to the widest possible audience.
This in a country where 20 percent of the population claim to rely on tv comedy shows as their source of news.
The potential to enlighten America and the world happened in 1800 when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson stood against each other. One was president of the American Philosophical Society, the other the same of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
That should have been the turning point — right and reason over superstition and fear, but as Mencken observed, “every man prefers what he can understand to what puzzles and dismays him.”
Two centuries later, we still have the “abracadabra vote.” Creationists, alien abductees, New World Order conspiracy theorists, you name it — the science books have been metaphorically, if not literally, piled on the bonfire.
So who to choose? Not my decision to make, fortunately. But as one campaign bumper sticker has it, “Don’t change horsemen in the middle of an apocalypse.”