This (the Monday before Election Day (even if it’s more like Election Month; in America, even Election Day never ends)) has to be my least favourite day of any year. The stomach acid builds as, even though one’s been blithely ignoring everything as much as possible to avoid losing one’s mind, the candidates get on that last final push, desperation tinging their stadium appearances in 3 states (for the sake of Gaia, aren’t we glad swing states are all in the same area, and aren’t Maine, Florida, and Hawaii?), and by the next day, when they know if they’ve lost, they’ll be exhausted and one just feels so bad about it even though it hasn’t even happened yet.
Plus, it’s close. It’s always close. And if the actual election isn’t close, it means that the MSM has just been making it seem close for months to drive up viewer numbers, which means they’ve been toying with the sanity of 300 million people, giving them hope where there is none, and that’s not even mentioning the relentless ads, mailers, phone calls, blog posts, and sanctimonious friends on Facebook telling one in a tangential way that one is the worst person in the world and would have no friends if anyone knew one’s politics.
And sure it’ll be over soon, but then you’re faced with the idea that, if your person wins, everyone you know supported the other guy and will be fomenting about how horrible you are, the country is, the system is, the money is, the electoral college is, and what dirty rotten cheaters everyone is and let’s march out the lawyers and make the misery go on for years (Drones! Gitmo! Blood for oil! Unemployment! Grinding Poverty! Abortion! Supreme Court! FILIBUSTER!). And if your person loses, you’re faced with the exultation of one’s peers while you feel just ever so slightly that All Is Lost, and all you have to look forward to is more hubris, a worse press, and an additional, additionally humiliating, inclusion of someone somehow related on Dancing With the Stars.
It’s just awful.
No hurricane hit my county. Indeed, no hurricane hit New Hampshire. No hurricane hit “17 states,” the number of states supposedly “affected” by Sandy at its peak. A hurricane hit a few coastal counties of New Jersey, New York and a couple of other states, and that’s it. Everyone else had slightly windier-than-usual wind — and yet they were out of power for days. In a county entirely untouched by Sandy, my office manager had no electricity for a week. Not because of an “emergency” but because of a decrepit and vulnerable above-the-ground electrical-distribution system that ought to be a national embarrassment to any developed society. A few weeks ago, I chanced to be in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a French colony of 6,000 people on a couple of treeless rocks in the North Atlantic. Every electric line is underground. Indeed, the droll demoiselle who leads tours of the islands makes a point of amusingly drawing American visitors’ attention to this local feature.
If you’re saying, “Whoa, that sounds expensive,” well, our government is more expensive than any government in history — and we have nothing to show for it. Imagine if Obama’s 2009 stimulus had been spent burying every electric pole on the Eastern Seaboard. Instead, just that one Obama bill spent a little shy of a trillion dollars, and no one can point to a single thing it built.
Untrue. Every time I drive to the East Bay, I drive past the huge For Sale sign on the huger Solyndra building right at 880 and Mission Boulevard.
I don’t know whether Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can fix things, but I do know that Barack Obama and Joe Biden won’t even try — and that therefore a vote for Obama is a vote for the certainty of national collapse. Look at Lower Manhattan in the dark, and try to imagine what America might look like after the rest of the planet decides it no longer needs the dollar as global reserve currency. For four years, we have had a president who can spend everything but build nothing. Nothing but debt, dependency, and decay. As I said at the beginning, in different ways the response to Hurricane Sandy and Benghazi exemplify the fundamental unseriousness of the superpower at twilight. Whether or not to get serious is the choice facing the electorate on Tuesday.