Election 2016 — “None of the Above”
A long, long time ago, in a much simpler world, there was a corny and prophetic movie called “Brewster’s Millions.” The plot — Monty Brewster has to spend $30 million in one month in order to receive a $300 million inheritance. The only catch — he can’t accrue any benefit from the $30 million. To “waste” some money, he enters the New York City Mayoral race, running as a protest candidate and urging people to vote for “None of the Above.” He develops such a passionate following that the former front-runners threaten to sue Brewster for confrontational rhetoric, ultimately settling for several million dollars. Brewster withdraws from the race because the polls show he is actually going to win.
Fast-forward thirty years, and we are sadly experiencing a scenario in which we desperately need a Monty Brewster. On one side, we have a billionaire businessman vowing to “Make America Great Again” if we vote against the establishment that has proven to be “a disaster,” “stupid.” “weak,” “terrible negotiators,” and so on. Because he used to be openly liberal in his politics, conservatives justly question his now uber-right wing positions regarding guns, abortion, and immigration. The establishment, panicked and unable to stem the rising tide of his bizarre appeal, has resorted to infantile name-calling ranging from “carnival barker” to “fascist.”
Running in second place, we have a Machiavellian Tea Party genius who has recently been exposed to desire world domination. He vows that he won’t “go along to get along,” referring to past compromises made by his fellow Republican senators. The genius, proud that none of the Washington insiders like him, actually believes that taking a firm stance against compromise will be appealing. Sadly, he fails to notice the unfolding tragedy that political and ideological extremes have already caused. That he may or may not be a natural-born American (who incidentally only renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014) is the cherry on the sundae.
On the other side, the P.C. side, we also have two major candidates. In first place, the “anointed one” is hanging on to a slim lead, despite undeniable and reprehensible actions from a record she claims proves that she has the experience to lead from day one. Tied up in an onslaught of questions about an on-going FBI investigation, the drip drip drip of leaked emails, and lies ranging from Bosnia to Benghazi, she is unable to get people to hear her message. That her message changes as fluidly as her accent is not significant in a political climate where we all know the emperor is not wearing any clothes.
And finally, we have a cranky old man from Brooklyn turned Vermont Senator who has developed a following as passionate as that of the billionaire businessman — only this one stands for the polar opposite as he vows to take on the billionaire class. He has single-handedly created a Socialist revolution in which, the young, uniformly white, and educated east-coasters flock to support his 90% income tax plan by the tens of thousands. How far he can go in this race is irrelevant, because there is no way this still predominantly Christian country is ready to elect a Jew to be president. We may say we are living in a post-race America, but we’re not.
And so, we need some options. Otherwise, we may be forced to choose between a fascist carnival barker, an unlikeable Canadian genius, a deceptive wanna-be queen who may be indicted come election season, and a one-note socialist (ahem, that is communist) who honey-mooned in the Soviet Union.
What would happen if we could vote for “none of the above?”