Not Over The Hill
There’s been plenty to write about in this dizzy, world-gone-fuckin’-apeshit political season, but I haven’t been the one writing it, mostly because I’ve lost interest in publicly logging the minutia of my thoughts on a day-to-day basis… about politics or anything else. I’ve come around to thinking the best expression of my ideas is in my fiction and that’s pretty slow work. It doesn’t develop at Internet speeds. Even my short stories usually take me at least a month.
And when I do have something a little more in the moment to talk about, I’ve come to feel like I want room for nuance (which is why I’m active here on Medium and still play around on Tumblr). I’ve also come back to feeling like everything benefits from at least one polish. Still no edit button on Twitter.
About the election, I’ll only say it bums me out to see that once again, a wildly overqualified woman — a person probably more capable of stepping into the White House than anyone to seek the presidency in my lifetime — is in danger of losing the gig to a much less well-informed, much less accomplished man. What could be more American than that?
Bernie promises what can’t be delivered and folks love it. Hillary says we can make things incrementally better, but it will be hard, there will be setbacks every step of the way, and we have to be ready to dig in for a long slog. No one wants to hear that shit. It isn’t even a little sexy. Hillary’s great mistake is thinking realism is a good platform for a political campaign.
Maybe she’s also guilty of underestimating how deeply public opinion has been poisoned after twenty-five years of relentless right-wing shit slinging. It’s quite something to read people I admire who have gone for Bernie and who are now ripping Hillary in language that sounds like it came out of Karl Rove’s playbook.
People gonna vote how they’re gonna vote. There’s good sociology to suggest that trying to change minds directly — say, by arguing with them on the Internet — more often only succeeds in hardening their opposition. But I just thought I’d mumble that this one NH voter was for the lady who got soundly crushed earlier this week.
(So do I dislike Bernie? Hell, no. Glad he’s around, if not for any other reason than because he inspired today’s hilariously morose David Brooks column. Dave can’t understand why young people aren’t more inspired by the “risk-takers” of American capitalism. Let me help you out with that one, Davey. They’re a little angry because the bold “risk-takers” were taking risks with other people’s money. They’re a little steamed because Mom and Dad lost fuckin’ everything when the real estate bubble collapsed and wiped out their savings. “The individualism, achievement, and flexibility” that you think is such a fundamental part of the American experience? These days, that’s for the celebrity entrepreneurs you whack off to on a weekly basis: it’s for Jeff Bezos, not for the kids who just got out of college with six-figure debt, to discover the only job they’ve got waiting for them is moving packages around one of his warehouses. No, Bernie has tapped into a wide-spread contempt for a system that was outrageously abused to enrich the Wall Street few at the expense of the Main Street many… and that contempt is entirely valid. It’s just his plan for doing something about it, which basically amounts to a magic word — not abacadbra, but revolution — that fails to move me.)