Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This Is It

     There’s no more of substance to be said.

     There are no heroes on the ballot for any office at any level. The highest-profile contest is between a man of flawed character and abrasive personality, and a woman of unparalleled viciousness and venality who clearly belongs behind bars. Yet one of them will be the next president of the United States.

     The congressional, senatorial, state, county, and municipal races are what they’ve been for decades now: preparatory schools for aspiring dictators and thieves, all of whom hope to graduate to a bigger stage. Ferdinand Lundberg’s The Rich and the Super-Rich captured the essence of it forty-eight years ago:

     ...it is a settled conclusion among seasoned observers that, Congress apart as a separate case, the lower legislatures -- state, county, and municipal -- are Augean stables of misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance from year to year and decade to decade, and that they are preponderantly staffed by riffraff, or what the police define as "undesirables," people who if they were not in influential positions would be unceremoniously told to "keep moving." Exceptions among them are minor. Many of them, including congressmen, refuse to go before the television cameras because it is then so plainly obvious to everybody what they are. Their whole demeanor arouses instant distrust in the intelligent. They are, all too painfully, type-cast for the race track, the sideshow carnival, the back alley, the peep show, the low tavern, the bordello, the dive. Evasiveness, dissimulation, insincerity shine through their false bonhomie like beacon lights.

     Were Lundberg writing today, I doubt he’d except Congress or the White House. But then, Leo Tolstoy beat him to that punch by several decades:

     In order to obtain and hold power, a man must love it. Thus the effort to get it is not likely to be coupled with goodness, but with the opposite qualities of pride, cunning, and cruelty.

     Even so, this is not an election in which one can justify “sitting it out.” What happens today will determine the social, economic, and political direction of the United States for the next twenty-five years at least.

     The American people have been railing against the political elites for some time. Today is their chance to do something about it. Whether they will do that something, we shall see.

     Pray for America.

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