To consume any news coverage now is to descend into some sort of weird, dimly-lighted Rage Party, complete with slippery rivers of beer and God-Knows-What sluicing about your feet: The seizure-inducing strobe lighting of the flickering, hyper coverage of FOX News and MSNBC and all the other media miscreants stabs at your brain-pan, and the dull thud of the bass-line emanating from the mouths of Bill O’Reily and Anderson Cooper and Rush Limbaugh dulls your already thread-bare senses.
What is Larry Sabato’s final Crystal Ball? What’s Nate Silver got to say about North Carolina? Does RCP have Hillary up over 270 yet? What about That Guy at That University who’s been Predicting Every Presidential Election since Harry Truman?
Sometime in the waning decades of the last century, the Presidential Elections stopped being more about ideas, and more about entertainment. Hardly surprising, that: Our entire national culture is about entertainment.
America, after all, doesn’t export representational republicanism, or even democratic pluralism. We export Jay-Z, and Beyonce, and Ru Paul and the Butthole Surfers. When a friend of mine decamped upon the marketplace in Lome, Togo during a stint in the Peace Corps, she was not overly astonished to hear Madonna blasting over a 90’s era boom-box. Yet Togo remains a “democracy” in the post-colonial African sense of the word. The last president-for-life passed the power onto his son only upon his death. The USA sends the Peace Corps and Madonna, yes. Thomas Jefferson, no.
We are very good at Entertainment. We tend to suck at Self Government. Thus, we have a reality TV show huckster on one side of our Presidential race, and an old geezer lady whose been on our TV sets since around the time Hill Street Blues went off the air. Some choice.
But, it’s OUR choice. When life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade. Or, in America, make an a Investigation Discovery show ABOUT Lemonade on Basic Cable.
And so, with analysis that is more byzantine and befitting the autopsy of JFK, the Pundits are, well, Punditing like insects swirling around the lights at the Tastee-Freeze on a sultry July night. There are so many predictions pouring in that, soon, there will be more prognostications than actual votes.
So, I will add my predictions to the Bonfire.
1) by 9:00 PM Tomorrow, I Guarantee:
The Government of the United States will spend $1, 040,780 more every hour than it brings in. This is more than most Americans will earn in wages in a lifetime. Further, the governments of the various states will collectively overspend by half that amount every hour, as well.
2) by 10:00 PM Tomorrow, I Guarantee:
54 precious, sovereign, innocent babies will have been violently murdered since the same time an hour earlier, in what ought to be the safest place on the planet: in their mother’s wombs.
3) by 11:00 PM Tomorrow, I Guarantee:
Four additional pages of Federal Government regulations will be added to the Federal Register than were there twenty-four hours earlier.
4) by Midnight Tomorrow, I Guarantee:
Five Armed Forces Veterans will die waiting while seeking medical treatment at Veterans Administration facilities in the next twenty-four hours.
5) by Wednesday Morning, I Guarantee:
Despite the Bonzo Ratings on Television this election has generated, not one scintilla of any of this will change.
Unless WE do…