Would You Rather?
There's not a time in my life that I can recall an election that hasn't been trumpeted by voters as a case in which we have to “pick the lesser of two evils.” That's the American electorate's way of saying “Yeah, the two major candidates are both just differently flavored dog shit, but what can we do? These are our choices.” This election is different. It's more like a game of 'Would you rather?'
If you're unfamiliar with 'Would you rather,' allow me to fill you in. It's a verbal game, in which a person lobs a ridiculous nightmare scenario your way, giving you two horrendous options that begin with the phrase “Would you rather...” For example, “Would you rather have a butthole filled with jelly fish, or put your own mom in a coma with a wiffle bat?” Now that the hope of a Hillary Clinton indictment is gone, and Donald Trump hasn't choked to death on his toupee, we're left with no shortage of just such scenarios.
In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most of us are longing for the days when the two major party candidates were just your garden variety evil, looking for a two term cash-grab at the expense of the American people, and not Caligula meets Marvel super-villain, batshit crazy.
So what do we do? Who can we possibly stifle our vomit at the polls for long enough to give them our vote? Maybe a quick game of 'Would you rather?' is actually the only way to make such a choice. Let's start with an easy one and work our way up.
Would you rather elect a corporatist, career politician who's been paid for by Wall Street for decades, or a racist lunatic who recently solicited politicians in other countries to help finance his train wreck of a campaign?
Would you rather gamble on someone who's going to enter the general election as the most disliked candidate in the history of the Democratic Party, or a failed businessman who has claimed that bankrupting the American economy is the best way to save it, because he doesn't know the first thing about any economy?
Would you rather cast your vote for someone who once referred to young, black Americans as “super predators,” or someone who's plan to fight terrorism is a tag-and-release program for every Muslim in America until “we can figure out what the hell is going on!”?
Would you rather give The White House to a Democrat who's enthusiastically supported by several Republican business leaders, or a Tang-coated mad man, who'll likely offer all of us a coach seat to the end of the American experiment?
The thing that a game like this never accounts for is an alternative to the options presented. I get that. What the hell is the fun in someone deciding that they'll neither give up the Internet for a year, nor will they let a ferret live in their pants for a month. In the context of the game, this makes sense. However, this binary view of options doesn't work when we're looking for a Commander in Chief. We need someone who's more interested in helping us pick up the pieces of a shattered economy and removing the systemic inequality that keeps poor kids from getting an education, than they are in billing us for the financial favors for their sponsors who aren't exactly sweating the mortgage.
This is why candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are setting records for third party candidate support, polling at 10% and 6% respectively. They are the no-ferret-in-the-pants options for the disillusioned voters in America. Even if you disagree with the both of them, it's hard to deny that they're in it for the people. Jill Stein isn't getting six figure paydays to talk to Wall Street, and then keeping the transcripts as far away from voters as possible. Gary Johnson isn't getting painted orange at a tanning salon, and then screaming about killing the families of suspected terrorists so that they don't kill people's families, all while having no perception of irony.
The two party lunacy is at such a peak, that it's almost impossible to imagine that any future politicians will ever reach it again. One politician is so full of dirty tricks, handshake deals with the powerful, and poor voting judgment, that she should be on the cover of the textbook for Corruption That Kills America: 101. The other is a half-bright fuckwit, who couldn't form a semi-decent policy on anything if you offered him the billion dollars that he pretends to have.
If we don't stop voting for politicians instead of policies, allowing ourselves to be swept up in the kind of odd comfort that we get from familiar faces on TV, then we can hope for nothing but the same steaming heap of human garbage that has roamed the halls of government for decades. Or much worse. This is the concession that we've made with our cowardice at the ballots. It's an uncomfortable reality. We've gotten so used to the idea of voting against the other guy, that we can't imagine actually voting for anyone. We don't own a dangerously large chunk of our own economy, hard working citizens are working two or three jobs to break into the bottom of the middle class, and we keep putting the same idiots in charge of this sinking ship, because we're too scared to take a leap. What would our forefathers say? We can't rely on Bernie Sanders to force Clinton to act like a Democrat, and Trump is beyond salvageable in every capacity. If ever there was a time to get 'tri-curious' with a third party option, it's when we have two choices that are as shitty and repulsive as these two absurdly horrendous jack-wagons.