I am just about fed up with this election


I can’t stand it. This election has reached a stage where, for me at least, the sheer shallowness of the campaign and coverage has become so sickening that I can barely stand reading election news any more. All we seem to see and read about are surrogates trash talking in the media and getting smacked down in turn by the online commentariat. Even the comedians are losing their appeal for me which is the real sign that I am just sick of it all

The debates are being hyped as the next big thing, possibly game-changing events. But why? Why does it matter if the president is a good debater, a skill that merely showcases verbal fluency and quick-wittedness? Those are useful skills but what I want from a president is thoughtfulness, principles, and a strong commitment to justice for all. You will not learn any of that from the debates. Donald Trump will brazenly lie and make wild allegations about and anyone and anything especially Hillary Clinton, while the media will fixate on Clinton’s clothes and demeanor and laugh and make a huge issue of even the smallest slip that she makes, while largely treating Trump’s outrageous statements as merely what they expected. The debates have become exercises where the candidates talk less to the voters and more to impress the talking heads who will then prattle endlessly about who won and lost and portentously tell us What It All Means.

I am not usually so fed up about elections. I do not recall being this disheartened in past elections. Maybe it is because even though I hope Clinton will win, that is mainly because I can’t bear the thought of Trump winning. I simply cannot whip up any kind of enthusiasm for a Clinton presidency, the way I had for the first election of Barack Obama, though that did not last long and had dissipated by the time of his second election.

I think that I pretty much know what each candidate stands for and whom I am going to vote for and I really doubt that anything new is going to emerge that will change my mind. I wish the election were tomorrow so we could be done with this farce. It is incredible to me that the US has such a long, expensive, and drawn out process that sheds so little light on important questions.

It is possible that I am too old and have seen too many elections and have become jaded about the process.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    Why does it matter if the president is a good debater, a skill that merely showcases verbal fluency and quick-wittedness?

    That’s not the point. The point is to make candidates talk about the issues. But
    a) they don’t do that anyway. current presidential debating technique is to change the topic to what you want to talk about as quickly as possible. And
    b) You, unlike many other people, have already looked into the candidate’s policy positions, so you can’t expect any big revelations anyway.

  2. mnb0 says

    You’re a bit slow. I am about a decade younger and have restricted myself to reading headlines for several weeks now.

  3. ljbriar says

    Honestly, I’m barely in my thirties and not even American, and I’m sick to death of this election. I can’t imagine how much worse it is if you actually live in the US.

    You have my complete sympathy.

  4. Blood Knight in Sour Armor says

    …and I’m constantly refreshing 538 and HuffPost to get dosed up on paralyzing fear. The dread of a Trump presidency is inescapable.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    Yeah, if Clinton had a nice, comfortable double digit lead, it’d be a lot less stressful to read about the election. As it is, the realization that the number of jerks/idiots/fascists who would be willing to vote for the orange one is so high is endlessly depressing. Win or lose, how did the country get into this horrible state?

  6. Raucous Indignation says

    You are jaded because you are a man. Did you sit with a woman during the Democratic convention? Did you view the Democratic convention through any lens other than a man’s? This is more revolutionary an election than 2012. We all have problems with Hillary, sure. Of course, I’m never sure how much that is real and how much is years of right-wing slander and conspiracy mongering. So what. No candidate is perfect. So what. Try to see this election through the eyes of a woman. If that doesn’t get you excited, the problem is you, not the process.

  7. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To OP:
    You watch election news? American election news from American outlets? Why would you ever do that? Just to find things to blog about? Lol.

  8. wsierichs says

    While I’m tired of the election and consider both Trump and Clinton unacceptable – they’d each be a disaster, just in different ways if elected – I also look at it from some distance, which makes it interesting. The biggest news is that the Republican base finally woke up to how most of its members have been royally screwed for many years.

    While Trump’s blatant appeals to racism, and his racist supporters, all deserve close scrutiny and contempt, Trump’s supporters are probably driven more by economic fears and anger. In such situations, it’s easy for some people to look for scapegoats. So immigrants are seen as job-stealers, and the Establishment is seen as complicit in using immigrants to drive down wages and “take” jobs that “belong” to Americans. Right-wing bigotry adds poison to this mix in the forms of racism, Islamaphobia, Christian fears of people perceived as causing moral collapse, such as gays, and so on.

    The Democratic base has recognize for a much longer period that the Establishment is ripping off workers to adds zeroes to the paychecks of the already-wealthy. But until Bernie Sanders came along, there seemed to be no viable alternative to whatever candidates the Democratic Establishment chose to offer. In this election, by the party leadership blatantly treating Clinton as the chosen candidate – not even a choice with other Establishment politicians – the Democratic base rose up in fury to support someone who spoke honestly about the real issues. Now that the candidate of the Establishment, by the Establishment and for the Establishment has been anointed, the base is deeply divided. Clinton’s “turn” to the right and appeals to Republicans show exactly what is wrong with the Democratic leadership. They do not care about working Americans or the middle class. If Clinton loses, it will be because the base is angry not only at the perceived fraud that many believe stole the election from Sanders but by Clinton’s open dishonesty at seeming to adopt some of Sanders’ ideas, which are both realistic and an attempt to start solving our economic problems, and then quickly running from them.

    From that perspective, it’s a fascinating social-political phenomenon. It’s also scary given that our most likely president will be either a racist with fascist rhetoric, and almost certainly will be deeply corrupt, or an Establishment figure, who almost certainly will be deeply corrupt in a different way from Trump, and has a history of war-mongering. Just the thought of trying to enforce a “no fly” zone over Syria or push NATO forces right up to Russia’s borders is frightening. Her statements about Syria, if she means them – and her history supports that – could start World War III when Russia fights back to protect what it perceives as a vital strategic interest – its Mediterranean base. The potential for escalation to nuclear war by Clinton’s avowed policies in either Syria or Ukraine makes her at least as dangerous as Trump.

  9. raym says

    It is incredible to me that the US has such a long, expensive, and drawn out process that sheds so little light on important questions.
    Not only is it drawn out, it is never ending. The moment one election is complete, they start in on the next one. It’s insane.

  10. says

    @6 Raucous Indignation

    My girlfriend, my sister and my mother are not inspired by Hillary Clinton. It’s more a mix of fear and anger what they feel about her, given her prior actions as Secretary of State and her gleeful embrace of war criminals. Oh wait. The women around me are neither white americans nor rich and therefore not real people who matter. Shit.

    But I see your point. Old white feminists are super exited about her, kind of, and old white feminists are the only women whose opinions matter anyway and if you disagree with them, you are the problem, for they can’t be wrong or misguided about anything.

    Also: Jill Stein, Susan Sarandon and Rosario Dawson are not actually women. You see, REAL women get all excited when the cis-het white christian multimillionaire gets what she wants (it’s inspirational, you see). They didn’t, therefore they can’t logically be women.

  11. Trickster Goddess says

    Raucous Indignation:

    You are jaded because you are a man.

    Please don’t engage broad sexist generalities.

    I am a woman and I am jaded as well. Hillary is eminently qualified for the job, but policy-wise she represents the status quo and will just bring more of the same pro-corporatism and foreign interventionalism as her predecessors. Choosing between status quo and an insane authoritarian is a no-brainer, but not exciting.

    It is good to finally see that gender barrier fall, but gender doesn’t trump politics for me. For example, if I had lived in Britain during the 1980s there is no way I would have ever voted for Margaret Thatcher, despite her being the first female PM of the UK.

  12. Silentbob says

    @ 6 Raucous Indignation

    Try to see this election through the eyes of a woman. If that doesn’t get you excited, the problem is you, not the process.

    See here. To many people with an international perspective the prospect of a female head of state is about as revolutionary as a black man having his own TV show. Yeah that would be revolutionary — in, like, the 50s. Maybe the problem is actually your provincialism.

  13. Dunc says

    The debates are being hyped as the next big thing, possibly game-changing events. But why?

    For the TV ratings. It’s become just another reality show: “America’s Next President”. Tune in again next week!

  14. sonofrojblake says

    I think that I pretty much know what each candidate stands for and whom I am going to vote for and I really doubt that anything new is going to emerge that will change my mind.

    Well done for having any idea what Trump stands for. When you get a moment, could you tell him? What Trump “stands for” is not standing for anything in particular. He blows with the wind.

    I’m going to stick my neck out and assume that IF you’re not going to write in Sanders or otherwise waste your vote THEN you’ve already picked Hillary. If that’s the case, I’m surprised that nothing could emerge that would change that – she is (we now know for a fact) very ill, and more crucially, has been lying about it, baldly and repeatedly to our faces, for weeks, months, possibly years. Maybe that doesn’t matter, but it would to me.

    Quite apart from anything else, the sheer political ineptitude of handing Trump such a sitter is unforgivable. He has been banging on for months about how ill she is, and then on the most important date in the USA calendar, at the most emotive site in the country, she left early and allowed herself to be filmed being dragged bodily into a car, physically unable to even keep her shoes on. She makes Dodderin Bob Dole look like a dynamic picture of health. And this person believes themself fit and ready to be President? In what fantasy world?

  15. KG says

    sonofrojblake@14

    What Trump “stands for” is not standing for anything in particular. He blows with the wind.

    You evidently haven’t been paying attention to him. He stands for expelling all non-documented immigrants, building a wall along the Mexican border, excluding foreign Muslims from the USA. On many other issues, admittedly, he has been inconsistent, but his commitment to racist bigotry is absolutely clear – except to those who don’t want to see it.

    she is (we now know for a fact) very ill

    No, we don’t. We know she’s been diagnosed with pneumonia. That may be a result of some underlying condition, or it may not. If it is, that condition may be life-threatening, or limit her ability to perform as President, or it may not.

  16. says

    KG @15
    You evidently haven’t been paying attention to him. He stands for expelling all non-documented immigrants (like Obama’s been doing), building a wall along the Mexican border (on top of the wall that’s already there), excluding foreign Muslims from the USA (because anti-muslim bigotry wasn’t a thing before Trump).

    Soooo, basically Trump is the status quo president?

  17. Saad says

    sonofrojblake, #14

    I’m going to stick my neck out and assume that IF you’re not going to write in Sanders or otherwise waste your vote THEN you’ve already picked Hillary. If that’s the case, I’m surprised that nothing could emerge that would change that – she is (we now know for a fact) very ill, and more crucially, has been lying about it, baldly and repeatedly to our faces, for weeks, months, possibly years. Maybe that doesn’t matter, but it would to me.

    Quite apart from anything else, the sheer political ineptitude of handing Trump such a sitter is unforgivable. He has been banging on for months about how ill she is, and then on the most important date in the USA calendar, at the most emotive site in the country, she left early and allowed herself to be filmed being dragged bodily into a car, physically unable to even keep her shoes on. She makes Dodderin Bob Dole look like a dynamic picture of health. And this person believes themself fit and ready to be President? In what fantasy world?

    Damn, someone has been eating up the media sensationalism. It’s pneumonia. It’s treatable. She’s 68 years old and despite having pneumonia carried on a ridiculously stressful schedule of work and public appearances. That’s pretty strong.

    General David Petraeus fainting

    Major Gen. David Martin Jr. fainting

    Your Trump apologia is getting less and less subtle though. Shape up. I’m sure on a different forum, you’d feel less shame explicitly supporting him.

  18. sonofrojblake says

    @KG, 15:
    You evidently haven’t been paying attention to him.
    You say:

    He stands for expelling all non-documented immigrants

    CNN, reporting on a speech he made two weeks ago, say:

    Trump left the fate of most of the 11 million undocumented people who are not criminals in the country murky.
    He did not commit to deporting every undocumented immigrant living in the US as he previously had

    It’s also interesting to hear threatening actually to enforce laws which exist under the current President counts in your mind as a “commitment to racist bigotry”. I’ve not heard of him ever suggesting he was going to change the law to make it harder to become a legal immigrant. Have you? THAT might qualify as racist, depending on what the new rules were. But to date, I’ve only ever heard him rail against the illegals. You have to have an agenda to cast that as racist.

    You say:

    He stands for […]excluding foreign Muslims from the USA

    CNN says:

    Trump’s campaign and top surrogates have insisted over the last month that the real estate mogul had backed off his December proposal to bar all foreign Muslims from the US. Trump announced in June that as president he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies.” But questions remained as to whether that proposal was an expansion of his proposed ban on Muslims, or a rollback.

    As for Clinton, I’m assuming you haven’t seen the video footage of her being dragged bodily into a car by her aides, losing a shoe on the way, apparently incapable of moving without help. Whatever her physical condition – and from that footage it was VERY poor, at least at that moment – it’s the impression she’s giving right now that’s the problem. Just sick would be bad enough. Sick and lying about it? Not good.

  19. Mobius says

    I live in a very red state. One of the reasons I keep hearing for supporting Trump is “Hillary lies.” At which point I ask, “Have you listened to Trump?” Their response is usually something along the lines of “Well, all politicians lie.”, which apparently excuses Trump’s lies but doesn’t excuse Hillary.

  20. jrkrideau says

    @ Mobius

    Trump lies? It might be faster and easier to point out when he tells the truth—he must do so sometimes does he not, even if it’s by accident?

  21. jrkrideau says

    @11 Trickster Goddess

    Hillary is eminently qualified for the job, but policy-wise she represents the status quo and will just bring more of the same pro-corporatism and foreign interventionalism as her predecessors.

    I’d say that is de facto evidence that she is not qualified. It’s just that Trump is even more unqualified, not to mention a total loon. American foreign policy since, at least, the invasion of Afghanistan has been disastrous for the USA. I even wondered, at times, if George W. Bush was an Al-Qaeda plant.

    And from an outsider’s view it looks like the Democrats “pro-corporatism” help create Trump as a politician.

    If Hillary wins and carries on as usual, what is the next “creature from the black lagoon” that will appear?

  22. deepak shetty says

    @10 A lurker from mexico
    While not every woman is enthused about Hillary Clinton , its quite stupid to say that the only people who care are old white feminists. I do care that Hillary is elected because the alternatives are far far far worse. The media coverage of Hillary is indeed quite sexist (what does she wear ? did she smile enough ?) and that is something that should bother any feminist – not just old white ones.

  23. says

    deepak shetty
    “While not every woman is enthused about Hillary Clinton, its quite stupid to say that the only people who care are old white feminists”

    Most young women aren’t, according to the polls. Party loyalists are enthusiastic about their team winning, not her. From what I gather, most people are with her because she’s not Trump. Which is a valid reason to support her, I guess, but it’s not exactly what I’d call exciting.

    I look at all the groups she’s hurt. How she maligned the black youth in the 90’s and helped her husband remove the social safety net keeping thousands of families afloat. How she voted for the Patriot Act (apparently, she deserves all the privacy and you don’t). How she sold weapons to the virulently misogynistic Saudi regime. How she sent honduran child refugees back into the fire she poured gasoline on. How she made an exception for her sudanese buddies to use child soldiers in their wars. How she maligned the youth for opposing her during the primary.

    If you are excited about that shit, it’s because you either ignore/deny the things that she’s done or because they don’t affect you personally. She’s still pro-choice, though, so old white feminists have no beef with her.

    Also, oh my god. The woman who endangers child refugees to send a message was criticized for her clothes? Poor thing, how will she ever recover? This is the worst thing that has happened to anyone!

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