I urge you all to avoid the polling places this year and save your vote for when it might actually, one day, count toward anything whatsoever. I say, “Don’t vote!” And before you lose your shit and start an online lynch mob, aimed at tearing me apart verbally, if not physically, I ask that you hear me out…
BAE and I were balls deep into a 30-pack of Natural Ice when the Democratic National Debates came on her tablet and power-bludgeoned us out of our inebriated psychic inertia. Our morale had already grown sour after I’d asked her what exactly it means for Stop N Shop to be selling drones at the affordable price of $79.99.
“It’s not enough that the government’s taping our phone calls, recording our texts, and you’ve got Facebook policing us for the purpose of selling our personalities to ad agencies, but now our own neighbors, some of them chi-mos or violent guttersnipes, are gonna be able to launch these fuckers in the air and watch us as we sleep with froth in their mouths and razor wire around their cocksicles?!” I took a long, thirsty swig off my can, adding, “And how hard is it for these Smartphone-wielding punks to outfit these things with armed weapons or blinding lasers? If some junior high shittter can find a way to hack the CIA, how am I to feel secure while cranking one off in the privacy of my own crib?”
BAE fixed me with swimming eyes and zero fucking patience and said, “It’s just a fucking toy.”
“Ho!” I couldn’t believe the chick I called BAE was being like that, let alone that I had sunk to the level where BAE was an acceptable term of daily endearment. “Really?” I said. “Lemme tell ya a coupla three things. One: They’re all toys. You think Ash Carter doesn’t like to play with his toys?
“And how about Putin. Or Un! Aren’t they all just itchin’ to try out their toys on the peasants and piss-ants of their respective shitholes?”
A night of binge-watching network television shows had made us soft but ill-tempered, leading to a tempestuous fight about what constitutes a “stupid” television show and where the American attention span is left in the wake of YouTube and Instagram.
But none of these bones of contention, none of these idle conversations about the culture, could prepare us for the bone in the throat that was this year’s Democratic Debate. Nor, for that matter, could the Republican Debate we’d watched in its entirety earlier this year, despite the fact that it was, by and large, the same three-ring circus of evasive rhetoric and bogus posturing as this one would prove to be.
A pus-colored anal gland or sac yanked straight out the wrong end of a beaver (the kind that live in murky water, not within the drawstring cookie pants of your personal BAE) is a key ingredient in French Vanilla ice cream, fruit-flavored drinks and even yogurt. You’ve been gnawing on beaver sacs your entire life, but you never knew it, and the reason you didn’t know it is because Breyer’s Ice Cream and Dannon Yogurt aren’t about to throw that information on the front of their containers. This is the same reason why hearing politicians take to the pulpit is about as educational as staring at a box of Dove bars—you’re not going to learn anything you didn’t already anticipate them saying and you’re sure as shit not about to find out any of their nausea-inducing secrets.
The candidates on stage at Drake University, on November 14th, weren’t some gourmet gluten-free non-GMO luxury item at your local Whole Foods, they were your typical 60% Less Fat, 99.9% Full of Shit junk food superstore specials…just like they always are.
“This is gonna be bad,” I told BAE as soon as the sweeping logo had shot off the screen, replaced by the unfortunate visages of the night’s moderators.
“I know,” she spat begrudgingly. “Remember John Kasich? He actually expected everyone to believe the shit he said about gays at the GOP debate? It’s gonna be that shit all over. I can taste it.”
BAE’s tongue was white with the viscous film of grime that comes off the screen in waves at things like this. I wondered how long into the proceedings before one of us lost our dinner. Television viewing like this was guaranteed to produce several quarts of bile.
The first thing I realized was that Bernie Sanders, a decrepit dude who looks like some Arthritic pederast, perpetually grinning or grimacing, because he’s gotten this far without getting caught, has emerged as the Democrats’ equivalent to Ben Carson. In short, he’s more educated than his peers and makes more sense than his adversaries, but he’s only being carted out and paraded around as a sort of runners-up prize, in lieu of winning. Sanders is to the upcoming election what Fred Thompson was to the 2008 campaign, a glorified court jester for the true winners in this game.
He looked like a front-runner up until now, for no other reason than he hadn’t had a forum to really say anything of substance. Now that he has, the polls agree that the carnivorous former-First Lady is the king bitch of the ball, having blown Bernie’s balls to bits…even though all three speakers were really just saying the same shit. This was an inevitability, since Sanders cuts a figure akin to a lecherous grandfather who shouts when he speaks and spits food remnants at you. But it’s an inevitability that not everyone saw coming.
In fact, as the record will show, Ole Bern was the only cat who had anything interesting or unique to say and, no doubt, the only of the three candidates on display with a seemingly earnest interest in reforms that will actually help people. It’s for this very reason that Ye Olde Sandbag Sanders has screwed the pooch; he’ll never win now that he’s expressed a more Radical agenda. I could almost hear the people behind the scenes bleating at the old booger, “Corrupt campaign finance system?! The government doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to the one per what?! Credit unions are the future of America?!! Really, Bernie? Really?! We don’t pay you to think!”
While She Who Is Haunted By The Ghost Of Vince Foster [Hillary Clinton] prattled on about Radical Jihadist ideology, in terms that oddly echoed the speeches of Duh-byuh, and everyone else, including Lady Pant Suit herself, leaped at their chance to take a strong stance on the issue of ISIS, Bernie made plain that he had more on his mind.
“These invasions have unintended consequences,” he said, at one point, refusing to go into more detail.
But later he got into the real shizz he wants to see happen: Reform on how we spend our money, full fiscal responsibility, and the real kicker—redistribution of wealth.
“Trillions of dollars have gone to the one percent,” Bernie said, adding that they pay zero in income tax, stashing their money away in the Cayman Islands.
And the crux of his redistribution plans would start with the lower-middle class where he says he believes that everyone should be making fifteen dollars an hour as minimum wage.
It was, at this point, that I burned a hole clean through the leg of my leisure pants while I collected my lower mandible from the floor. It sounded too good to be true and, of course, it probably was. Waxing philosophical about the Marxist school of thought, Foucault famously said that we labor under the unfortunate delusion of an earnestly well-meaning authority or, in his words, a “longing for a form of power innocent of all coercion, discipline, and normalization. On the one hand, a power without a bludgeon and, on the other hand, knowledge without deception.” This longing is just a longing and my addled brain highly doubted it was any different in the case of this dusty hominid Sanders. Any grocer’ll tell ya, it’s basic Supply and Demand. Bernie seems to be little more than the latest model on the market. We’ll know, for sure, after Election Day next year.
In the meantime, I looked over and found that BAE had drifted off in the driver’s seat. The debate wasn’t underway for more than fifteen minutes and already she’d had enough, the sting of it had gotten her.
Raising my bloodshot blues back to the tablet’s screen, I could see Bern jumping on that oyster-sucking suit O’ Malley’s bandwagon, saying we can’t turn our backs on our troops. And Martin O’ Malley, with his puff piece vanilla prayers for Paris hokum, promising “fresh approaches,” but failing, as all candidates on both sides of the coin typically do, to address exactly what those approaches will be.
“They’re all saying the same goddamn things!” I shrieked as I bit straight through the aluminum rim of my Natty can. But BAE was not roused to action by my outburst, just as I was not roused to action by the words of the candidates on CBS. Just like the Republican Debates before it, the whole shit show was nothing but demoralizing in its monotony and predictability. Like watching a demonic possession movie and only halfheartedly expecting it to break new ground.
Clinton: We will support those who take the fight to ISIS. [But] this cannot be an American fight.
O’ Malley: We’re best when working with our allies.
And Sanders for the truly bizarro bath salts take on things with his braying about climate change being directly related to International terrorism. All of ’em taking every opportunity to make the entire night about ISIS, instead of pitching their vision for the country.
It was a classic case of the D.D.O.’s. Digression, Distraction and Obfuscation.
Clinton shot off at the mouth about “people of color,” and her coming from the Sixties “School of Activism,” and O’ Malley said that [place hashtag here] “black lives matter” and that he has the most experience with urban issues. No one mentioned the attack on Beirut, nor did the mainstream press which, needless to say, rubbed Beirut the wrong way, as we’d see two days later, when the NY Times ran a piece about the Lebanese’s lament.
As expected, Clinton was the most prepared, on fire for the whole night, and almost prescient in the way she anticipated what Bernie was gonna say. But there appeared to be a hushed mass head scratching when she claimed that Libya reached out to the US for help and installed moderate leaders. I couldn’t believe it myself since I could clearly remember, despite my intoxication, the sneak attack we launched back in 2011. A quick search online yielded evidence that we, in fact, had reached out to Libyan opposition groups earlier that same year, but the Amerikan government didn’t get the answers they wanted. What she was talking about now eluded me.
But there was no time to dwell on this confusing statement because everyone was eager to start squawking that old marching band Superpower ballad “Boots on the ground.” Everyone except O’ Malley who seized the opportunity to advance himself by countering with, “My son is not a pair of boots on the ground.”
It’s all rigged, of course, and in no time, the network itself was setting the poor Maryland mook up for failure by throwing up a title card that read: IS O’ MALLEY’S LACK OF EXPERIENCE WITH FOREIGN POLICY A PROBLEM?
The overall sense that one got after walking away from the broadcast was that all three candidates were, much like the monstrosities representing the Right, a clusterfuck of clueless, privileged half-wits with too much money and not enough imagination.
O’ Malley: I’d want us to take our place among the people of the world.
Naturally, nobody ever bothered to ask him what he meant by this, but by the second stretch of the debate, it was all too obvious why: Exasperation. Debates, like Catholic masses, are arduous, tedious and attended more out of guilt than a genuine desire to hear what those on the soapbox have to say.
For my part, I had heard it all before, which is really the point here. Like the aforementioned demonic possession movies and Hollywood’s constant backing of the same, a Presidential campaign is about formula. It comes down to the grinning automatons on stage spoon-feeding Joe Middle Class Fuckface a familiar flavor of gruel, knowing that he will lap it up like an amature in a bukkake video.
And, for his part, Joe Fuckface not only swallows it all but, inevitably, as the candidates expect, goes out and regurgitates it into the faces of all his fuckwit friends and family members. That’s how you get an electoral college, my dear fiends. And that is surely what Clinton, Sanders, O’ Malley, Trump, Jeb!, Huckabee, Christie and the rest are banking on.
Programming tells ’em to keep it nice, to pander and, if all else fails, say something that sounds smart to throw them off. After all, how is Billy Jean from Bungtown, Nebraska supposed to know that the “Arc of Instability” alluded to by Clinton is a fancy schmancy way of saying, “We want to build a chain of interconnected nations that are unstable.” And the townies of Bungtown certainly wouldn’t be able to fathom why.
“New World Order, you say? Ain’t that an ole rasslin’ term? Yeah, I seen it on the back uh uh tee-shirt once upon a time, I did.”
Perhaps it was an innate hunger brought on by all the gagging I’d done throughout the debate, but as I slammed my last can of suds, I began thinking about garbage foods from a grocery store again. Microwave dinners, cellophane-wrapped crap, sugary shit from the sweets aisle. But then my thoughts turned back to what I was thinking about at the start of this thing. All politicians that make the cut to go on the campaign trail are themselves shrink-wrapped artificially-sweetened lumps of easily digestible but utterly unhealthy fecal matter. And not one of them can really advertise, on their surface, what they truly are or where they’ve come from.
Trump is fast to tote his business acumen but you won’t hear him bragging about his sundry bankruptcies. And you’re breaking the devil’s dishes if you think he’s gonna stage a fireside chat about his friendship with a white-collar thug with ties to [REDACTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH OMERTA]. Clinton rappin’ about Vince Foster or all them sticks of furniture her and Slick Willy “allegedly” wiped clean outta the White House during Bill’s reign? No bueno. Not gonna happen.
But I will. Shit, I just have. And now, maybe, it’s your turn. But don’t bother. Because nobody wants to hear it. The deaf and dumb and myopic make up the voting pool in this country. So the only question we really need to ask, as Patriotic Americans, is: ARE WE PART OF THAT POOL?
I asked myself this question as I sat there, crying into my beer and wondering what the point of it all was. I’d voted for Junior when I was at an impressionable (read: stupid and easily mislead) age and watched as he ripped the Constitution to shreds and pissed on it, not only shitting on his citizens’ privacy with the Patriot Act but giving the sadists their druthers with detention centers, establishing the National Defense Authorization Act to make brutal batshit like Gitmo perfectly acceptable.
Then I voted for Obama when his platform was CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN. And all I got for my efforts was the sugary shit inside that CHANGE box, the stuff that should have been labeled SHAME YOU CAN COUNT ON. I watched as BAM did his part to renew and expand the NDAA, proving that it doesn’t matter what color you are, anyone can be a lousy leader of the free world and anyone can piss on our Nation if they BELIEVE in their CHANGE.
When I got the chance to vote Obama out of office I took it…only to see the sonovabitch win again. What I’ve taken away from the debates, along with everything I’ve seen in the last fourteen years, is that the system is hopelessly and maliciously rigged. And all of O’ Malley’s eloquent words about our image being the Statue of Liberty, “not a barbed wire fence,” all of Sanders’ self-aggrandizing about being the first to bust the American cherry on going over the border for birth control, even all of the queen bitch’s pledges to set minimum wage at twelve bucks doesn’t make me feel any better.
Twelve dollars won’t do, madame. Because everyone knows that freedom cost a buck o’ five. And it’s a truly cheap and devalued world we’re living in. So Bernie can flap jaws about the six financial institutions of the GDP in America and how the late, great Teddy Roosevelt would call to break them up. But if he’s elected, I’d wager my non-existent twelve dollar an hour paycheck that that’s not what we’ll see. If we counted up all of Obama’s campaign pledges and combined them with all of his predecessor’s campaign pledges then subtracted those pledges that were fulfilled, we’d likely have less than that one point five.
All of this is to say nothing of the Green Party, the Anarchist Party, the Tea Party, et al. Where are they? Nowhere. Population: Them. But as I sat there, despising my electoral choices and dreaming of Hot Pockets and the Insurrection Act and 60% less fat Cheese Doodles, I alighted on a solution: Don’t bother. Just…don’t vote.
Let’s force America to fulfill the flimsy promise they’ve been pretending to make all these years by allowing third party candidates to run—all the while knowing full well that these more progressive prospects didn’t stand a chance, due to lack of clout or competitive campaign monies—and leave them with no choice but to do away with the Two-Party System and, maybe, give us a shot with someone who isn’t made from 100% Grade A Chuck Beef Bullshit. If your lack of votes makes no difference, and the monster still wins the seat, in the very least, you’ll have proven, unequivocally, that the entire system was rigged from the start.