When a reality TV star with no political experience and a trail of bankruptcies and scandals won the American election, I knew U.S. politics had hit a new low. Some of his supporters said it was time that we see a fresh face unspoiled by political corruption. I laughed at this. Is there anyone more corrupt than billionaires? Who do you think slips money into the pockets of politicians to move policies in their favour?
While discussing the election with a Liberal American friend of mine, I told him, “At least this proves that what they say of America is true. Anyone can achieve their wildest dreams in this country, no matter what their starting point is.”
We laughed — albeit bitterly — and then the conversation grew serious once more. We shared some concern that the political process going forward would be one riddled with more comic relief than civic seriousness. Our predictions have not gone unrealised.
The President calling another head of state “fat” and arguing over who had the biggest button was just the start of the ongoing deterioration of the seriousness of American politics. Now, not only have other Republicans followed suit, but even some Democrats have taken it upon themselves to wallow in the mud.
Republicans: The Georgia Governor Elections
This was the first ad I saw from Brian Kemp when he was running for governor of Georgia. Here’s the second:
After seeing the second video, I reached out to my friend and told him, “I can’t believe this. Republicans have officially become a parody of themselves.”
If you’re a Liberal who watches a lot of comedy or you are not born in America, you know exactly what I mean. When comedians make fun of rednecks in backwood Georgia, these are the jokes they crack, never quite actually believing it to be the truth. It’s the same case for people overseas when they talk about Americans. So, imagine this becoming the actual face of an allegedly serious political campaign.
And, he won!
Since his time in office, Kemp is perhaps most well-known for the Heartbeat Bill, which was one of the first to start the red-state competition to see who could come up with the worst anti-abortion laws and enforce them. The bill has since been blocked by a federal judge but Kemp has promised to keep fighting.
Democrats: Bloomberg’s Presidential Campaign
I can't believe this is what politics looks like in 2020 in the country that fought wars to make everyone else accept democracy as the political ideal. Imagine dying for this. https://t.co/EvCQQTlvFj
— Alexis Chateau 🇯🇲🇺🇸 (@alexischateau_) February 22, 2020
The tweet that inspired this blog post is this one. Bloomberg’s team was extremely proud of hoisting this up ahead of Trump visiting a rally in Phoenix. But wait, there’s more…
— Team Bloomberg (@Mike2020) February 21, 2020
There is a quote often credited to Mark Twain. While I don’t believe Republicans are stupid, the quote is nonetheless fitting. It says:
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Replace stupid with whatever you would use to describe Kemp’s campaign and our president’s behaviour and the meaning remains the same. While I had long accepted that Republicans were just fine becoming real-life memes, I was surprised to see Democrats willingly throwing off their evening wear and wallowing in the mud.
Independents: Both of Bernie’s Presidential Campaigns
I don’t care what anyone says: Bernie is not a Democrat. He is simply using the platform to his own ends because he’s unable to gain the same amount of traction as an Independent. He refers to “the Democratic Establishment” as “them” and “they” and encourages an ongoing split in Democrat votes.
I think this year, we will have the same problem with Bernie supporters that we did the year before. In the last election season, they were so mad at Hillary for winning the Democrat seat that one in 10 Bernie supporters voted for Trump. This is the number one reason, I do not trust diehard Bernie fans.
Anyone who is willing to vote against the same people their leader was running against just because he didn’t win is problematic and irrational. Granted, this is just 10% but lump that in with the number of people who also chose not to vote at all and you can see how alleged Democrats allowed a Blue win to slip through their fingers.
That said, almost every Bernie supporter I’ve spoken to who did not vote told me they considered voting for Trump. When I asked them why, they said, “Because it would shake up America.”
I replied to one White millennial man who told me this, “So you would put people like me at risk so you can shake up your country?”
A White woman who appeared to be a law student was sitting not far from me and perked up when I said this. As the guy blundered a response, she hopped right into the conversation and let him know in no uncertain terms what his “shake up” had cost minorities, immigrants and women — while only bolstering his rights and privileges.
“As a White American-born citizen, you are the least likely to be affected by any of these policies,” I added. “You made that decision from a place of privilege by choosing an action that would affect you least of all while putting everyone else in a vulnerable position. That’s one of the most selfish and irrational things I have ever heard.”
He had no response to that. The student rolled her eyes at him, packed her things, told me “Good luck” and walked out.
The End of the Road
If America’s forefathers could see the current state of U.S. politics, I wonder what their responses would be. Imagine fighting as hard as they did for self-governance only to have the campaigns for the highest office reduced to quips about burnt stake and public shakeups.
It seems that Americans have not learned much of anything in the past four years, but I do hope there are more exceptions than I see among us. What I know for a fact is that Republicans have Democrats beat when it comes to unity while sowing seeds of division.
Nothing unites people like a common enemy: the LGBTQ, immigrants, people of colour and women who do not know their place. That is the upper hand they will always wield without mercy over America that will earn them the winning position in the White House time and time again.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Independents will be squabbling over their inability to either unify behind a candidate or, at the very least, learn to choose the lesser of two evils. Hopefully, before we reach the end of the campaign trail, people will understand that a vote not cast for one side is half a vote cast for the other.
Otherwise, I suppose we just have to make do with more political comic relief for the next four years — if we survive Pence handling COVID-19.
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