Here Thar Be Monsters!

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13.9.16

The Great Horse Race

US Election 2016 has been a priceless sitcom of galactic proportions!

Who would have thought in May of last year that we'd such classic comedy skits as "Donald Trump's Penis Size," "High-Heeled Boyz," "Cruz Control," "Jeb's Misfire," "Bernie Loves Hillary," "Up In Smoke," and now "Klinton Karma?"  The entire spectacle has been like watching a Seinfeld highlight reel.

Did anyone else notice the scene of Hillary with the little girl outside Chelsea's apartment looked just like that scene from the classic movie Frankenstein, where the little girl offers a flower to the monster?  I can't make this stuff up.  Or has anyone else thought about the whole health thing as being a graceful out for Hillary once she realized that she couldn't beat Trump?  This should lead to hours of entertainment as the alt-left and alt-right square off on whose conspiracy is the correct one!

But now the serious finale is ready to air.  What happens if a candidate is incapacitated or dies at the last minute before election day?  It's a valid question, given that the top two contenders are septuagenarians and one is publicly falling apart.  This has never happened in the 227 years since the first presidential election, though a couple of presidents died shortly after taking office.

William Harrison died of (ahem) pneumonia a month after being sworn in.  Zachary Taylor got a little over a year on the job.  James Garfield barely made three months before being shot, while William McKinley got a year and a half before receiving the same fate.  Warren Harding got a couple of years before being poisoned by his wife for cheating, or was it a heart attack?  Barely a month into his fourth term, FDR died of a cerebral hemorrhage, just before attending the founding of the UN.

After being sworn in, there is a Constitutional process for replacing a president; however, until now no major party candidate this close to the election, nor president-elect has died.  Thus, such an event would set off a lot of hand-wringing and rancorous hysterics.  The US would be thrown into uncharted policy and procedure territory at a time when social and political upheaval are at historic highs.

At this point, less than two months before the general election, and after a rather acrimonious primary season, for one of the major party candidates to be eliminated would throw the nation into a tizzy.  Accusations would fly.  The affected party would panic trying to regain its posture and standing.  The public would split along lines of grief and elation.  The media would be salivating over the anticipated ratings and readership boost.  The sitting president would be sorely tempted to postpone or cancel the general election, which would cause even more anxiety.  In short, such an event would cause complete and utter chaos.

If the sudden loss were of a president-elect, there would still  likely be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but in this case, Congress would likely vote to follow the Constitutional line of replacement, with the new president (former vice president) selecting a new vice.  If the Electoral College has not yet met, it would fall to it to select the new president, fulfilling its original role, and if it couldn't get a majority, then the rules call for a secret vote in Congress.  There would still be howls of protest, but nothing like the sheer madness that would reign in the next few weeks.

In any event, these scenarios have suddenly become a real issue.  The once derided 'conspiracy theory' of Hillary Clinton's health has, like most 'conspiracy theories,' been borne out.  The question is now what the DNC will do about it, if anything, and how the American public will react either way.

From the elite point of view, is does't matter.  They really don't care who gets in the office, because they know that the problem is not who runs the system, but the system itself.  It is designed to perpetuate itself, and as long as people think they can reform it from within, there will never be changed.  The system is designed to take whatever energy and effort the people direct towards it and dissipate it.  That is what it does and that is why the elites always win, no matter who is elected.  Think of the Roman Catholic Church.  It has remained almost unchanged for 2,000 years because it is a self-perpetuating and self-healing system that survives whomever is made pope.

This is why I say Trump supporters are doomed to disappointment.  Clinton understands the system, and at a certain level, so do her supporters.  Trump and his followers, though, actually think they can change things by 'fixing' the system.  You see, no matter who wins, they are constrained by the rules of the system, which ensure that the outcome always perpetuates the system above all else.

There is nothing wrong with the system.  It is doing exactly what it was designed to do, and it will continue to do it as long as it is intact.  The only way to reform the system is to utterly and completely destroy it and replace it with something else.  The problem is that there are likely not enough educated people left who could design a functioning system that would be any better than what already exists.

And so I retreat to my oft-cited position of being a political atheist.  I realize that the system cannot be fixed because it is not broken, insofar as the system is concerned.  I also know that no matter who is elected, the results will always be the same.

Instead, I sit back with a heavily dosed gin and tonic, lots of lime, and watch the antics.  It's a horse race.  Sure, I may win a few bux or lose a few, depending on the winner, but the horses still run in a circle.

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