Any one who has ever waited for a bus knows that gnawing feeling as the time approaches when the bus is due. Then when it fails to show up on time you begin to wonder, was it five minutes early? Did I miss the bus? That flash of fear that runs down your spine into your shoes, but you're almost certain that it cannot be so. So you wait patiently confidant that all the facts are on your side but still the gnawing fear persists, facts be damned, did I miss the bus?
As the minutes go by we begin to evaluate the possibly variables, is my watch slow? Is the bus running late? Or early? How will I get to my destination if I've missed it? Odd perhaps, how quickly our sense of well being can evaporate. Even though on paper all appears well we are overtaken by a suspicion, a worry, a nagging fear that something has gone wrong. Maybe we did miss the bus, should we wait for the next one? Should we change plans and do something else? What if we can't do anything else?
That's how I feel about the current presidential campaigns and not just because of this crop of candidates. I think the Republican Party was manipulated in 2000 to pick
the most malleable candidate. I think that Al Gore was a decent candidate but that's another story because next to John Kerry Al Gore looks ten feet tall. Kerry was a terrible candidate and I see the forces of power colalecesing around Hillary Clinton to anoint her as the Democratic nominee.
Not just the Democratic forces the Republican forces, the Republican candidates talk about her as a forgone conclusion to create the perception that she is. The corporate media begin discussions with what will Mrs. Clinton's administration look like? How will it affect tax policy? After her interview on CNBC the anchors in this Republican bastion just gushed at her grasp of the issues and her ability to be non-partisan. One anchor commenting that her approach would do much to calm the markets.
Dick Army former Senator and right wing nut case describes her as serious and thoughtful candidate, a woman on a mission. Then remembering that he was a Republican added, not like her lightweight bumbling husband. Why, oh why are the Republicans so united in their praise of President Hillary?
Could it be that she is the most corporate of the Democratic slate? The best connected to power with the most Republican leanings? Or could it be that they want her to win because she most energizes the Republican base? She is the most divisive candidate in either party Ron Paul included. Do Republicans see her as their best chance to win in November? Or if they lose, the easiest to undercut, the easiest to manipulate in the media. The easiest to run into the ground, Rupert Murdoch is a contributor to her campaign and why shouldn't he be she has made him millions. But it's not just about the media anointing President Hillary.
Among the Republicans Ron Paul continues to draw financial support yet can get favorable press coverage if he cured cancer. Dennis Kucinich draws huge crowds but because of his anti corporate anti globalism agenda has no money and must ask for donations from those least able to make them.
The American electorate has identified ending the Iraq war as job one, the Democrats were given control of Congress on that mandate. Almost immediately they began to play politics saying we can't our margin is too thin perhaps if you elect more Democrats then maybe we can. As a Democrat I get the feeling I'm being bamboozled as they smile and vote for Bush's agenda saying, sorry, we tried at least! Nancy and Harry laughing up their sleeve, who else are the suckers going to vote for? It's us or the Republicans.
Like the bus that doesn't come, the candidates that most reflect what the polls say the electorate wants are last and the ones who least represent the people are first. You get that feeling something is wrong here. That what we are watching isn't an election cycle but a consolidation that the election is a ceremony like our friend Musharif 's. A forgone conclusion and that the campaign is but an exercise to convince you that they were right after all.
The old Soviet elections always pitted a reformer against the old guard but the issues where tightly framed. The reformer would change the way the flowers were arranged on the table but would never suggest changing the table. The elections became such non-issues the party had to bribe the electorate to vote with pastries and hard to find beer. But the party didn't care who won they were the same candidate, no matter what the platform, the party knew nothing would change.
Do you know what I'm feeling? I think you do? We are standing here waiting for a bus that's not coming. Not now, not ever, many will tell you, just wait, just wait be patient! Really, the bus is coming, but lets face reality, there is no goddamn bus! Maybe there was a bus once, but there is not one now and we as a generation of Americans are left with the decision of what to do about it?
If you think that I'm way off base, you're just waiting for the bus. If you think maybe I'm right but maybe its not that bad, you're just hoping for the bus.
Maybe it's my upbringing, my parents being survivors of the last great depression and my grandfather being a union organizer. But my father once told me and he was his fathers son, "That if you're not willing to fight for it, then they aren't going to give it to you and if you aren't willing to fight for it then maybe you don't deserve it in the first place." Maybe it is objectively cynical but then again they lived it, not just said it. They traded their bus tokens for baseball bats and by God they caught their bus!