The next time we meet here another election will have bookmarked the perpetual drama which now dominates the opinion planet of the pixel universe. Millions of Americans will have voted in the most recent, most important election of our lifetimes, and we’ll be well on our way to the next one, even if the votes from this one have not all been counted.
No matter who wins, somewhere between a fourth to one half of us (or more) will be unhappy with the results, and several million folks will begin to complain all at once. Some won’t stop complaining for another four years.
It’s difficult to be more precise than “a fourth to one half.” That’s because half of us don’t vote, and there are many complainers in this group. It’s even more difficult to gauge the true level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction because media bias is so prevalent that pixels and sound bytes are a poor gauge of opinion. Or reality.
Don’t forget, corporate media assured us that Clinton would win big in 2016. All the polls agreed, or at least all the polls the big talking heads told us about. Polls are supposed to be unbiased, scientifically determined measures of public sentiment. A case can also be made that sometimes polls are a tool of propaganda, a means to an end that resembles a kind of acquired helplessness syndrome. Why should I vote when the polls say the election is already decided?
For whatever reason, the half dozen companies which control 90 percent of media would prefer to see democrats in power. The reasons why are unclear. Some might say that this is the natural preference of smart and successful people. Others would opine that this is the mark of those who drink too much of their own bathwater. I don’t know.
I do know that, from a logical viewpoint, just because media is biased or corrupt doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. It does mean that they are going to be wrong an uncomfortable percentage of the time, and extreme bias to the exclusion of information which threatens their favorite candidates does make it very difficult for us to decide for ourselves who is right and who is wrong. Which gives us even more to complain about.
Meanwhile, there are some numbers which might be of interest to both the party of the socialists and the party of the deplorables. The share of the national wealth that belongs to people who work for a living is at a 70 year low. We have other problems too, but this one seems closest to a culture which keeps its wallet close to its metaphorical heart. It is also a clear reminder that something about this left-right paradigm just isn’t working for us.
I came across an old video of a routine by the great comedian and social commentator, George Carlin. It puts the current chapter of our drama into perspective. Carlin observes that people who vote like to tell people who don’t vote that they have no right to complain. Carlin disagrees. He says, look at the rogues and thieves (his choice of words we can’t print here) we have elected, and the problems they have caused. People who voted, therefore, are responsible for those problems, so we have no right to complain.
I don’t know about you, but I find Carlin’s opinion refreshing. I think we could all use a break from the grating, rasping, whining dissonance that unceasingly and violently attacks our consciousness. There is so much more to life than politics.