I announced several months ago that I was a candidate for president but nobody took me seriously. My campaign went nowhere. In that respect I was very much like Jim Gilmore. I’m not sure whether Gilmore officially dropped out, but it really doesn’t matter. Nobody cares.
Around the same time, time political pundit Larry Sabato announced that the air in Donald Trump’s balloon would begin to leak out. We waited and waited, but it didn’t happen. So one could say Sabato was as wrong as everybody else about Trump.
There are millions of voters who don’t care what Trump does or says. They’re going to vote for him anyway because they can’t stand Hillary Clinton.
Well, I can’t stand either one of them and assumed that because most people felt that way I would have a good chance of gaining support. Lots of people don’t like me but there aren’t that many of them, so I figured I could slip into the White House before they noticed. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
At this point my chances aren’t all that good. Trump and Clinton are getting all the attention while Gilmore and I are going nowhere. So let’s concentrate on what is.
Trump and Clinton are wildly unpopular with almost everybody. So a more than usual number of voters will go to the polls to vote against one of them. There will be a few in the crowd voting for, but for the most part it will be votes against. Rampant dislike of someone is a good reason to exercise your obligation to vote. Obligation? Not sure about that. An argument can be made that we’re not constitutionally required to vote for someone we don’t like.
But I do think we should go to the polls anyway, if for no better reason than the opportunity to spit at those who swarm us as soon as we climb out of the car with their “informational” flyers on the candidates. … that is to say, their candidate.
Once that is overcome, we can check in and then wander around the room. We can take the ballot into the little voting cubical and draw funny faces on it and then slide it into the counting machine. Not sure what the computer does with such ballots but it might be worth looking into because this year there probably will be a lot of them. As we exit, a nonpartisan poll worker will give us one of those “I voted” stickers to stick somewhere, and yes I have some suggestions about where to stick them.
So here we are, counting down to Election Day — which is fewer than 100 days out. Trump and Clinton will be flying back and forth across the county saying a thousand times what they’ve already said a thousand times. A hundred years ago such campaigning was necessary so voters could get to know the candidates. But that was before HDTV took over our world and gave us close-up looks at the candidates’ wrinkles and funny hair as they say once again what we’ve heard them say so many times already.
If one of them trips and falls off the stage it will be on the evening news for all to enjoy. It will be rerun on the morning news so we can see it again. If one of them makes a slip of the tongue it will be played over and over until we know it by heart. But if one of them says something that is blatantly untrue, nobody will pay any attention because we’ve grown accustomed to misinformation, which is sometimes called misspeak.
We don’t know what’s in Clinton’s deleted emails because we don’t really care. We don’t even know what’s in the emails that weren’t deleted for the same reason. We don’t know how much money Trump really made last year because he won’t tell us, and we probably wouldn’t understand it anyway. We don’t want to be bothered by what we don’t know. We just want to get this madness over with.
Four years from now we may have candidates we can really support. It’s been that way before, it could happen again. The country probably won’t fall apart between now and then because, well, when’s the last time a president actually did something.
That will be enough time for Gilmore and me to get our campaigns better organized. S
Gene Cox is an author and inventor who recently retired from a 35-year career as a television anchor in Richmond. Connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at genecoxrva.