Monday, October 26, 2015

A Rock and a Hard Place

There is a dark and ominous cloud on the horizon of American political life. It's off in the distance, bleak and menacing, and for the moment at least, a year away. But make no mistake, it's out there, large and getting larger with each passing day, gestating into a level five storm of epic proportion. I know it's coming, despite the mind games I play inside my head trying to pretend it isn't there. I know...that as sure as night follows day, in November of 2016, I will walk into a voting booth and be asked by my country to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It will be the political version of Sophie's choice, the mother of all conundrums, a rock and a hard place of galactic difficulty, the devil or the deep blue pantsuit.

Not very long ago, it would have been unthinkable that someone as boorish and superficial as Donald Trump would be considered presidential material; he of the orange hair, the serial trophy wives, the limited vocabulary, and slimy business dealings. Generally speaking, reality television has not been considered the preferred career path for someone who aspires to become the leader of the free world. But this is 2015 and apparently anything is possible. When my finger is poised, trembling, over the lever a year from now, I will try to imagine The Donald sitting across the table from some dignified head of state saying, "By the way, you do know that I'm way richer than you, right?" A more appropriate slogan for his campaign would have been, Make America Groan Again.

Then my eyes will be diverted to the name beside the capital D...Hillary Clinton. At this point drops of sweat will be forming on my brow as I contemplate the hole in the space time continuum that might open up if I actually pull the lever for this fiendishly clever, real life Lady Macbeth. The specter of such an accomplishment-free, pathological liar running lose in the White House for the next four years is surpassed in horror only by the specter of her husband becoming first dude. The promise of a smooth transition to Chelsea in 2024 will be of little comfort to me as I consider rubber-stamping phase two of the Clinton Oligarchy.

It's usually at this point of my recurring nightmare when I wake up soaked in sweat, clutching my pillow in a death grip. But in November of 2016, I fear that it won't be a dream. I will actually have to decide between these two. Of course, I could always boycott the election altogether, or write in someone else, but I've never liked either of those options. Both of them seem like abdicating my civic responsibility. So, I will choose. As surreal as it sounds, I would vote for Hillary, basically because a Trump v. Clinton ballot is a Hobson's choice. The world is simply too fragile a place to entrust to a man like Donald Trump. The Presidency isn't a trophy that one places on a mantle right next to the gold framed photograph of Mike Tyson. It's a deadly serious job meant for someone who is, well...deadly serious. Hillary is at least deadly. Perhaps wearing the weight of being the first female President might temper her more foolish tendencies. Maybe actually having already lived in the place for eight years might have given her a respect for the White House and a finer appreciation of it's limits. Or not.