I remember the most important election of our generation.
It’s every election of our generation. At least, that’s what they tell us. Every year they dial up the hyperbole and we’re forced to choose between, depending on who you listen to, an antichrist who will condemn this country to a fiery doom and spiral us irreparably toward economic Armageddon, and our guy, the hero. It’s the same every election. The other guy is always the asshole.
And that’s not fair. They’re both assholes. Anyone narcissistic enough to actually run for President of the United States is already dangerously self-satisfied. Each candidate has to spend dreadful buckets of time pandering to the worst impulses of their own party. It’s a big dog and pony show at the end of which not much appreciably changes. Am I better off now than I was 4 years ago? That question is moronic because my life is what it is thanks to a bevy of factors, not just the actions (or inactions?) of the President. Placing the responsibility for my personal well-being at the feet of either candidate is grotesquely delusional and insanely myopic.
This county is filled with so many disparate voices and the bureaucracy is so big, it supersedes any one person’s ability to uproot the system wholesale. The amount of power a president has is both incomprehensibly great, and infinitesimally inconsequential to your day-to-day life. Watching aggregate democracy in action is like trying to watch a tree grow in your backyard. You don’t notice a goddamn thing about it until months and probably years have elapsed. Individual elections matter, but only inasmuch as they contribute to or hinder current cultural momentum.
That’s why the hyperbole is so maddening, and why I’ve learned to tune it out.
Remember that show “Boston Public?” It was on Fox in the early 2000s and had Seth’s mentor from Boiler Room in it, and that black guy in Memphis’s gang from Gone in 60 Seconds. I never watched it, but every promo for the fucking thing was billed as “The most important episode of Boston Public this season… If you watch one episode of television this year…” or some other such over the top nonsense. I never saw one episode of that show, but its bloviating about its own gravitas made me hate it with a burning passion.
That’s election time. And we have a grave and solemn decision to make (somber piano tones). And yes, it’s important to vote. But the world will keep on turning no matter who’s elected. Ann Romney recently complained to those complaining about her husband’s campaign that “this is really hard.” No fucking shit, lady. These people are auditioning for the most high profile job in the entire world, so I think the public deserves nothing less than the most comprehensive job interview that can ever be conceived. And it will only get worse in the coming years.
And it’s because of that process that trickles down to elections at every level, that this is not the most important election of our generation. But I’m sure the next one will be.