*Correction* In the original release, the name of Al Gore was accidentally typed in as trailing Joe Lieberman and Howard Dean. The actual candidate was John Kerry, not Al Gore. What can I say, it was a long day. Many thanks to Joseph for pointing out the error in the comments!*
All of you are already aware of my bottomless well of disgust for the blabbering skulls in the media out there, like Karine Jean Pierre on MSNBC, who ceaselessly whine about the terrible way that the “inaccurate polls” duped, misled, and ultimately disappointed us in 2016. Sour grapes notwithstanding, the fact is that the possl were spot on,Hillary won by the predicted 2.5%.National polls don’t search for 77,000 dunderheads in three states.
But Karine may be about to get a wholly unwarranted rest from me complaining, since there is a brand new breed of empty headed whinerbags out there who have earned my ire. New polling seems to be showing that there is starting to be some consolidation in the Democratic primaries, with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren pulling well out front, Bernie Sanders lagging, but at least still in the same lap, and the rest of the field pootling along on mopeds while the Indy cars zoom by.
Political pundits, especially on MSNBC are a very strange breed of mammal. For the last 7 months, they have pissed and moaned ceaselessly about the ridiculous size of the Democratic field, and how the party will never be able to come together. And now that the party seems to be coalescing around two main candidates, they’re desperate not to throw out any of the also rans that they’ve been disparaging for the last 7 months. Sweet Jeebus, which is it already?!?
Their stated reason for clinging to these castaways as desperately as someone watching their personal favorite being booted off of Survivor Island is that it’s too early yet! After all, Barack Obama was shot out of a cannon after winning Iowa in 2008, and John Kerry was eating Lieberman and Dean’s dust in 2004. All of that is historical fact, but the real fact is that those phenomena took place in a far different time, and under far different circumstances. And that world has been obliterated like Alderaan under the Death Star.
There are two reasons why the old history of stunning upsets has no place in the modern political era. The first reason is the denigration of politics itself., and the negative impact of social media. In years prior to 2016, such as 2004 and 2008, not only were the fields smaller, but the candidates themselves were at least marginally qualified for the office. People were less likely to lock in irrevocably to a single candidate early, and an upset victory in a single primary could unleash a tiger.
Social media also destroyed the system by making it absurdly easy for totally unqualified candidates to raise money to qualify and compete. Most people have forgotten this, but back in 2016 a high school kid with some spare scratch and a love for filling out forms actually ran for President in the GOP primaries listed on the ballot as “Deez Nuts.” In a twist only the GOP could achieve, he actually outpolled a couple of known bottom feeders in a primary or two.
Social media made it possible for any attention hog to get enough mopes to send him $20 to get on the ballot, and zoom around making a few speeches. It also has had the effect of making it possible for no chance candidates to run in absentia, making few personal appearances, yet releasing enough pap online to scrape up enough contributions to continue running long after their shelf life has expired. This slows the natural culling out process of the primaries, see Marianne Williamson for proof.
The second reason for the mourned loss of “the good old days” is the media, as well as the dumbing down of the American electorate. In the past, most Americans got their news from the nightly news on network television. Unless there was an awe inspiring scandal of some kind, or an earth shattering event, political coverage was sparse on normal nightly news, until a presidential election year rolled around. Due to the novelty of concentrated political news on a daily basis, Americans paid much closer attention.
That is no longer the case. Pure 24/7 cable new outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and FOX news have taken politics mainstream, in your face all day, every day. Everyday political stories that used to have to be searched for in the bowels of the daily newspaper now receive extended coverage on cable news channels, for no better reason than they chew up 5 minutes of time.
Faced with a deluge of totally unnecessary political news, Americans simply tuned out, The old phrase familiarity breeds contempt has never been more true, and Americans today are so goddamn familiar with politicians that they have nothing but contempt for the whole friggin’ bunch of them. Americans are so sick of trying to untangle who is who from the Topeka phone book sized primary fields, and who stands for what why? that in 2016, 77,000 of them actually voted a narcissistic, criminal, sexual predator President of the United States.
So yes, those thrilling political days of yesteryear were exciting, and the occasional political upsets shocking the world like Seabiscuit thundering over the finish line are golden memories to crusty old farts like me. But in today’s political climateand culture, they have no more practical relevance than who won that open seat on the Scranton library board back in 1962. And already I miss those days.
To know the future, look to the past. before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen