Political junkies know exactly what I am talking about. The chattering class has gotten so used to mouthing certain platitudes that they don’t even hear themselves saying them anymore. They most certainly are not thinking about the actual harm being done to the public discourse by continuing to push these empty-calorie, junk-food phrases that surely taste good when we eat them up but do about as much good for our body-politic as a box of Krispy-Kreme donuts does for our physical bodies.
For weeks leading up to the Alabama special senatorial election I have heard the phrase “Alabama deserves better than this” in reference to the leading candidate, Judge Roy Moore. I have a simple response to that statement and I hope all of the commentators from MSNBC, CNN and Fox News hear this loud and clear: BULLSHIT!
Nobody deserves a damned thing in this country that they don’t claim for themselves one way or another and if Alabama winds up with a child-molesting, bigoted, reprobate Christian tyrant as their next senator then that is EXACTLY what they deserve. The citizens of that state are undeniably at a cross-roads of politics and culture that will define them for a generation at least. The young people of Alabama will either work for many years to live up to the courage and conviction that their state showed in this moment or they will struggle mightily to live down the shame of a publicly sold soul.
How this goes is entirely up to them. All the rest of us from all over the country have had our say, but they are the ones that have the choice. Because I am both sane and literate I hope with all I’ve got that Roy Moore loses this race badly and disappears onto the evangelical, mega-church, gospel lecture circuit where big city guys like myself will never have to hear from his crazy ass again.
Then we can take a breath and consider the idea that maybe there is hope for America as we know it yet. Nearly a year of the Trump Presidency has given us all some pretty dark visions of what the future holds for us as a nation and as a culture. A little glimmer of hope would be nice.
And just for the record, our media figures have been talking that same bullshit about Donald Trump, too. From the primaries all the way up until now. “America deserves better than Donald Trump” can be heard all up and down your cable television and satellite radio dial and it is pure pandering. It hasn’t done us a bit of good in figuring out how to deal with this fool most effectively. Obviously we don’t deserve better than Trump because we elected him by the rules that we operate under.
As much as it pains me to say it, I have a powerful fetish for the truth and I can’t help myself. America deserves Donald Trump just like Alabama will deserve Roy Moore. Trump is EXACTLY the President that reflects American culture and values right now- no matter how much half the country hates everything he is about. We failed to stop him from getting in there so there is a price to pay- and we are paying it.
Anytime you have 47% of eligible voters sitting on their ass on election day while a pussy-grabbing, race-baiting, television game-show host with a techno-colored comb-over is being elected president those people who sat out deserve whatever embarrassment and humiliation that follows the result. The people who voted for him most assuredly deserve the ass-plundering that awaits them once Trump finishes carving up budget and the “middle class” white folks realize that their Make America Great Again Hat didn’t magically transform them from a Dan Conner from Roseann into a Blake Carrington from Dynasty.
Projections are that only 25% of eligible voters in Alabama are going to turn out to choose between a putative pedophile and a perfectly respectable public servant. If that is true- or anywhere close to the truth- save your tears for the state of Alabama. That is one thing that they most certainly will not deserve. But they will deserve Roy Moore. Because a turn-out that low virtually assures that they will be sending a man to the United States Senate that is more of a B-movie character than a man fit to be a legislator in the greatest deliberative body on earth. And won’t that be a perfect fit for a state that is so determined to show its independence that it will completely undermine its own credibility and performance just to make a point? You can only be that dumb by choice because God wouldn’t play you like that. Either way they go, America is about to find out just how deep a hole we have dug for ourselves. But we can dig out- as long as we recognize that we deserve to be right where we are.