No one can call this 2016 presidential campaign boring. Perfect for the backdrop of fear created by terrorists, and suspicion of police excesses in black communities. Dissidents on both extremes of the spectrum are challenging both national political parties’ powers-that-be, pushing them in very divisive directions. Political “racism” is rampant.
Donald Trump continues to ratchet up the amazingly annoying, schoolyard, ad hominem attacks, provoking stronger, and stronger responses from Hillary Clinton.
Bernie Sanders opened the gates to hordes of entitled millennials, and lingering, economic victims of the recession. This sparked Hillary Clinton to amp up her rhetoric, and her own brand of ad hominem attacks, to pander to the surprising multitudes of new voters, as well as her traditional constituents.
Donald Trump has stirred up a hornets’ nest of unemployed and under-employed workers who are very angry about anything “rigged,” politically correct, or subject to conspiracy theories. He did not need any help due to his flamboyance, feistiness, and fearlessness. His strong opinion of himself and his fortune, as well as his years of playing to TV audiences give him advantages in the game of, taunting, bickering, and factual license.
I have not seen the platforms of either party, but I suspect they will be a “cold read” of their constituents’ backyard conversations, criticisms, and complaints. Anything that starts with, “Those damned ………..”
Hubris comes in many supercilious forms, including: impossible promises; hauteur; slanderous accusations; disdain for opponents; and pomposity.
In Greek tragedies, there are prices to pay for hubris (defying the gods) in our case, the “gods” of citizenship, civility, majesty, grace, and political power. Some of these are:
- Validating violence as a first resort
- Loss of respect for “others”
- Further damage to our national unity – especially comm- unity
- Legislative paralysis
- Degradation of factual objectivity
- Normalization of boorish, rude, vulgar, uncouth, and even barbaric language and behavior
- Elections of uncompromising, hardline senators, representatives, governors, mayors, and judges, in “safe” districts.
Based on the steady conversion of politics into reality TV, I am losing hope that we can rebound from the pains we have suffered as a nation, and as a people. I would favor Competition of ideas vs. Contention of Ideologies; Personalization vs. Objectification; Compromise vs. Ultimatum, Commitment vs. Connection. If the contenders for the most powerful office in the world cannot demonstrate decorum, what will the world think of us?