My (final) note on the US election

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Tue, 11/08/2016 - 08:17
US election


<Golden Days> In simpler times, when two communists (one being Jarvis Tyner) in the United States ran for the presidency, when the class lines were firmly drawn and when the politics of liberalism and revanchism stood quite clearly - and unitedly - in the camp of the enemy.

Now things are messier. The US elections trigger 'projectile vomiting', as Barbara Ehrenreich writes in her wonderful Guardian essay:…/us-election-projectile-vomiti….

This is the 598th day of this election campaign. I have covered it as diligently as possible for Frontline - as Vijayasankar Ramachandran will attest - and I am quite prepared to see it end, not with a bang - as Eliot wrote - but with a whimper. My last report for Frontline is here:…/hillarys-trum…/article9266461.ece… - it is in this Sunday's BirGun Gazetesi -…/hillary-nin-trump-karti-134484.html). But this is not the report I am thinking about. It is the one from a few weeks ago -…/in-a-hall-of-m…/article9142549.ece). The last paragraph carries my current mood:

'In November, Americans will enter the polling booths. They will vote out of fear of the candidate they dislike. Significant issues that are before American society will not be on the table. No one is going to seriously entertain the questions that bother ordinary Americans who sit with their chequebooks at the kitchen table and wonder about job security, children’s education, prices of essential commodities, the vacations they cannot take and their dreams of a better life. Only shadows of these concerns will enter the stump speeches of the presidential candidates. Trust in the political process is naturally at a low point. Hands will rush to drop the ballots into the boxes, but this haste should not be mistaken for enthusiasm. It is a sign of frustration'.

You might say that the early voting is a sign of trying to get the election over and done with. As Barbara Ehrenreich writes, 'Record numbers are voting early, by mail, as if to purge themselves of all connection to the proceedings'. This seems correct.

Tomorrow will begin the final season of the show called 'America'. As far as the world order is concerned, the mini-series has been cancelled. Other shows will be broadcast. This one moves from primetime to the midday hour, when it will compete against re-runs of the Jerry Springer hour.