[Note: Someone please(!) shout at me if I sound too “White Male Privilege” — sometimes my head slips into the inter-buttocks zone]
Elections like any time of political change are an exciting time, in a chemical sense. Exogenous and endogenous heat, movement, and substances changing shape and willing themselves to break out of their containers. In other words an incredibly dangerous experiment. And we do it both as often as possible and as little as possible in a democracy.
Case in point: here we are in the USA imagining ourselves a choice between Capitalism, Socialism, Militarism, Pacifism, Statism and maybe a cleverly disguised ounce or two of Anarchism in the mix.
Poppycock. Our candidates get to be our candidates only *after* a process of severe inter/intra-group selection (i.e. within their own parties, funding networks etc.).
So what we’re really doing is choosing a face for a leader who’s actions are already mostly scripted by nature, a train conductor who can adjust our speed and the occasional choice of Left Fork/Right Fork but who has no control over where the tracks are laid.
After all, does anyone think that we’ll still have this same national configuration and this same form of representative democracy some 100 years from now? The USA will devolve along the lines of the EU at the same time it evolves into a continental body: a greater North American Affiliation.
So what are we looking at here in 2016? Just a small slice of the “now”. Even when we look at long term problems (climate change, nuclear catastrophe) we are forever in the short term (one reason why our efforts always come up short). Yet we know ourselves to also exist in a context. We know we exist in a greater place, a greater time than our maps and clocks and calendars show us. We look for leaders that can guide us from the “now” to the “future”.
Chasing the long term wearing short term pants, we take so much for granted in our faiths and our -isms that we lose sight of what we are aiming for: truth. A true knowledge not just of our drives and impulses but also our intents. A true knowledge of purpose. A true knowledge of when we must help and when we must harm.
Truth, in other words, that is still missing.
We have found no answers. We build on trial and error, conjuring a rope upwards into the sky as if up from the bottom of a bottomless well, with those buried in the past shouting their memories to those climbing up into the future: memories heard distantly and selectively. Did that patch of ground just say something? Did that spot of earth just move?
We fire round after round at the truth: words and ideas aimed at the truth like Zeno’s arrow seeking its target. Our bodies are some configuration of electricity and chemistry, our world is some troupe of imperceptible monads dancing unintelligible patterns.
Feel the Bern, stand with Hillary, make American great again with Trump, trust Ted Cruz or just stay home to polish your guns and wait for the Revolution. No matter what, this is all just another step towards something else.
Remember the words of Bob Dylan: “Nothing is better, nothing is best/Take care of your health and get plenty of rest.”
(i.e. take care of yourself and your friends and your family, so you can make it to the next level)