This election season has included some of the lowest brow politics in the history of the US. In the presidential race, we’ve seen accusations of sexual assault, racism, bigotry, misogyny and corruption.
Negative ads and personal attacks have become the norm in US politics and many observers with a discerning eye have witnessed the decline of social discourse to a point where the entire election has become just another bad reality TV show. To those who possess a sense of humor and irony, the debates have been so similar to satirical Saturday Night Live skits that, honestly, it’s hard to tell the difference…
My disgust with the process is evident in many of my personal commentaries. The entire strategy of both Democratic and Republican campaigns has been reduced to: “He said/She said.” This year Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have spent most of their time throwing and ducking mud. Muckrakers and mudslingers across the country are having an absolute field day!
Multitudinous Youtube videos and blogs have sunk so low that I can barely stand to expose myself to the vociferous attacks coming from both sides. Many commentators have acted completely irresponsible by hoisting up false flags and some continually predict “imminent” indictments and resignations. Wikileaks releases and the newest investigations by the FBI have fueled the fire. There seems to be no end to biased speculations and inaccurate reporting coming from previously reliable sources.
Understandably, given this embarrassing situation, many registered voters have decided that this election is not worth bothering with. The political dialogue from both campaigns has been reduced to one oversimplified meme: The “Dictator” versus the “Criminal”. Yet if the electorate refuses to acknowledge their duty as citizens to vote, the choice will be made by rabid white supremacists and corporate party hacks.
Although I agree that as a nation we’ve sunk to an historical low in terms of dirty politics, it still remains our job to help select the candidate who will become the so-called “Leader of the Free World”. Meanwhile, honest and authentic candidates like Bernie Sanders and the Green party’s Dr. Jill Stein have been relegated to the sidelines as usual, leaving many of us wondering if we will ever see the likes of John Kennedy or Jimmy Carter again.
In my estimation, what we really need is a truly independent working class candidate who is above all of the corruption caused by the influences of Big Money coming from these entrenched centers of power. Until that happens, we will be stuck with mediocre candidates forced upon us by the the two main parties. In this “winner take all” system of government, alternative parties are mostly ignored by Big Media.
This has been an extremely tumultuous and controversial election season, but whatever happens between now and November 8, at least we will have a new progressive member of Congress representing Seattle and Capitol Hill. Pramila Jayapal is the real thing. She has been a longtime fighter for social and economic justice since her early days as an immigrant rights protest leader.
Her campaign rally at the Showbox this month with Bernie Sanders was raucous and energetic. The fact that many in the audience booed the mention of Hillary Clinton’s name is just one indication of how independent minded Jayapal’s supporters have become. She may be a Democrat, but she might best be described as a “Berniecrat” who will prove to be even more outspoken and controversial than our retiring 14 term Congressman Jim McDermott.
It’s good to know that while politics on the national scene is degrading rapidly, Northwest politics continues to push the envelope and voters continue to demand more authenticity from our local political representatives. As the two parties continue to split up and embrace “below the belt” punches, there will be at least one politician in Washington D.C. who will stand apart from all that nonsense. I predict that Pramila Jayapal will fight courageously to represent the average working person.