I haven’t been writing about the election. I find the level of debate extraordinarily discouraging, which reflects, I think, a certain naïveté on my part. For years, I’ve been watching the intelligence of the American people go downhill. What’s there to be shocked about? When you have this kind of worship of celebrity and wealth—classic decadent empire—it’s to be expected. Self-government requires intelligence and engagement. We’re facing some extremely serious issues, none of which are being addressed. One example is human-caused climate change, which most scientists seem to agree does exist. Not to discuss it is crazy and dangerous. But neither candidate dares to touch it. Another example is the economy. It’s discussed, but not the real underlying problem. The truth is that we’re seeing the end of a fantasy belief, that of constant economic growth for generation after generation. It was always a logical fallacy, an utter impossibility. Neither candidate can save the economy—at least not the old-style economy that we’re used to. We’re entering a new era and we need to start looking at it realistically. Does Obama need to lose so that Romney can demonstrate that the Republicans’ ideas won’t work either? I have little doubt that if either candidate told the truth about what’s really going on, the people—who claim to want their politicians to tell them the truth—would turn on him. So democracy—self-government—is failing in America. If it were working it wouldn’t matter how much money any particular candidate raised. People would have seriously studied the issues and would judge a candidate on the clarity and truth of his or her ideas, not on their ad campaigns. Money would be irrelevant. I blame much of our current state on computers and the Internet. We have not gotten any smarter since their introduction. To the contrary. (I’ll be writing more about this in the future.)
In any case, I’ve already voted, and I voted for Obama. I have to wonder if the worst happens and Romney does win, will the Republicans, given the last four years, be so hypocritical as to demand national unity? I’m sure they will. All the old insanity, all the old lines like “why do you hate America?,” and talk of non-Republicans being treasonous will once again tiresomely fill the air. Our only solution is to step back and take a non-ideological, objective-as-possible look at who we are and what we believe. What we believe must correspond to what is true, not what we’d like to be true. We can still do it. It may take another economic crash and a few more monster storms, but we can still do it. It’s not too late.