I feel the need to reiterate that I do not really like delving in to politics. That's not our purpose here. At the same time, how can you not after a day like yesterday. We find ourselves confronted by a man running for president who literally sounds like a hyperactive 13-year-old braggart whose entire worldview has been formed by dirty magazines, claiming that his internet girlfriend is coming to town next weekend. Forgive the language for a second, but - what the fuck?
How did we get here? The answer to that question can be found in the stupid chuckles of encouragement from Billy Bush. Too many people have collectively dismissed, gone along with, or otherwise looked the other way when the right's leading candidate, a sentient workplace harassment video character, talks. There have been far too many instances of this windbag saying truly awful things without consequence to predict if this latest red flag will make any difference. I really want to say that this one is different, but I have been proven wrong far too many times already. I've mentioned before that feeling I get every time I see the man. I have a gut reaction that makes me angry with the world.
There is a small level of enjoyment gained in watching all of the previous apologist try to backpedal away from him today. It doesn't change the fact that it is now 31 days to election day and the horse is already out of the barn. It is too late to change course and unfortunately means that no matter who wins we will have four more long years of divisions and divisive rhetoric. One side will claim that the other is a crook/traitor/socialist/elitist, the other will claim that their critics are crazies/racists/homophobes/fascists. All because the whole system is so hell-bent of winning that understanding and compromise can no longer exist. It not so much that one should win, it's that everyone else should lose.
It is incredibly easy to sit here and throw stones. So I will. I do not have any solutions to offer up. I try to lead a good life, do unto others and what not. I think a lot of us are this way. We can get through our lives without having "locker room conversations", even in real locker rooms. We can get through without making fun of the handicapped or issuing blanket calls for ethnic deportations. It is possible to be polite and good people to each other, to manage to coexist without turning in to overgrown bullies. I honestly should not have to say this, but isn't this something we all learned in pre-school?
We all saw this coming, even before he officially announced his candidacy. If you reconciled the birther/mexican/muslim/generally racist/chauvinistic/faux-christian/poor-shaming statements to this point and still feel the need to support him, then you deserve all of the blame that you should be feeling today.
The problems are more fundamental than the top of the ticket, or even one side of the ticket. There is a "Re-elect Joe Arpaio" sign a few blocks from my house. For those of you that don't know who Arpaio is, he's the sheriff of Maricopa county, home to Phoenix. He is equally known for his idea to house prisoners in outdoor tents in 120+ degree heat, and his idea that people with brown skin aren't actually people. In other words, the worst person in Arizona (let that sink in). Anyway, this campaign sign has been vandalized. While I highly appreciate the particular creativity of the vandals, I am somewhat disappointed by the level of discourse it represents. For you see, this particular sign has had a giant, turgid, penis spray painted on it in a highly accurate reference to the candidates character. This is, perhaps, a little to direct. Unfortunately it is what is required to cut through all of the other attacks. It is what is needed these days, at the basest of levels, to get a message across. It should not have to be this way; but when the standard-bearer of a major political party brags about grabbing women by their genitals and then defends his actions by claiming that the other parties previous standard-bearer has done worse, it is both the sign we need and the sign we deserve.