The Connecticut presidential primary arrives on April 26, but please don’t talk to me about it. In fact, let’s not talk at all. I can’t be trusted to keep my mouth shut.
When this circus opened last summer, many assumed both party nominations would be wrapped up by now. As recently as last month, the CT Mirror quoted Quinnipiac University political science professor Scott McLean: “Sadly, I don’t think Connecticut voters are going to tilt the scales of politics in the presidential race of either party. The race is coming to a close in the next two weeks.”
We should be so lucky.
Instead, we’re left to choose among the name-callers, whiners and elementary school bullies that remain to lead the free world. We’re called upon to sift through their empty promises about programs we can’t possibly afford even as they bemoan the national debt; their accusations of political pandering even as they endlessly indulge in it; their hypocritical calls for party unity even as they seek to destroy it.
All while bragging about the size of their genitalia, branding each other liars, complaining about who’s posting pictures of their wives, and outdoing themselves in a rush to monitor American citizens who had the gall to choose the wrong faith.
I’m reminded of the Kurt Vonnegut short story “Harrison Bergeron,” where citizens are made “equal” by enduring artificial handicaps in order to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator. (If you haven’t read it but watched one of presidential debates, you’ve already seen it.)
Despite all this, people keep asking for my opinion on this election. If you’re a friend,
I don’t want the bloom to come off the rose if you reveal an ugly side I never knew existed. If you’re a stranger, talking to me about politics is a surefire way to remain one. Besides, I considered becoming a Jesuit priest after college; you really don’t want to know what I think of Trump. Or Cruz. Or any of them.
The ugly truth is I can’t help but answer if you do ask me. I do that obnoxious thing where I keep trying to bring logic and evidence into the discussion. Some of you don’t cotton to that. Worse, I’m armed with scattered bits of knowledge that make me think I must be right even when I’m not. If I realize I’m not right, I’ll argue anyway, because I usually believe I should be. Just like Trump. Or Cruz. Or any of them.
The fact is there’s always someone who knows more than me. Than either of us.
Some of them use facts to hammer us into submission, and still others use deliberate distortions for the same effect. These days there’s not enough of the former and far too many of the latter.
Voting for the lesser of two evils is bad enough, but knowing our primary could actually have a major impact on the nominations is terrifying. I’m not scared about which one we’ll eventually elect. I’m scared we’ll get what we deserve.
I want to operate under Thanksgiving Dinner rules until November. (You know, where we politely ignore Uncle Charlie’s alcoholism until the last of the dishes are cleared.) Everyone knows there’s a problem but we keep hoping they’ll pull themselves out of it before they hit bottom. While I appreciate the attempt, I don’t have it in me to take part in the intervention.
Try me again around Thanksgiving; at that point I’ll be ready to start complaining about whomever we finally elect to anyone who’ll listen.
You can read more at RobertFWalsh.net, contact him at rob@RobertFWalsh.net or follow him on Twitter @RobertFWalsh.