Saturday, 7 May 2016

American Psycho

The USA has seen two of the most tumultuous and ultimately troubling primary contests in recent history, both now drawing to a close in terms of voting and with the formal nominating conventions on the other side of summer.

On the Democrats' part, Bernie Sanders has led a incredibly powerful insurgency against the establishment candidate Hillary ("It's my turn") Clinton. The DNC's response has been to put up all means of obstacles to Sanders en route, and we have seen voters disenfranchised, claims of vote-rigging and of course the power of the appointed super-delegates, whose utterly unwarranted say in the process rips away any shred of democratic pretence. Like so many liberals, these people see elections as a mere ritual where the grateful masses confirm their right to govern - democratically, of course. As soon as they start choosing the "wrong" candidates, the people are being "unrealistic", "not taking it seriously" and, by some paradox, even "undemocratic".

Clinton is now likely to be the Democrat nominee - though as Sanders' unexpected win in Indiana last week shows, it ain't over until it is over. And, in spite of the establishment, there is even now a faint possibility that the FBI may yet subpoena Hillary over its investigation into her emails, an unprecedented situation for a Presidential candidate (well, other than for early 20th century Socialist Eugene Debs, who fought one entire election from his prison cell).

This opens up the terrifying prospect of a Republican Party Presidency under their own insurgent nominee, Donald Trump - for the polls all show that, while Sanders would pull enough independent voters to the Democrats to trounce The Donald, Clinton struggles to stay just ahead. The very latest poll gives Trump a two point advantage over her.

Trump. What can you say?
An Ego, wrapped in an Id, inside a toupee...

This man has built his entire career on an unwarranted image of entrepreneurship that never happened, trust that was actively betrayed and success that went down the toilet. Yet, it shows the depths of disconnection of the American political class and system from ordinary people that his rambling, incoherent rage and bile simply piles up more and more votes for him. The Republican party establishment is in meltdown even more than the DNC, but they have only themselves to blame - it was they who created the narrative of xenophobia and global aggression that Trump is now simply taking to a logical, if extreme, conclusion. That Ted Cruz, a man who thinks Jesus had sent him to bomb the deserts of Syria "until they glow", was his only serious rival shows just how hollow the party of Lincoln now is.

So, much more on this in the weeks ahead. For now, a little gallery of the American elections memes on the Viridis Lumen facebook page, collected here to amuse and terrify, possibly in equal order.

1. Atomic Finger...
There was a time it just seemed too incredible.

2. Netrump
Donald had problems with the internet of ideas. Best to shut it down. Or bits of it. Maybe.

3. Game of Trumps
Republicans aren't good on tackling climate change. Donald saw some snow in December, so what the heck's all the fuss about?

4. Gremlins Ex Machina
Jeb Bush was meant to be the Republican candidate. It was his turn after all. But if you feed an Ego, it can multiply without warning...

5. No Muslims. Mates excepted
Building on years of paranoia whipped up by the Establishment, Trump has used Islamophobia to announce he will "shutdown" American to Muslims. Did he mention his extensive business links with the Muslim world? And the people there who are, erm, Muslims?

6. Major Cruz to Ground Control...
Latterly, the only semi-serious challenge to Trump's nomination was Senator Ted Cruz. He dislikes most people apart from Jesus, though Jesus has been quiet on his own thoughts about Cruz.
Ted notably wants to visit the Holy Land so he can help along that whole Armaggeddony process thing.

7. Comedy of Terrors
Someone organised a Shakespeare for Republicans Day to highlight the tragedy and face. But are we laughing?

8. Feel The Bird
Bernie Sanders had a major comeback after a little bird hoped onto his lectern during a rally. Quick to the moment, the Socialist Senator announced that although it didn't look like it, it was a dove of peace. Here's Birdie Sanders...

As Sanders' poll ratings, votes and delegate count started to ratchet rapidly upwards, the Clinton camp was in panic, trying to pull all manner of stunts to make Hillary look sort of regular.

9. Office for Sale
Sanders has raised virtually all his campaign finance from small individual donors. Clinton by contrast has taken millions from corporate America to fund her drive to supposedly represent ordinary people.

10. American Psycho
We won't know the final outcome until November, and many variants from police investigations to third party runs may yet skew what happens. But one thing is for sure - Bernie aside, the collection of truly bizarre, corrupt, narrow-minded and frankly dangerous egotists running this year has put any and all attempts at satire, parody or allegory far beyond the pale. There is a very good chance of someone becoming President who categorically refused when asked to rule out dropping a nuclear bomb on Britain, let alone scores of other places.

“I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.” - Donald Trump, Republican Presidential candidate.

“What good does it do to have a good nuclear triad if you’re afraid to use it?” - Katrina Pierson, Trump spokesperson.

(Both statements 20 December 2015)  

Perhaps only the dark dreams of apocalyptic science fiction-turning-to-fact can give us any warning, if little in the way of any comfort.

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