Gary Horton: This week’s American lament

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
– “The Impossible Dream” Joe Darion

From “We the people” to “Four score and seven years ago” to “Ask what you can do for your country” to “I have a dream” to “Yes we can,” and now. …

“At least it will all be over in a week.”

The coffee shop was full of the typical boisterous back-and-forth from sordid quotes of candidates grabbing anatomy to email eruptions from the same family where bimbo eruptions first erupted.

But in concluding all the measuring and re-measuring of the state of our very special 2016 Made in America Presidential “Campaign” (that’s been absolutely anything but “presidential”) – the coffee klatch closing comments were unanimous: “At least it will all be over in a week.”

Boy, it seems that’s the best you can say for today’s American democracy right now. “At least it will all be over in a week.” I’m pretty sure we feel the same on this one.

Elections should be about hope for the future. About new ideas and solutions being batted back and forth and may the best man or woman with the best solutions for our time win the day and hopefully help save the day.

Instead, we’ve got something terribly amiss. A broken party has vomited out from a clown cart a thoroughly broken candidate while the functioning party has anointed a thoroughly tainted one.

On the one hand we’re terribly right to be worried about the final wrecking of American democracy with a short-tempered, ill-informed strong man of questionable loyalties hell bent on isolating America and turning our clocks back 50 years.

On the other, we’re rightfully concerned that we’ll be mired in Clintonian scandal without end, merited or not.

Toss in a Clinton propensity for military adventurism and it’s easy to see how, between the two presidential wannabes, there’s not tons of hope out there for us to be particularly hopeful for.

“The lesser or two weasels” isn’t much of a sales banner for the benefits of American-style democracy. We’ve got to do much better in the future or the future surely won’t be bright.

We’re going to be the leader of the free world with this?

Sooner or later we’ve got to dream that impossible dream of campaign reform. Sooner or later we’ve got to get money out of politics.

Sooner or later we’ve got to run where the brave dare not go and defy our party politics to build a fairer, more transparent, more merit-based national election process. And, while we’re at it, a shorter process would surely be appreciated, to boot.

But that would take consensus between the parties. And that would take guts to take on the moneyed lobbies and interest. And guts are in scarce supply, and political heroes are particularly few.

Both parties have had their heroes with guts in past times, and I’ve noticed that the better ones on both sides have either ended up shot and killed, shot and wounded, or certainly threatened with overt bodily harm. Political heroism is fraught with very real trouble, dread, and danger.

“At least it will all be over in a week.” Yeah. Hurray for the USA.

An impossible dream would be that the American electorate and our parties themselves will end up very well chastised from this worst of elections that’s shown the worst of America to the world we think we still lead.

We’ve made fools of ourselves with the entire planet privy to our extraordinarily raucous and violent family fight. And if we were decent we’d be dying of embarrassment and finally, having hit rock-bottom, determine to shape our political lives back up to snuff.

But no matter, “At least it will be over in a week.”

But it won’t be over in a week or a month or a year – and you know it. Heroes are in short supply and the home of the brave closed its doors due to lack of interest. The rhetoric won’t let up, the Trump dramas and sex and tax scandals won’t be allowed to fester and die, nor will Clinton opponents release their dog-bite grip on her email-infested leg.

“Wound and kill the other side” is the American political modus operandi, and that’s a foul recipe for good governance. It’s said a country at war with itself cannot long stand, and that truth should be self-evident to all of us now, after 18 long months of domestic political terrorism.

This is a lamentation, and lamentations don’t have happy endings. “At least this will be over in a week.”

And then we’ll cross our fingers, hope and pray the stuff that goes down in Washington doesn’t too much hurt us in our personal lives.

We’ll pray that no one hits the nuclear button, and we’ll set our weary hopes 30 months out for the next extended national family feud.

God bless America. Please, God bless us. We really need your help right now.

Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. “Full Speed to Port!” appears Wednesdays in The Signal.

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS