It’s the morning of November 9, 2022. I feel as though I have a hangover although I’ve not indulged in any intoxicants recently, I rarely do. But I watched last night’s election returns and that is undoubtedly the cause.
I watched them primarily on CNN International, switching periodically to Fox News, both available where I currently reside, in the Republic of Colombia. My email to the Marion County Florida Board of Elections advising that I had not received my promised mail in ballot, purportedly mailed to me on September 23, went unanswered so, like other United States citizens here who I know (and probably elsewhere), our duty to vote went unexercised, although the dearth of adequate candidates might well have made that right irrelevant, if not meaningless. That adds to my suspicions about the efficacy and integrity of United States elections, at least as compared to elections elsewhere. For example, Colombia and its neighbors have reliable electoral results available in hours, through a process that requires official voter identification and the collection of ballots only from voters, and in official polling places. We still experience some electoral fraud, and vote selling and buying is still difficult to stamp out, but it is minimized. In the United States, how can anyone know? It’s somewhat of a mystery to us here.
Post electoral exit polls indicated deep displeasure with the status quo and the Biden administration, but apparently, fear of Donald Trump, who was not a candidate, and a desperate need to protect the “right” of women to abort unwanted progeny proved more important than concerns about inflation, the economy or an impending nuclear holocaust. While that may seem incoherent, United States voters have their priorities and are as gullible and short sighted as ever, although perhaps that criticism needs to be tampered with an acknowledgement that the corporate media fulfilled its duty to assure that almost no one was aware that third party and independent candidate options were available, except perhaps for voters in the States of Georgia and Oregon, where available options were beaten down. Both major political parties have claimed victory, actual and symbolic, but for the electorate, at least from my perspective, all such victories are utterly Pyrrhic.
I primarily watched the results on CNN because the analysis seemed better and more timely, albeit utterly lacking in objectivity, with insults and taunts pretty much the rule. Fox news was more civil, but not any more objective. I wonder what MSNBC was like? I can’ get it here. While pundits and purported journalists claim that the results are not yet clear, the reality is otherwise. As is almost always the case in the modern era (post Second World War), the Deep State won and belligerency and lack of respect for international law will continue to be the rule, regardless of the consequences to common men, women and children in the United States and abroad, all in the name of generating profits for the very few. Costs to others is no concern. And of course, the Deep State’s most potent weapon, polarization was as effective as ever. No empathy wanted here!!!!
I saw a very negative reaction to last night’s elections in a right-wing publication (ReTalk Newsletter, November 9, 2022, available at https://retalk.com/c/us-politics/election-4?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=topposts&utm_medium=email&rtmid=20c439ff35ac1637522d0d598c125137), a post from someone deeply offended by the results, who wrote “This should have been a blowout by republicans. We have experienced 2 years of disastrous policies and yet ugly pieces of shit like fetterman [sic] are elected. There is something terribly wrong with the democrats. Either they are truly insane and want to see this country destroyed or they are just plain ignorant morons. To all the fucking morons out there who voted for any democrat I hope enjoy your reduced standard of living you stupid bastards!!!”
I replied to that post noting that insults and ridicule rarely if ever change minds and hearts, and that that’s what was needed. That a fundamental paradigm shift was essential towards respect and a quest for accuracy, with a willingness to change perspectives based on re-evaluating those that have proved ineffective; all seasoned with plenty of empathy, something apparently totally lacking. I of course doubt that my reply will be taken into account, other than perhaps through some sort of ridicule. Other perspectives, while diametrically opposed, were virtually identical in tenor if not in substance, indicating that somehow the election had saved United States democracy from traitorous “election deniers”, ignoring the reality that United States democracy exists only as a delusional illusion but that liberty gives everyone the right to opine on critical public issues, whether they are right or wrong in their observations. Again, insults and ridicule were the preferred means of communication. Which is exactly what the Deep State favors, “polarization and hate uber alles”, perhaps seasoned with a bit of violence which can then be manipulated, distorted and decried in a flood of crocodile tears. In essence, it appears that traditional Republicans and all Democrats agree that the electoral results were shaped by former president Donald Trump somehow, and that the GOP needs to comply with Deep State demands to prevent him, not only from running for public office, but even from expressing himself, … for everyone’s good. Such is the concept of civil rights and liberty now sweeping the airwaves, a message very likely to be endlessly repeated, at least during the following two years. Hopefully (according to them), the “Biden Justice Department and attorneys general in New York and Georgia, will soon see to that.
As Yakov Smirnoff noted decades ago “America! What a country!”
Is it any wonder that I woke feeling hung over? I’m pretty sure that hangovers are a pandemic this morning, and one without any cure in sight.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.