The parties are all over. The balloon industry has met its quota for the next four years, and now we get down to the nitty gritty. The presidential election can now take place. Those previous two years in which people from both sides of the aisle were dong exploratory research and test marketing their brand are behind us. We are now faced with the awesome choice of Hillary or Donald, candidates so familiar to us that we are on a first name basis with them.
I'm not sure I want to be that familiar. I am reasonably certain that, if given the opportunity to meet one or both of them face to face, I would refer to them as "Mrs. Clinton" and "Mr. Trump." A lot of this has to do with the inherent dignity of the office, not necessarily because of the inherent dignity of the candidates themselves. On the contrary: When my son, who will be voting in his first election this November, looks to me for wisdom I have little to offer. Currently I am stuck on the parental echo of "because I said so." Do you really want Donald Trump to be president? Then you had better cast your vote for Hillary Clinton. But what about all that stuff about -
And I have to cut him off. Not because I don't want him to question the dominant paradigm, or to seek out the answer that will work for him. I am terrified. Each day that passes without Jim Henson popping out from behind that floppy orange mass of hair, explaining that it was all some massive prank and that he wasn't really dead but he has been zipped up inside the most awful Muppet of all, I become a little more afraid. Are all those people who have access to keyboards and typing those racist, misogynist, and otherwise hateful messages, comments and tweets really going to crawl out of their dark holes and find their way to polling places across this great land of ours to generate the biggest mistake of our lives? I think of those dull British folks who woke up after their pub crawl to realize they had somehow managed to put their beloved country in a blender and sent it into an economic tailspin. Odds bodkins, that was a bit barmy, weren't it?
Scary, how that one little moment of throwing a tantrum in a voting booth can come back to haunt you for the next four to eight years. It still doesn't give me a good answer for my son, who continues to look for "the right person" for whom to cast his vote, but it does give me hope that this will all turn out to be one really bad piece of performance art.
Yeah. I'd vote for that.