(Noding my homework. The title was the prompt, obviously - I could have done better than that)

Everything in the book can be rephrased into the context of an election, of course. The metaphorical book, I mean - the kind of book you throw at someone, not a textbook. Throwing the book at each other is these people's job; or more accurately, people throw money at them so they can throw money at other people who run TV commercials and write speeches to make it look like they're throwing the book at each other. It's complicated.

I'm cynical about this election nonsense already, and I'm barely old enough to vote. That's tragic, I know. I've seen elections before - both of Bush II's - but the commercialization and propaganda of the entire process never dawned on me until the primaries of this one started getting underway. In fact, I can probably pin an exact date on it - January 20, 2007. That's the day Hillary Clinton announced she was "in it to win it". Nothing personal against Clinton, but I believe that was right about the time the floodgates opened, and suddenly everything on the news was about the election.

A couple of months later the commercials started up in Ohio. They were poorly funded and poorly thought out, at first - a portrait shot of Hillary Clinton talking, college rock and a crowd of our favorite 18-24 demographic somehow representing Obama - but they quickly refined their technique as the primary loomed.

That's what it is, to me - that's the argument this election presents to me. How can I, as a person of average exposure to the political climate, possibly claim to have a valid opinion of anybody whose entire persona and history have been dictated to me by people with an agenda different than my own?

The only thing I knew about John McCain before 2007 is that he rode around in the Straight Talk Express (which seems to have conveniently disappeared), and I certainly hadn't brushed up on my Illinois senators.

What I did know before 2007 is that everybody who wants to tell you something wants to sell you something. People themselves, in one-on-one personal contact, are often if not usually sincere; but once any group of people tries to tell any other group of people anything, bias builds upon bias and agenda builds upon agenda (proportional to the size of the groups involved, of course) until the entire message is utterly brimming with non-objective conclusions and implied meaning.

If I've learned anything these past couple years, I've learned that elections are brimming with this. It wasn't so obvious in the last Bush election, because it felt like we were screwed either way - and before that, I was too young to care. What is at stake, however, and the proportion of the groups involved mean that the average person cannot be left to make their own empirical decisions. That would leave much too ample an opportunity for the other side to tell the public what to do - the temptation is simply too great. Because of that, each electoral group must constantly barrage the public in an attempt to implant and secure opinion, and must constantly pile rocks onto our see-saws.

Tentative policy commitments, experience, and the election of the lesser of two evils are all very important, but I cannot bring myself to be knowingly bought and sold. I play into enough peoples' hands every day without knowing it.

Today I read the first bit of an interesting article in the New York Times. The headline read “In One Rocky Week – Trump’s Self Inflicted Chaos on Vivid Display.” The sixth paragraph ended with the phrase “...it has also become clear that Mr. Trump, an agitator incapable of responding proportionately to any slight, appears hellbent on squandering his honeymoon.”

I suppose that many of those who sing in the same Choir as the NYT will be ingratiated with whatever comes after that remark. I found so much parody and self inflicted scorn in that claim, that I was unable to finish the article. I cannot take an author seriously that thinks there was any such honeymoon for Trump to squander. If Julie and Maggie (authors of the article in question) have engaged in any such romantic interlude with the Donald, I am unaware of it.

Had these authors at the Times any modicum of dignity, they might give Trump a little credit for the few things he does right, and stop this crazy bickering for which they are no less responsible than the Donald. Donald Trump is just trying to figure out what a conservative is. I have no idea about whether or not he will be successful in that endeavor, but I hope he achieves it.

As far as the Obama-care issue goes, I wish the Republicans would just leave it alone for a couple more years. Let the Democrats own it. If they think it needs fixing, let them figure out how to fix it. After about two more years of the mandated IRS implementation of enforcement, it should become evident to everyone how fair, equitable, and open healthcare has become by placing it under the federal umbrella. Anyone who still hopes for fairness, equality, and kindness to be administrated at the highest level of government, whether that be Federal or Global, has just not been paying much attention to what is going on. They will be getting plenty more of what they deserve, and seem to constantly ask for, in due time. Meanwhile it is wonderful to see how much one man can increase the entertainment value of the political news as we watch the continuing saga of the honeymoon between Julie and Maggie (i.e. “The Media”) and the Donald. It is a marriage made in heaven, or somewhere thereabouts.

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