So….America races to ‘High Noon’ today, and the world awaits the victorious gunslinger, their weapons of choice these past weeks less than compelling rhetoric and billion dollar PAC-driven smoke machines. Will it be honest, but utterly unfulfilled aspiration given a reluctant second chance, or does the apparent retrogression to ‘trickle down’ and a written off 47% carry the day? Hardly Eisenhower v Stevenson, or even Carter v Reagan…..One wonders what James Madison, Jefferson, or Adams would make of their latter-day Great Democratic Experiment in the hands of the inelegant spinmeisters and dyspeptic ravers who claim Lady Liberty’s inheritance….
This week the ongoing National Hockey League work stoppage provides its own oddball inspiration for this final take on the US campaign. Sport, after all, is the much mythologized reflection of North American real life, the source for much of the combative vocabulary that flavors modern politics …the underdog, the favorite…the ninth inning, home runs, buzzer beaters, fourth and goal, or the scribe’s favourite (in his mind anyway…I have a vertical the height of a credit card), the slam dunk. Vast segments of the Canadian (male) population are said to be in extremis without hockey, the great lock-out now in its seventh agonizing week. Like the majority of American voters and their peerless command of the burning national issues, the Canuck hockey fan does not need to read or otherwise immerse themselves in the intricacies of the NHL labour war – its just wrong! Get back to work!! Millionaire players versus billionaire (mostly American, and therefore uncaring boobies, brain dead, not True North, bleed for the game) owners!! Hockey is our birthright! It’s the fourth time in 20 years the Game has been yanked from the faithful by the forces of (largely American) greed! And so it goes…ad nauseam.
Much like the sound and fury of the 2102 US campaign – all heat, and so little light. How many Americans will actually cast their ballot today and express their view on their future at the ballot box? One may argue – persuasively – that citizenship means more than voting, and the right to vote necessarily includes the power to decline ones franchise. But for all of the recrimination, even hateful speech that has peppered this dubious and idea-deprived American campaign, will even 70 percent of eligible US voters stagger to the polls? Sound and fury, the coming Armageddon for those on either side of the red / white divide if their champion falters… I have the President, at about 50.2 nationally. Any takers?