The amount of stuff in my mailbox has quintupled from its usual levels. People whom I wouldn’t consider fit to enter my home are clamoring for the opportunity to take my money and tell me how to live. They’re depressing not so much for what they are as for what they show about everybody else. Not the obvious fact that Earth has its scum, but that scum rises to the top. They understand what motivates people to vote for them: desire for stuff at other people’s expense and fear of anyone who’s different. Occasionally I feel touches of optimism at the way candidates are described by their opponents, but the descriptions are seldom accurate. Maybe these opponents exist in a mirror universe and actually would cut back spending, surveillance, and warfare.
Then there’s the big contest. In one corner we have a war criminal, in the other a challenger who thinks he hasn’t committed enough war crimes. Before January 2009, our Leader’s followers thought there was something wrong with sending Americans to die in foreign countries, illegally spying on Americans at home, torturing people, and lying about it all. (I was about to put assassination of Americans in the list, but Bush never went that far.) Since then they’ve come to understand that they should ignore those things — if they want goodies paid for out of other people’s pockets.
It’s said that people get the government they deserve, but we all get the same government, regardless of how much or little we personally deserve it. Collective guilt is as much a fallacy in electoral politics as in anything else. I’ll vote for Gary Johnson; he’s the best of the LP candidates in a long time, and every vote against Kang and Kodos is a statement of protest. After that I just have to survive whatever the winners do.