The legacy mainstream media has a collective brain like a dog’s — it exists in an eternal present, so that whatever’s happening right now is all there is. Thus, Hillary’s performance in the first Democratic debate, being as bad but not worse than her competitors’, means she has a lock on the nomination for president. The better part of a year lies between now and the convention, and time would be on the side of whatever force or figure rises to oppose the woman whose “turn” in power rides a myth of inevitability.
What perhaps ought to be more alarming is the way that the two major parties are lining up to be a men’s party and a woman’s party, a perfect acting-out of psychological archetypes in a society churning out millions of lost souls year-by-year. The American people apparently want a Daddy to fix all the broken systems and they want a Mommy to reassure them that everything will be all right. Hillary, of course, wants to be both, but her problem is that a lot of voters won’t accept her as either.
Her record doesn’t suggest she’s much good at fixing anything. That’s why the Benghazi affair is such a good stick to beat on her with. That was a moment when America needed a Daddy with a toilet plunger or a screw gun and all they got were cables from the home office saying everything was going to be all right. Mommy couldn’t save the Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans slaughtered there. The big pretense, of course, is the idea that Congress holds hearings “so something like this will never happen again.”
It’s an interesting neurosis we’ve developed since the heyday of the assassinations in the late 1960s, this continuing promise to abolish the unforeseeable. Of course new atrocities happen all the time despite these ritual committee inquiries — these days, the mass murder of strangers is more in fashion than targeted political slayings — and there’s always another incident, and it ought to be obvious by now that we’re not so good at making sure that bad things don’t happen.
But that’s the Republican-controlled Benghazi Committee’s mission: to demonstrate that Mommy can’t fix stuff. It will be easily left to Hillary herself to prove that she’s not much good in the Mommy role either — reassuring the multitudes that everything’s going to be all right. Instead, Hillary falls back on an obsessive-compulsive pander tic, kind of an incessant hash-tag jabber of promises to the familiar cast of supplicants. Give it twelve months and see how sick of it the voters will get.
To see how much the Democrats have become the woman’s party, just consider the men candidates up on the debate stage: all pitiful archetypes. Bernie Sanders plays the meshugganah grandpa role reserved, on the screen, for Larry David or Alan Arkin. He’s always worked up about something that nobody else can really get worked up about, always raising his voice and stabbing his finger in the air in imitation of Yahweh. There’s Jim Webb, a bobblehead rattling off long legalistic disquisitions that never get to whether he can fix something or not. There’s Martin O’Malley, known primarily for his “six-pack” and “guns,” but with the persona of a frightened seven-year-old who doesn’t want to rile the teacher. And Lincoln Chaffee, a dizzy neighbor like Kramer in Seinfeld, butting in with cockamamie schemes that demonstrate he can’t fix anything.
Is it not amazing that the Democratic Party could not grudge up one figure really worth taking seriously? To me, this is truly symptomatic of how bereft of significance the party is. I’m not so sure the party will survive this election cycle. But the disorder across the gradient is equally impressive. The large Republican field of professional politician candidates is held in such bad odor as far as being able to fix anything, that the sinister clown Trump is able to put over his idiotic act of being a Daddy who can fix everything and anything, just by blustering. I suspect he’ll wear out his welcome — but if he doesn’t the Grand Old Party is showing serious signs of a serious crack-up.
Whoever gets elected in 2016 is going to face a crisis every bit as terrible as the crisis of 1860, only this time when the country blows it could come from a dozen different directions and be a lot harder to fix than the secession of Dixieland.
The third World Made By Hand novel
!! Is available !!
(The Fourth and final is finished and on the way — June 2016)
“Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist
Also: Published as an E-book for the first time!
The 20th Anniversary edition
With an entertaining new introduction by the author
Bargain Price $3.99