The Velocity of Your Own Self-Destruction

The Velocity of Your Own Self-Destruction

"...for the whole of Greece this day marked the end of its glorious supremacy and of its ancient independence..."
— Ian Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

This is where you all are, right now. Your entire system has failed miserably.

The Republican Party failed to have a process in order to keep out a dangerously and miserably unqualified person from becoming its presidential candidate.

The media failed on a grand scale to apply any critical approach to such a dangerously and miserably unqualified person during the campaign. The three major networks broadcast a stunningly poor 30 minutes to the policies of the two candidates. Thirty lousy minutes out of thousands of hours of free coverage for the said dangerously and miserably unqualified Republican candidate. The rest of the time was spent on Hillary Clinton's email server that ultimately made it easy for FBI Director James Comey to throw the election to her opponent.

The Electoral College also failed in its single purpose: to keep a dangerously and miserably unqualified person from becoming president. It did not even have to come down to making Hillary Clinton the chief executive: it could have well been her delegates telegraphing they would vote for a moderate Republican and all it would take was 31 other delegates to cement that. It is not hyperbole or dramatics to say that the Electoral College met history and decided to step out of the way.

The ultimate failure: the public. There is no greater shame in how disengaged and pathetically uninformed the body politic is. The estimate is that 46.7 percent of registered voters did not vote at all, which means the fate of the country depended on votes split between that remaining number. And while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million plus, it was not an electoral victory although the prize could have been denied to both of them had the Electoral College done its job. But that would have required a certain seriousness that voters at large do not possess: they have become navel-gazing and easily distracted people who seem to have a problem distinguishing between fact and propaganda. This may always be the case with voters across time and space, but the sheer numbers of them in this latest go-around represents a deep moral failure. It makes a mockery of the idea of "American exceptionalism" because how can you be exceptional when you are content to be ignorant about the future of your own country?

And yes, it is indeed a moral failure. Voters should ultimately choose what is best for the country, even if they are personally reluctant to do so based on their certain convictions. The American public has become savagely and wickedly partisan, lacking any vision of what a representational democracy actually is, or even having an inkling of what the social contract is all about. The simple fact is: you do not care. None of you. There are people who possess encyclopedic knowledge of baseball stats but can't even tell you the name of their town mayor. You have decided to be content to ignore a dangerously and miserably unqualified person to become president because you were comfortable with the media-driven narrative that "they're both horrible." You abdicated your responsibility because you didn't take any of it seriously, not for one moment. You preferred, instead, to be amused and entertained.

I have to wonder if my generation, Generation X, was the last to be required to take civics in high school, because given the dearth of basic knowledge about how the government is run is astonishing. Are you no longer required to read the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, or any of the debates during the Constitutional Convention? Were you not required to read even slim passages from Plato's Republic about what justice is and how to go about forming a society? How about Rousseau's ideas concerning the aforementioned social contract? I did not come out of high school a constitutional scholar, but I certainly knew that that there are seven articles to it, a basic fact that not even the dangerously and miserably unqualified person who is set to assume the role of the nation's chief law enforcement officer knows.

Maybe this is a byproduct of hating experts or devaluing intelligent opinions as a malignant expression of "the liberal media." Or perhaps mindlessly stupid (but endless) conspiracy peddlers proved too much of an attraction to a second of rational thought. Among the many certainties of the American public: you hate facts. And you will expend all of your self-righteous fury on Twitter to fight against facts. You are beggars to your own demise.

None of you truly grasps the full extent of the failure that is coming, and you've clearly ignored the obvious signs of treachery. You cannot seriously think that a Republican Congress is going to perform its required check on the Executive Branch. You have emboldened the white supremacists to come back from the shadows and enter the mainstream. You have willingly voted to have healthcare taken away from at least 20 million people, oblivious to the consequences of how that will play out. Not to mention Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security becoming prime targets for privatization. No, you somehow believe that it's all not serious and it will all work itself out because it can't happen here.

To underscore the magnitude of your disastrous stupidity, let me close with a quote from Federalist #68, by Alexander Hamilton:

This process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of president, will seldom fall to the lot of any man, who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue and the little arts of popularity may alone to suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single state; but it will require other talents and a different kind of merit to establish him the esteem and confidence of the whole union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of the president of the United States.

Looks like in your desire to be entertained you all proved him totally wrong. Happy New Year.