Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On the road to moral and ethical ruin?

I cast a vote for what is likely the only time this season, in the “meaningless” Democratic Washington primary. Since moral and ethical principles are important factors to me in this year’s presidential election, there was only one choice available to anyone who also holds those factors with any regard. After winning 72 percent of the caucus vote last March, and in view of his convincing victory in Oregon last week, I expected Bernie Sanders to win the “meaningless” Democratic primary vote, if by a smaller margin, last night.

It didn’t happen. Clinton won 54 percent of the “unofficial” Democratic primary vote. How to explain this? It certainly wasn’t “meaningless.” What did it mean? Despite the fact that the number of registered voters increased since in 2012, and mail-in ballots make it much easier to vote, there was less than two-thirds of the vote count that there was in the 2012 presidential election. Did Sanders supporters expend all their energy at the March caucuses? Did angry Clinton supporters come out in force to make a “statement”? Was there the lethargic view that Clinton had already “won” the nomination and that it was time to just follow the “herd” rather than make a categorical statement about the state’s alleged “progressiveness”? 

Or is it something far worse? Unlike most people, I remembered the disquieting fact that rather than merely being the “First Lady” of the Clinton administration, Hillary Clinton seemed to be personally involved in every Clinton scandal over a 35-year span, and lying over and over again that she knew “nothing” or there was ever anything to them. Even Bill Clinton’s infidelities didn’t seem to faze her, in fact, if the “rumor” mill is correct, Hillary was an equal opportunity adulterer herself. But it was in “true crime” that was more her game. Whether or not she felt bound to “man’s” laws or felt in her warped mind that they were designed to thwart her personally is anyone’s guess. What is clear to people who value truth (and let’s be “fair” to Trump—he speaks “honestly”), is that something ugly is happening in this country, and that is that there is no value place on truth; if there was, Hillary Clinton would more likely be a disbarred felon than on the cusp of making “history” as the first female president—at any cost. 

One of my favorite films is John Boorman’s 1981 Arthurian adaptation Excalibur. In it there is a scene where Arthur asks Merlin what is the best trait in man; Merlin replies that it is “truth” above all else—for when a man lies, he murders something inside him. Lancelot—who realizes that Merlin is referring to him for denying his lust for the queen--immediately leaves the chamber. But Guinevere soon follows him, and when they complete the act of adultery, Lancelot does in fact not just “murder” his honor, but the act bcomes the catalyst that eventually brings Arthur’s kingdom and the “fair time” to ruin.

Elevating someone as wretchedly dishonest and pathologically contemptuous of truth as Hillary Clinton is may not bring the country to immediate “ruin,” since “change” is slow and in the eye of the beholder. But for those who actually care, it represents a denial of the existence of the cancer spreading within the body politic. Whether or not it is too late to stop it depends on those we have entrusted to keep us “informed,” and they have failed us miserably up to this point. On one side of the Janus-face is fraudulent “history”; on the other side, pure evil—the kind that sleeps well at night knowing that a decent, honorable man could not live with himself and continue to serve evil. To choose the former is to accept the latter.

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