Roger L. Simon

America Agonistes - A Rant

Will we ever get over this?

Maybe it’s my own hyper-sensitivity, but this feels like the most vitriolic election of my lifetime and, because I come from the generation of “Forever Young,” alas, I no longer am. Is my memory growing weak or were families and friends ever torn asunder as they are now? Yes, I can remember Vietnam when parents and children were at odds, tremendous odds, but a dialogue was taking place. People were questioning their views, talking to each other. This is not that. Almost no one changes their mind.

One candidate is accused of having excessive beliefs while the other is attacked for having no beliefs; but whatever the strength of the candidate’s opinions, who could doubt the devotion of their adherents? Everyone lines up. Everyone takes sides. Everyone goes for the throat. We have debates, but they seem not debates of issues at all but athletic contests to determine who won – debates over style with no content, more like “color war” with knives.

Is this an election in the end anything more than a fight over a minute undecided percentage of the electorate, who were too apolitical, too bored, self-satisfied or dumb to be interested in the first place? When this is all over in two weeks we will have determined what? Will someone please explain this to me?

Okat, it’s over. I’ll go back to being a partisan now.