The government shutdown is now officially over with the passage of a temporary budget and debt ceiling increase. Both sides must now come to grips with a sobering reality – the American people believe that Congress and the President now regard the United States Constitution, a document once considered sacrosanct as the Bible, as something akin to toilet paper.
There’s really only one way to fix that, but it would require something near-miraculous to happen. A real, genuine, middle-of-the road independent would have to make a serious run at the White House in 2016, and pop the two-party duopoly zit from the national forehead. If it sounds like a rather disgusting analogy, that’s because to do so would require a rather nasty, vile, disgusting campaign in which both parties would be revealed for the mudslinging frauds they now are.
Any independent candidate would have to overcome a few things, not least of which being a news media which is not only liberal, but conservative as well. Actually, a better way to describe the media would be Machiavellian Schizoid, as there are multiple personalities believing the ends justify the means. Next, that candidate would have to get past the Obsessive-Compulsive Lunatic Fringe of both parties, who would be bound and determined to find every last piece of dirt available, right down to witness accounts of where said candidates stuck the gum under the desk in third grade. Of course, all this would be done in the name of getting “Their Guy/Gal” elected, even if that person killed puppies and dumped toxic waste into a dairy farm’s pasteurizing machine, so long as that person advanced the toxic viewpoints espoused by the extreme left or right.
It’s all a game, really.
That is why an independent would have to be just a few points beyond genius in the political IQ department. Any bonehead with the intelligence of butter can win primaries; it only takes saying the right things, in the right arenas, with the right sycophants around. It takes someone with serious charisma to win nominations, pull parties together, and win it all. The best way to describe this is the difference between a journeyman relief pitcher and an ace in baseball; the journeyman can win in specific situations requiring a specific skill set. An ace is the sort of pitcher who starts a game, goes nine innings, and can go back out on just three days rest.
The independent needs that unique combination of being able to be a reliever and ace.
Only one candidate in U.S. history has every been elected without political affiliation: George Washington, and his election and unanimous and only required peer affirmation. For an independent to win it all, that person would have to jump over deliberately high-set bars to qualify for the ballot (the duopoly does not like its business interests threatened), then raise a monster war chest of cash to take both parties, and then somehow convince about 200 million Americans that their ideas are the best for the nation.
Could it be done? Certainly, assuming this person is considered a clinical sociopath.
Let’s face facts: politics truly is a contact sport. An ordinary person would not be able to handle the day-in, day-out rigors of the campaign trail, the smear campaigns, and the seemingly endless barrage of attacks from both sides. This persons must be able to find the common ground; balancing the budget, reducing the national debt, stabilizing our borders, holding the lines with our adversaries, stroking the egos of our allies, and telling Congress where they can shove their idiotic, bloated budget ideas. In short, the only person who would be able to successfully mount and independent campaign would have to be someone with no ties to either party, and no dog in any fight. That person would have to be keen on American history, world history and the legacy our nation represents.
Right now, that person simply isn’t on the horizon, and we have ourselves to blame, along with 536 elected officials occupying offices all along the National Mall in Washington.
Our Congress and President should ashamed of themselves but we, as voters, should be more ashamed. After all, we were dumb enough to give these fools jobs, and so we are getting what we asked for.
Nothing like the Law of Unintended Consequences to ruin a nation’s day, especially since we appear to living the American version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.