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Diagnosis: Terminal

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The "demon sheep" have taken over our democracy.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – I know that some regular readers of Red Dirt Report have been wondering why we have not been chiming in more in these final weeks before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

But really, what more is there to say about two erratic, unscrupulous demagogues who seem to only care about their political careers and egos than about the serious needs facing our country?

Just watching the debates (albeit reluctantly, if at all) made me want to take a long, hot shower afterward. These past months have felt like falling into an open sewer and scrambling to find a way out.

And besides, so many other writers and intellectuals out there have opined about this election and the flaws of the Republican and Democratic presidential choices. What more could I really add at this late stage? Most of what I wrote months ago still stands.

Patrick Martin, writing at WSWS.org, excoriates both the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (described as “two forms of terminal cancer”), as well as the political parties these two individuals represent: “In giving the American people the choice between Clinton and Trump, the two-party system in the United States has demonstrated that it is a political dead end.

We do seem to be at a dead end. The mental and verbal gymnastics I’ve observed since this summer’s party conventions among supporters for both candidates has been truly stunning.

“She’s not Trump. She’s not a bigoted, nativist fascist,” says the Clinton supporter who a few months ago was in the tank for Bernie Sanders and roundly against an imperialist like Hillary.

“Just think,” the Trump supporter tells me. “We’re getting a two-for one with Hillary, if she wins. Bill will be back at the White House and, well, remember Monica Lewinsky? It’s just going to be that times 10! And amnesty! And the gays! The horror!”

Yeah, sure. Always someone to blame. Someone to demonize.

Remember the infamous Carly Fiorina "demon sheep" political ad of a few years ago? People are still scratching their heads about that one. Well, Hillary and Trump are the demon sheep (Wall Street wolves, really) destroying our democratic way of life with dirty politics, lies, deceit and mudslinging unlike anything I've ever seen, and Trump is the worse of the two in that regard.

Looking at them – the Clinton booster and the gimme-capped Trumpist – there is an underlying sense of fatigue and disillusionment. It’s as though they don’t even believe what they are saying. They know the system is “rigged,” but rigged for the benefit of America’s ruling class, which Trump and Clinton both belong to, despite Trump arguing he is a “blue-collar guy” deep down and Hillary talking about her father who cobbled shoes or something on the gritty streets of Chicago.

But the true believers are going to support their party’s standard-bearers through thick and thin, regardless of who they are. Even if they are Wall Street puppets or misogynistic bullies with axes to grind and Constitutions to shred. One can get so disillusioned over this whole 

Where does that leave us, the American people? Some might say we’re up a certain creek without a paddle. But there are alternatives. Here in Oklahoma, you can, perhaps, feel better about yourself by voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson, even though polls show the state going pretty handily for Trump. No shock there, I reckon.

Sure, you may not agree with Gary Johnson's politics straight down the line (I don’t) but I do like his ideas regarding ending wars, like the “War on Terror” and the ongoing Drug War, kicked off by Richard Nixon back in the early 1970’s so as to take the heat off of his administration as he continued to get beaten about the head by anti-war protests and general unrest as the Vietnam War churned on.

Yes, Tricky Dick’s ghost hangs over this election like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, more than 20 years after his death. In fact, when Nixon heard from his wife Pat about the billionaire following an interview in 1987, Nixon wrote him a letter declaring him a “winner.” I’m sure Trump nodded heartily in agreement, his ego further stroked.

But Johnson comes across like a bona fide human being who seems to have the American people in mind, rather than pleasing oligarchs or the military-industrial complex. You could say the same about Jill Stein of the Green Party (not on the ballot in Oklahoma) or any number of third-party options in other states. The demon sheep are on the march, however. Glowing red eyes of doom.

These are dark times. The fear and the loathing are really here. I've felt a Charlie Brown-like dark cloud following me for months now. Gloomy stuff. I can't seem to shake it. This election cycle is just so utterly awful and depressing. November 9th can't come soon enough.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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