I think I understand now. I really do. I mean, I always think I know on some level why Hunter Thompson — a man I make no bones about holding in a high regard as one of my primary literary influences — put an end to his own existence on this mortal coil. But I think it took me over a week to sit down and write something about the Democrats’ ass kicking for a couple reasons.
First and foremost — I put most of my initial thoughts on the beatdown the Dems took in the video segments I produced for our YouTube channel. So there definitely was some content I was able to already extract from the absolute shit-show that’s going to be the next two years; at least the next two years really. And I know I’m not the first writer/comedian/political fuckwit to point out that any time the fundies are running the show, content almost seems to create itself. I mean, for Chrissakes, they’re really pushing another Clinton and another Bush. If anything will get they party fundamentalists riled up it’s an Old Fashioned American Political Family Royalty Bloodline Dynasty That We Ostensibly Broke Away From Monarchy to Specifically Avoid.
So I expect to be able to keep writing and to keep putting together satirical sketches and videos from here to kingdom come regardless for the next couple years, and if nothing changes in the mortality or desire to work status in the current Supreme Court and the Republicans slip into the White House…brace yourselves…they will own the government. Not that both parties don’t sup from the teat that is eternally offered by the bare-chested Corporate American wet-nurses, but let’s be honest here — one party fully embraces and encourages the wholesale auctioning of our republic to Big Business, and one side both blindly and — sadly and simply — just more cunningly supports their “opponents'” efforts to do so. The emails man…the goddamned emails that didn’t stop even after the ass-kicking.
That’s what desperation smells like.
But it occurred to me that the nightmare that would be Republican America 21st Century Style would be magnified 8-billion-fold by the mere fact that we’re just repeating it all over and over an again. And that’s I think why Hunter did himself in. He saw the towers fall and could tell that with neocons in the White House the door would be open to naked American Imperialism once again, and that the Democrats didn’t have the fucking spine to hand that kind of executive authority back, and that the Middle East would absolutely become my generation’s Vietnam…and he said “Fuck this shit, I’m out.”
Yes. It is entirely possible that I am reading way the fuck too much into one election season’s results. After all, most the contests were in reddish states anyway. And frankly Obama is hated pretty badly in states below the Mason-Dixon to begin with…you combine that with just embarrassingly low turnout and you have the possibility for the anti-populist, pro-corporatist, socially regressive and religiously fundamental and zealous party to take control at a time of unprecedented liberal progress on the key issues like what we got last week. Many progressive ideas passed in state elections, including votes on raising the minimum wage, ending the drug war in various ways, and ending marriage inequality as well as other key LGBT issues.
Apathy and cheating. Oh and a giant dollop of creamy greed on top, to boot.
I’m not one of those assholes who thinks he can predict the future just because I try to read as much as I can about what’s happening in our political scene. So I have zero intention of starting that farce now. I just know that we humans tend to be a strange, cyclical lot, and that if historical patterns persist, we could see a new rise of the religious fundamentalists that made the Reagan/Bush Eighties a reality. It’t not that the fundies outnumber us. It’s that they have something they are fighting for and against. I don’t know that you can pin the historical apathy Democratic voters have shown mid-terms entirely on not being inspired, but where the fuck is the lefty equivalent of Teddy Roosevelt? Is it Sanders? Is it Warren?
I don’t know, but the prospect of either of them leaving Congress before we have at least five Senators to replace them in place frightens me.
I think somewhere out there whatever is left of the cosmic dust that was Hunter S. Thompson’s mortal body is laughing is fucking ass off. He’s gleefully giving us the finger because he tried to warn us. He tried to show us the folly of buying into plasticized patriotism and bumper sticker ideologies. He tried to get us to see that America isn’t a bastion of perfect little people doing perfect things all the time, but rather a fucked-up dichotomous nation where we are supposedly all born equal, but not if you’re African-American, Latino, a woman, or a member of the LGBT community. A nation that some like to proudly paint as “Christian” that can’t get over its love affair with bombing brown people in other countries long enough to actually feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. He tried os hard for so long to show us where we could be better, and where we were doomed to be terrible.
…and all his work was for naught.
We’re still at war in the Middle East. The Supreme Court just struck down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and is champing at the bit to give our government away wholesale to the highest corporate sponsor. States are still trying to treat LGBT citizens as second-class (or far, far worse). Women are still underpaid and under-represented. And the truth is that great strides were made in all those areas in Hunter’s lifetime, only to have them cynically eroded by people who are too cowardly to accept the absolute inevitability of social evolution.
Of course, I wasn’t Hunter’s bestie by any stretch. I am of course absolutely positive that he had major personal reasons that I’ll never know or understand for taking his life. Of course my little musing about the futility of it all doesn’t mean that I know definitively why Hunter vacated this world like he did. But I can’t say I’d blame him if the disgusting cyclical nature of America’s buffoonery contributed even a soupcon of the determination to leave us all behind. Nothing makes me more sad and angry than thinking my two sons are going to have to fight just as hard as we all have, and all because only four-in-ten eligible voters are inspired to give a fuck enough to vote in the “off” years.
Who needs a mind-altering substance?