Justin Trudeau circa 1962
As usual, the candidates for president are really hard to choose between, because none of them are either Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator or Robert Downey Junior as Iron Man, but luckily we don’t have to choose anyway because it is still legal not to vote at all and frankly if you don’t think anyone deserves your vote, you should definitely have the right to withhold it, and if you disagree with that opinion just wait a few years till the choice is between someone from Mob Wives, someone from Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, Caitlyn Jenner, a Kardashian, three or four more Kardashians, and Kanye West, and you will understand exactly what I mean. If they added an Ice Road Trucker that would make things a little better, but I don’t think anyone watches that show anymore.
The trouble is, when the worst people are in the lead, how do you choose between them? It’s a real dilemma. For instance, Mr Trump will apparently destroy America, which sounds really really bad. Also he can barely open his eyes, and there are many pictures of him looking as if he is probably a cannibal with the cooking pot of humans just out of shot. But then there is the fact that listening to Ted Cruz’s voice makes you want to stick a screwdriver in your own ear. He does something strangely nasal that could literally cause anyone who hears it to collapse with seizures then wake up and run amok. So if the choices is between destroying America or causing Americans to destroy America, that’s not much of a choice.
Then there is Mrs Clinton. I long gave up trying to understand all the crimes she may or may not have done, which are couched in legal, media, factual and political mystery even though hiding all your emails does sound admittedly like a dodgy thing to do. Also I cannot decide if she has a secret personal life or not, and whether it matters or not, so all in all she is an enigma. Also, if she wins, Anna Wintour may actually be running the country through her, and is that good or bad? I like Vogue but do we really want a fashion expert running America? On the one hand, if Kanye West was banned from making people wear any more nude leotards, that would be a good thing, but on the other hand, some of us just don’t want to do countouring on our faces. All in all, Mrs Clinton is an enigma wrapped in a dilemma inside a pants suit and I am not into pants suits anyway.
And then there is Mr Sanders, who used to be on a popular comedy show making cynical jokes about pastrami sandwiches and whether you could really fit a bicycle in an apartment with 27 boxes of cereal where every single item of furniture was gray. We know him as his much-loved character, always yelling at people for nothing much, but who is he really? Like most older people, he reveals little of his true character away from the podium. But if he is really a communist, he will give away all of America’s money, which will doom us to years of lining up for bread all morning and living on pickled cucumber and turnips, which is in many ways a fate even worse than destruction. Although we will have free health care because nobody will be allowed to leave the country so doctors will work for nothing. But the waiting lists might be longer than the the time you have left to live. This is one of the risks with communism that people who never lived under communism always forget about. “Oooh, communism!” people sometimes say. “It looks so sweet! Everyone will be nice and kind and no more evil dictators!” But this is an unrealistic view of communism of course.
(A note on communism: in actual fact, there are always evil dictators because the world is real and not a daydream. If you don’t believe me, just hang out in your local library, school or tax department for a few weeks and you will find that evil dictators are everywhere. There’s probably one living in your street, right now. Maybe they phoned the city to complain about the mess in your front yard? Because who else would it have been? Exactly. And in communism, that person could be your boss. Just the same as they probably already are, only with a longer wait for your hip replacement. Communism does not make reality go away, only drugs can do that. And drugs cannot run countries.)
Then there are the actors who just think they are running the country, and who are predicting the future and telling us who to vote for, as the political experts of our generation. With their powers of clairvoyance they know that Mr Trump will end up restoring slavery, Mr Cruz will have unmarried women put into the workhouse and sell their unmarried babies on craigslist, Mr Sanders will invade Hungary with tanks and try to subdue Chechenya, and Mrs Clinton will be found dead naked from a drugs overdose (there are not a lot of historical female presidents to base her prediction on, so I am going with Marilyn Monroe instead). Luckily none of these actors will ever be president because they all know it is a much worse job than just being in films and modelling eveningwear, so we can all feel free to ignore them.
And then there are the alter-egos and multiple personalities of the candidates which also need considering. Most of them also have first name only identities, for instance, like Madonna and Prince. Mrs Clinton is also known as Hillary, when she wants to feel more friendly, affectionate and as if she might buy a box of buttons in Hobby Lobby and suddenly take up buttoncrafting. Mr Sanders is called Bernie, as if he were a grandpa in a cartoon strip, always walking around hitting people with his walking stick yet somehow you feel he is lovable underneath, as he is only a drawing after all. And Mr Trump has a very fancy first name with a prefix, like the landed gentry of old, but instead of VanDonald or Fitzdonald he is called The Donald, which I like to correct to the French as we don’t actually use an article for every noun in English. Mr Cruz however is never called Ted, because it doesn’t suit him at all. He is not at all a Winnie the Pooh figure in any way. Some people call him Voldemort, and you can see some resemblance in his facial features admittedly, but that name is copyrighted and anyway would be an unpopular choice among his supporters.
And finally we should remember that candidates often have side-kicks, who may or may not end up being vice presidents. Le Donald has Chrischristie, which sounds like a 1970s magician. Chrischristie was chosen as a security guard for Le Donald after he gave up also trying to be president, and after Le Donald’s brief experimental failure with Mrs Palin, a fledgeling minor reality TV star, whose daughter is a minor reality TV star. Chrischristie is a more successful side-kick because he talks less and is not yet a reality TV star. Hillary’s side-kick is Huma, the woman with the most humiliating husband in the world, which is something they have in common and have surely bonded over, as women who may or may not have secret personal lives, as well as their names both starting with H. Bernie, however, is a completely independent person who does everything himself without assistance on old-fashioned pieces of paper, and it is hard to imagine him with a vice-president at all. Whereas Mr Cruz apparently has no friends, but will certainly pay someone to be his running mate if need be.
So yes, things are bad. As Einstein said, “May you live in interesting times, and that’s a curse by the way, not a blessing.” And Einstein, as we know, was always right. It is a shame Einstein did not stand for president, but even if he had he would be dead by now and we would still be facing the destruction of America anyway, so that’s a positive thought. Also, as someone else said, “Interestingness doesn’t make you happy, but it’s nice to have something entertaining to watch while everything goes to hell.” So my advice is to adopt that approach to the election and remember before emigrating to Canada that the weather is really, really cold in the winter and on an everyday level, digging yourself out of six feet of snow every day for six months of the year probably affects your mental health more statistically than almost anything except an hour-long commute. Although, Canada did recently pick Justin Alain Delon circa 1962 for their president, the most photogenic president ever to exist. Surely his reality show will be very successful, even if does end up becoming an ultra-right-wing-nationalist like the original Alain Delon. I for one cannot wait to find out 🙂