The sheer absurdity of the spectacle of the modern electoral process is nowhere more apparent than in the American presidential race.
Just like the Olympic games, every four years the presidential election comes around to distract and entertain the masses, and, just like the Olympic games, the proceedings are accompanied by much pomp, ceremony and pageantry and almost nothing at all of substance. The three-ring circus that is the race for the White House plays itself out with a tawdry predictability: the primaries energize the party base and introduce the key themes for the election cycle. Immediately, these are reduced in media coverage of the debates to memes, vague concepts and one-word appeals to the lowest common intellectual denominator: economy, jobs, defense, welfare. By the time the left-right farce of the two-way debates gets underway, any pretence that there are actual issues at stake have been brushed aside. It is no longer about politics, but vacuous slogans: “Hope and Change” vs. “Country First.” “Forward” vs. “Believe in America.” It might as well be red vs. blue, Coke vs. Pepsi, or fork vs. spoon.
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