Wednesday, 05 October 2016 11:45

U.S. election is theatrics of the grandest and scariest scale

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Remember when you were in school (post-secondary or otherwise) and there were those classmates who never shut up and just wanted to talk to draw attention to themselves? Welcome to the United States election.

If the U.S. election has taught North America one thing, it’s that having quality candidates doesn’t matter. What does matter is having no conscience, being smart business-wise, being driven for glory, making the most noise and getting the most attention.
It’s important to have smart handlers who will prop you up, make sure you say all the right things about the agenda you have and you’re set. Make no mistake, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are intelligent, ambitious people who know what they want and how to get it. Becoming president is the ultimate in vanity for people such as them who think they are smarter than everyone else.
Cynical perhaps, but neither have done anything to suggest this is nothing more than an ego trip.
Remember how the success for Trump’s campaign started? It has been years in the making. Trump was some rich guy who got lucky in real estate and casinos. A guy with a bad, yet marketable head of hair, shot his mouth off to the media, got his own TV show and then shot his mouth off again making the outrageous claim the U.S. should build a wall between it and Mexico.
They were absurd claims comment on by many people, but it created interest. Trump drew them in and he was on his way.
Like a friend told me, Trump has effectively awoken political  interest in part of an alienated electorate which could care less for politics. Trump was on their television sets with a TV show getting  a lot of media coverage, especially entertainment wise. He made comments about racism, employment (immigrants taking their jobs), and drugs and crime crossing the borders, “destroying all that it is American apple pie.”
He has pushed it to the limit. Sadly, social media is a big reason for his success. Social media is a big part of our lives yet it’s extremely difficult to police. Thankfully, law enforcement are trying their best to police terrorists, those on line predators, etc. but the amount of hate and vitriol which can be spewed is nothing short of alarming.
It’s also entertaining. We love it. We can’t get enough of what is Clinton going to say about Trump and vice versa. We apply all of the most hateful things we feel about strong-willed women and successful overly confident men and spew them everytime they are on TV or the latest “gotcha” videos come up on the Internet.
It’s like professional wrestling, only in jump suits and manicured hair. The sad thing is, this isn’t scripted sports entertainment or television show. These affects regular Americans. If they play these characters on this stage, how are they supposed to have any semblance of reality?
Is this what politics has come to? Political commentators Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, This Hour as 22 Minutes, and Rick Mercer have blurred the lines of politics and entertainment — it’s a certainty some people will get confused.
 In Canada, Justin Trudeau is marketable because he has inherited his father suave charm. He knows when and where to be so he will get the most bang for his “media-coverage buck” and  when to show “genuine” emotion. Like Trump, Trudeau got attention with an outrageous event as he took part in the 2012 infamous boxing match with senator Patrick Brazeau in order to raise money for cancer research. Really? Two politicians pounding on each other? Really? Telling celebrities to try to make money in urban America?
We’re all looking for that quick hit. That instant rush. Nothing satisfies us now unless we’re pushed to that limit.
That’s what this election is about: who is the least worst choice? Issues, what issues?
Look at the health issues Clinton has? What about Trump’s university? What about Trump’s underhanded and greedy business dealings? The ex-wives? Clinton’s husband’s ex-lovers? Trump is trying to parade out those ex-lovers, Hillary’s bad health, and her mysterious emails where she was allegedly sending classified information through private email and other indiscretions and was under Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny.
Good news in all of this U.S. election: Saturday Night Live is rolling out Kate McKinnon as Clinton and Alec Baldwin as Trump making this the easiest set of sketches they will ever have to write.
Well, thank goodness for that.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor