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Democracy as Mental Illness: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Cross 2020

It’s early November in the dark heart of my Rust Belt swing state and I am getting dangerously close to the end of a very short rope. Or maybe it’s a lit fuse. Attached to a dangerously explosive skull. Either way it’s burning and I find myself in desperate need of drugs. Hard drugs. Schedule IV narcotics. Name brand benzodiazepines. I’m talking Valium, Xanax, Halcion, Ativan, Klonopin, Rohypnal. The kind of Halloween candy they feed senator’s wives after they’ve learned about the fourth underage mistress. That’s the good stuff. That’s my poison. Two or three weirdly shaped elephant pills and I’m fucking sailing over mountains and valleys. To some corner of this fucked up country where that incessant swarm of super PAC fueled adds can’t fucking find me. That’s what I need now. Where the fuck did I put my pills? Take me away, Joey Ramone. I wanna be sedated.

I haven’t felt this unhinged and desperate for oblivion since the first weeks of the lockdown and that shit was kid stuff compared to the last weeks of the 2020 presidential abortion. The most important election of my life, I’m told. I’ve been sold that bill of goods every four years for the entirety of my short and painful life and it’s beginning to ring a bit hollow. Then again, there does seem to be something extra special about this years campaign season. It’s never felt more unhinged. Both sides have adopted the tactics of the Manson Family to get their chosen mentally depraved scion of scumfuckery in the White House. Scrawling their names in blood across suburban doorways with subtle threats to take back America and make it heinous again. I’m starting to believe them. I can feel the fear and loathing closing in.

This post isn’t about the election. It isn’t about Biden or Trump. By the time you read this, one of those two rapidly disintegrating conmen will likely be our president-elect and I could honestly give five fucks and hardy shit which one it is. They’re two different flavors of the same goddamn hand grenade. Cram either one in your mouth and your skull won’t know the difference. No dearest motherfuckers, this is a post about America’s national mental illness, election fatigue. Some fancy fuckers in white lab coats on cable news call it Election Stress Disorder, and ain’t that just swell. Another clever word salad for the next installation of the DSM. America is supposedly the freest country on earth and voting is supposedly our most sacred right. Then how did this right become a mental illness? And how many sticks of Xanax do I have to down with Two-Buck-Chuck to make it go away? Four? Five? Better double it and chase it down with a shot of Robitussin.

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t need this shit. I have enough mental illness’ to fucking deal with. Depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, PTSD, gender dysphoria, and all that shit is on top of Chronic Lyme Disease and the numerous Cronenbergian digestive disorders caused by the mountains of antibiotics I shoveled down in a failed attempt to murder that fucking sickness. Long story short, I’m already fucking crazy. I make Ted Kaczynski look well adjusted. I write about war crimes and state sponsored terrorism to get away from that shit. But 2020 has been stalking my dearly demented ass with three nails and a crucifix since 2019.

That’s when the hopped up circus known as the Democratic National Primary began. A bottomless clown car of virtue signaling wokesters aping like Greta Thunberg on molly while downing five hundred dollar schnapps at Wall Street wine caves. They had one of everything, all vying to be first something. First woman. First Latino. First gay man. First albino epileptic to take it up the ass for the Great Satan and sell their tribe down the river with the manure of industrial grade tokenism. So many awful things to choose from. The only half descent choices were shoved to the back of the shelf like last years fruit cake. Mike Gravel was probably the only candidate running not guaranteed a seat in hell and this is probably the first time most have you have even heard about his campaign. The only sane candidate with half a chance was Tulsi Gabbard. She earned herself the honor of being slimed by every arsenic cupcake from Hillary to Joy Reid by committing treason and running a campaign McGovern might actually recognize. A Democrat who wants to get along with Russia? Well, if that ain’t fascism clearly everything else already is.

The real campaign though, the one the DNC and their friends with benefits in cable news could agree to conspire on, was how the fuck do we keep Bernie out of the White House? I could live to be a thousand and I will still never fucking understand this. In spite of his democratic socialist pose, Bernie is the most milquetoast manipulatable leftist chickenhawk since those cunts who fed Red Rosa to the Freikorps. The motherfucker has almost religiously voted for every major Democratic bill, including the fucking wars, and still managed to hang on to a shred of lefty street cred. He’s perfect for the late capitalist era of this sick countries dying empire. I mean, a socialist shoveling American greatness down the Third World’s throat in the name of humanitarian interventionism? That shit is genius. Rumsfeld must have been kicking himself. Even late into 2019 and early into 2020 that crusty old soup jockey and his Squad of multi-culti Manson girls looked like shoe-in’s to write a hip new chapter in American imperialism. It was heady shit, but not enough to convince the old guard.

Every news station from here to Algiers either blackballed Bernie as an unrealistic radical gadfly or just straight up refused to cover his existence. Even when he was winning state after state after goddamn state, the talking heads would only mumble his name beneath their breaths like the adults on a Peanuts cartoon on Quaaludes, before becoming excitable yipping Shih Tzu’s once it was time to announce which token minority flavor of the month Wall Street chose to shove money in this week. Eventually those lazy fucks just chose to fall back on that comfortable place for monsters to relax and breath known as neoliberalism with Joe Biden, gods favorite dunce. And with a little elbow grease they pushed his mummified old corpse down America’s throat. Bernie did what he does best and gleefully thanked his rapists for the dazzling evening of Last House on the Left-grade shenanigans before ordering his unruly groupies to shut the fuck up and take a seat.

The one absolutely phenomenal thing about this year’s soul battering election season is the blatantly one sided treatment of Old Joe. For once in their putrid existence, those neocon shock jocks on talk radio and Fox News are excruciatingly correct about the so-called liberal media. They have fallen lock, stock, and barrel behind Biden like North Korean Soldiers serving their dear leader. It’s as if they all took a secret vote and decided that this year they weren’t even going to play objective journalists for Halloween. Donald Trump was just too much of a threat, but a threat to what exactly? When you look at Biden and Trump on paper they are virtually identical. Mirror images of uncut white supremacy. Even their sex crimes were similar enough to be plausibly committed by the same creature. Donald Trump and Joe Biden are both grabby, racist, corporate shills with staggering body counts. If anything, Biden is further to the right, criticizing our War Criminal In Chief for not dancing naked on the graves of more brown children. But Biden can sell the dance, even in the throws of late stage dementia, he can strike a pose like Reagan and read his lines off the cue card. Trump is just simply too erratic, and quite frankly, too gross.

So what was the point of all this insanity if we just end up with a slightly different flavor of war criminal? What is the point of turning this sick joke into a seizure inducing mental illness that has driven that shining city on the hill to the edge of a cliff and dared us all to jump. If they really wanted to create the elaborate illusion of a functioning democracy they could have just as easily let Bernie win with the same long term results. But maybe that’s just it. Maybe democracy is the true target here. I’ve long held the sneaking suspicion that the primary mission behind the public school system is to turn kids off of the dangers of actual education. Send in a five year old beam of light into that mediocrity machine and by 3:00 PM she’ll never read another book again without a loaded gun to her head. Maybe “American Democracy” is the same sick game of aversion therapy. Turn the very notion of an election into a glorified colonoscopy and they’ll beg for fascism on bended knee.

Six sticks and a fifth deep and I think its working. I’ve finally learned to love Big Brother. Bring on the wars, dearest motherfuckers. I’m ready to party.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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