Two and a half more months of content-free campaign ads for state and local offices.
Two and a half more months of spin, hyperbole and outright falsehoods from national campaigns and the Super Pacs that support them.
Two and a half more months of voters being addressed as if we are idiots–and two and a half more months during which large numbers of voters behave as if they are–filling the comments sections of blogs with invective, treating complicated issues as if they are simple and obvious, and displaying racism, homophobia and anti-immigrant bigotries.
Elections, as political philosophers remind us, are a sign of human progress, a civilized substitute for warfare and other uses of force to settle our differences. Looked at in that light, perhaps the “dirty tricks,” the inane debates, the “win at all costs” behaviors are understandable, if unattractive.
Maybe we should just learn to live with the reality that elections aren’t really about ideas and competing policies, but more like sporting events where crowds root for those they’ve identified as their “team,” irrespective of the merits and sportsmanship of that team’s players. Maybe we should learn to accept that civilization is just a veneer, that reasoned argumentation based upon evidence and verification is still beyond us.
Maybe we should just accept that we’re not there yet.