The Election to End All Elections
100 years ago today, the world was at war. It started out innocuously enough, laughably even—the assassination of a leader whose name is forgotten to history. Yet that assassination changed the course of history, its fallout influencing our lives even to this day. The war, to those who lived through it, seemed like it would be the end of society as they knew it. In many ways, this election can be seen from the same perspective.
If you asked anyone not from America about the election, if you even mention something about funny hair or carrot-orange skin, they’ll probably first laugh, and then the question: “how did this happen?” Their face of comic disbelief says all, and reflects the incredulity of basically every country, even America itself (or half of it, at least), at the descent from business as usual into a political apocalypse. How could it have come to this?
However, if you take a closer look, you realise that our current predicament was inevitable. It’s been decades in the making. Years of mismanagement, corruption, greed, ignorance, delusion, and outright carelessness have culminated—more like spiralled—into where we stand today, and the leaders that be are only now realising their mistakes. Trump is not a self-made success, as much as he’d like to say otherwise. He is a success because of the decline of America, not the cause of it. Like all the great actors of history—good or bad—he is a skilled opportunist, seizing upon a moment where the circumstances for his rise were so ripe they could have been written in gold on Trump Tower.
There is no simple answer. There’s no easy conclusion about why, or what happens next. This moment in time is the election of our generation: the election to end all elections. If there’s nothing else we can be certain about, it’s that the American political system will never be the same again. The great divide between the average and the aristocrats, the separation of what’s considered ‘official’ and ‘honest’, have been smashed like the gates of the Bastille. No matter who wins, the true game has only just begun.
This is what I’ll be exploring in articles to come. I’ll strive to see above the constant clamour, speculation, and tabloid chatter to make observations. Observations not intended to shape opinions, but to provoke them. To inspire thought on a grander scale, on the full ramifications of what we’re living through while we’re living through it, regardless of who you plan to vote for. The soldiers of a century’s past had no way of knowing just what their war would lead to. However, they, like us, knew that they were living through something people would remember for a long time to come: something that might well change the world.