Robert Kirby: We elected a moron — we elected ourselves ~ The Salt Lake Tribune op/ed

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President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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I’m writing this on Tuesday, Election Day. It’s 10:36 in the morning. I imagine the polling places are filling up. How fortunate I am to not be going.

I already voted. A ballot was mailed to my home last month, and I was able to make my voice — carrying, as it does, all the democratic import of an underground gopher fart — heard from the comfort of my own home.

What? No, I’m not telling you who I voted for. That’s none of your business. I take the process of democracy very seriously. I’ll only say that I was deeply tempted to write in Kim Jong-un, Kanye West, or myself.

I’m writing this on Tuesday, Election Day. It’s 10:36 in the morning. I imagine the polling places are filling up. How fortunate I am to not be going.

I already voted. A ballot was mailed to my home last month, and I was able to make my voice — carrying, as it does, all the democratic import of an underground gopher fart — heard from the comfort of my own home.

What? No, I’m not telling you who I voted for. That’s none of your business. I take the process of democracy very seriously. I’ll only say that I was deeply tempted to write in Kim Jong-un, Kanye West, or myself.

Oh, please. The recent campaign has been nothing more than a drunken brawl in a sewer. I figure no matter who we elect, somebody is going to be angry enough to try to shoot the winner. Might as well be someone we won’t miss.

Even so, by the time anyone reads this, America will have a new president. What now?

That’s right, people. Life will go on. If your candidate lost, you can continue stockpiling weapons, damning Congress and wailing that “they’re coming to get us,” which hasn’t made a bit of sense since the first time I heard it in … I can’t remember.

If your candidate won, you can cheer and holler that America is finally in the hands of someone who truly has the country’s best interests at heart, someone who will eventually disappoint some portion of America that, ironically, just might include you.

Whichever camp you find yourself in today, three things are true.

First, the president will not follow through on many of her/his campaign promises. They were either full of themselves when they made these promises, or not smart enough to realize that they wouldn’t have the power keep them.

Second, it will be a long and arduous process when it comes to changing anything. Donald won’t immediately start building his fence, and Hillary won’t immediately give families free extra-smart preschool.

Third, and probably most important, the screaming and yelling will continue long after the election. Most Americans are so sick of the campaign blow-holing right now that they automatically turn the channel or “unfollow” someone whenever they sense they’re about to see another claim or argument.

Donald or Hillary, it won’t matter. Our lives will continue. This time four years from now, we’ll be better or worse off than we were, depending on who’s doing the counting and arguing.

A big part of this problem isn’t who we elect but rather how we go about it. While it’s nice that we have democracy, this past election makes me wonder if we deserve it anymore. Wars have been started with less vitriol than we’ve been forced to endure this year.

Maybe that’s why no matter who we elect, our lives don’t seem to improve. We still have poverty, racism, ignorance and growing taxes. It’s almost like we’ve been electing the same person over and over again. Ourselves.

That’s not good. To quote H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), “As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States…”

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.

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