It occurred to me last night as we discussed American politics … once in office whoever wins has no real power. The parade is already in motion, its destination determined by other, more powerful forces. Politicians are nothing but baton twirlers. (Think of the scene in the movie Animal House where the lead baton twirler in the parade is bumped aside and replaced. That is a nice metaphor for our presidential elections.)
If the Democrats need a sheepdog to keep them in the game, this year Bernie Sanders, then why not the Republicans too? The slate of candidates is comprised of dull, witless automatons, one of whom will take on the role of leader. None inspire enthusiasm or confidence, but they are all we get.
Sanders and Trump inspire crowds, keep people in the game. They are both sheepdogs.
Why could I not see this before? I think I suffered from the illusion that the Republican base, even though like Democrats dumb as a kettle of fish, did not need revving up to stay in the game. But of course they do!
Election outcomes do not matter, but the fact that we have elections does. That is the key – so long as we believe we have democratic rule the state of the union is solid. Our fake republic stands.