The Elections Monster (12)


It seems like there should be a type of fairy that specializes in making people say things that they don't want to say. A malapropor: black-winged, bug-eyed, perpetually amused. If such a creature exists, I haven't found it in my research. Maybe it is out there now, spreading its curse from one candidate to the next.

The gaffes will decide it now. From Gary Johnson's "And what is Aleppo?" to Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" and Jill Stein's "dicks out for Harambe," the course this election takes will flow out of the mouths of the four candidates on the stage together ("stage" in the metaphorical sense, not on the debate stage next week, obvs). Donald Trump needs no one gaffe to define him, because he has turned the gaffe into a policy position.

But there are bigger, scarier monsters out on the campaign trail than malicious word-fairies.

There is no boogieman more frightening than Death. It is one out of four horsemen. Death is who people are afraid of when they see Hillary Clinton's feet dragging as she is hauled into an SUV, as if all the Weekend at Bernie's jokes they made about Bernie Sanders were being paid back. Unless her fainting spell makes people fear another rider—Pestilence, the horseman that will spread from Hillary to you and your brain, an infection that will lead you right back to the grave place where we started this paragraph.

So polls shift, and the heady days of certain victory become end-times. Here is the thing about polls: they react to things. If something bad happens to Clinton, her numbers will go down. Otherwise, she will be fine because Trump has a different relationship with polls. Unless something is wrong with the way people happen to feel about Clinton, Trump's numbers will always go down, or at least remain low. This is because something bad is always happening to Trump: himself. Or his kids.

Skittles sounds like a good name for the good fairy who made that happen.

[Top image: Titania and Bottom by Henry Fuseli [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Detail from The Apocalypse Tapestry [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

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