a bitter melon

Trumped up, turned down, outrun

So it is impossible to avoid Trump. Fine.

Emmet Rensin comments in Newsweek on the seeming apathy of young voters:

Newsweek -- Young minds in the era of american depravity (Oct 19, 2016)

The fact that a significant number of young Americans have refused to fall in line and respond with much enthusiasm during the final weeks of this presidential election has shocked and baffled the punditry. [...] The pundits wail: "Can’t they see this is a crisis? This isn’t a normal election. With so much on the line, what could they possibly be thinking?"

[Young voters] are told through a fog of historical amnesia that Trump is an affront to our whole history, unprecedented in his proposed abuses of power, an inexplicable stain upon a nation that has actually imprisoned candidates for political dissent, blown up pharmaceutical plants, sold weapons to fund a Nicaraguan extremist organization and seen its presidents intern citizens, criminalize journalism, authorize torture, overthrow democratic governments and drop atomic bombs on cities filled with civilians. Richard Nixon tried to firebomb the Brookings Institute, burgle the Democratic National Committee and purge Jews from the executive branch. Barack Obama has deported more people than any other president in history. But Trump—we’ve never seen anything like this before.

So, again; fine. Trump is just another in a long line of power-mad operators.

But even power-mad operators need to acknowledge the basic law of power: you cannot fake it. Power by its very nature is constantly challenged and examined in the harshest possible manner.

The only way an undisciplined glutton like Trump can satisfy his desire is by retreating into a power fantasy. In the process he denatures the things he desires: rather than actually owning the building, he owns the gaudy lettering; rather than actually being an effective executive, he plays one on television; rather than lead the Republic, he turns it into a gladiatorial spectacle.

Without compassion and sincerity -- without recognition of the reality of our shared humanity -- the desire to rule ultimately degrades and devalues those who are being ruled. What remains is a wretched despotism fit for slaves and sycophants. That kind of power only satisfies tin-pot dictators and tyrants.

Wall Street Journal -- Final Debate: Donald Trump Declines to Commit to Respecting Results if He Loses (Oct 20, 2016)

LAS VEGAS— Donald Trump refused Wednesday to commit to respecting the results of the presidential election if his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton wins, hinting at a challenge to one of the longtime traditions of American democracy.

The Washington Post -- Donald Trump’s astonishing, damaging refusal to accept the fundamental premise of American elections (Oct 19, 2016)

The only way democracy works is if you trust that democracy works. Voters need to feel as though their votes count and that the result is the actual will of the people. Otherwise, why participate? Majority rule works because people have faith that they can rally others to their cause. If people believe instead that elections are a sham and that the outcome is predetermined or at odds with what the majority actually wants, democracy collapses.

The New York Times -- Donald Trump’s Contempt for Democracy (Oct 19, 2016)

Donald Trump turned, in the third and final presidential debate, from insulting the intelligence of the American voter to insulting American democracy itself. He falsely insisted there were “millions of people” registered to participate in the election who did not have the right to vote and declared he would not commit to honoring the outcome.

Trump in his behavior and speech has shown that he believes everybody has a price. In doing so he has disgraced himself, his family, and his legacy. The American people must show that they are not for sale.