The current presidential campaign is not about facts, but you know that. If you are a student of American history, you also know that there never has been an election based on facts. They have always been about money. That might not be a surprise, either. But ever since the 1960 campaign, when John F. Kennedy ran with his brilliant smile and wavy hair, elections have been about a second factor: archetypes.
Kennedy was a Hero archetype with a war story (PT 109) and a vision for the future in which he would “get the country moving again.” Sadly, this archetype combined with the Martyr archetype, and now he is idolized as the last great statesman of the old order and the first media-savvy politician of the new one. The blood sacrifice and religious ritual that accompanied that weekend in November, 1963 made Kennedy and the Kingdom of Camelot as eternal as the flame at his grave in Arlington.
This election is no different. There are archetypes at work. The first one is Barack Obama, who symbolizes the Savior and Enlightened One archetypes. In 2008 he was the Savior who would deliver the final blow to the old world order, which was reeling like a boxer in a Joyce Carol Oates novel. The San Francisco Examiner, in its inimitably Orwellian style, declared that he was so above the rest of us that only the unenlightened and racist elements would oppose him.
The reality has been far different, and he has disappointed many, if not most, appearances on late night television notwithstanding. Still, some clutch the archetype ideal to their breast, claiming that the Savior is a victim of evildoers and that his work has been thwarted by Reagan-Bush-Cheney capitalists, which are another archetype: Daddy Warbucks. Wall Street bankers have replaced industrialists in the collective unconscious.
Another archetype is Hillary Clinton, who, in the persona of a soccer mom, is everyone’s Mother. She will safeguard the public trust and protect our freedom, except that the facts do not bear that out. After distancing herself from her son, the Savior, she will embrace him in the campaign. This, despite being part of an administration that has suspended habeas corpus, prosecuted a global drone campaign that has killed thousands of innocent people, targeted non-favored political groups through Lois Lerner’s IRS, and failed to prosecute any high-level executive on Wall Street for the 2008-09 financial crisis. So much for “legacy.”
You might ask why there have been no prosecutions of Wall Street executives, but “Brand Obama,” as Chris Hedges calls him, has benefited more than any Republican from Daddy Warbucks’ donations. So has Clinton. Add her support of Common Core, abortion, and international trade agreements being worked out in secret by corporate attorneys, and it’s easy to see that Brand Obama will be replaced by Brand Clinton. But, hey, Hillary is making “history.”
Donald Trump is the Trickster (Trumpster) archetype, which makes him clever, quirky, and completely unreliable. He will say things just to get a rise out of people and makes fun of everyone. He is like the Chinese astrological monkey that way. He is a showman in seersucker, the domestic equivalent of Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister and media mogul, who exhibited little self-discipline and an embarrassing need for attention. He was also not above tabloid scandals.
Recently, I watched a YouTube interview of people on the street in Germany. The interviewer asked what they thought of Donald Trump. All had negative views and some ridiculed him. One compared him to Hitler. Now, I had expected to hear intelligent reasons for rejecting Trump. Everyone complains about American news being narrow and entertainment-focused, not serious. Here was a chance to hear what the self-styled leaders of Europe thought, people whose culture produced Beethoven and Goethe.
Unfortunately, they repeated the same things you hear from people over here–with the same word-worn phrases–which tells me that the propaganda machine of the New World Order has been highly effective (e.g., The New York Times, CNN, Yahoo! News, Rupert Murdock). They are all so blatantly biased that it is an insult to the public’s intelligence. But The Art of the Deal is not Mein Kampf and to claim otherwise is simply to add fuel to the ideological fires burning everywhere.
So, where does this leave us for the 2016 election? Not in a good place, I am afraid. I would rather deal with facts, not archetypes. Less hyperbole, more serious discussion. And, please, get rid of the focus groups. I know many people feel the same way. But the marketing experts and established interests on both ends of the political spectrum are not about to let that happen. We now choose candidates the way we choose toothpaste. That is no mistake.
But if the Trickster and the Prophet archetype, Bernie Sanders, could ever get together, uniting feelings of discontent and betrayal with the desire for grass-roots change for the people–Everyman–that would be a movement to believe in. That would be something worth fighting for.
Consider this a call for disorder.