American politics: The greatest show on earth

Oh, my gosh, I just heard that the United States is on the edge of its own ruin. Never has the future looked so grim.

It is said that our fate lies in the hands of presidential nominees, Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. Donald will save us from Crooked Hillary. Hillary will save us from Slanderous Donald.

This is the weirdest run for the presidency we’ve ever seen, and we ought to enjoy it while it lasts. I laugh out loud every time I hear journalists overthink Trump’s latest bloopers and how his sympathizers try to restate his carelessly chosen words.

I laugh when Trump, far from the finish line, makes excuses for losing and when he tells church leaders to urge their flocks to vote for him. I’m giggling as I write.

I crack up when Mrs. Clinton gives her freshest renditions of twisted explanations for unacceptable decisions that she says were unintentional and harmless when she says “God bless America.”

What a circus. She tells us to question Trump’s mental fitness, while she makes voters equally nervous about her own ethics and state of mind.

I ran comparisons with previous years to see how freaked out I should be. The first observation was that media outlets favoring President Obama have announced for months that he has presided over an America that is more racially and politically divided than before. Even some former fans say he has done nothing to improve life for the black community and that he has been a disaster for foreign relations.

Under his leadership, terror has flourished overseas as well as in America. Our citizens brace for a life in which terror attacks are expected, the way black slaves did during long years on the plantation.

Before Obama, we had the poorly planned attack on Iraq under George W. Bush’s watch. Even if you think the attack was appropriate — and my family did participate — the mission failed to anticipate the astounding aftermath. Iraq imploded when its tyrant was removed. The people turned against one other. The administration said it technically wasn’t civil war. Radical Islamic terror skyrocketed.

So did our national debt — by trillions of dollars in the name of exporting democracy. Money that was committed to debatable military operations is still unavailable for dealing with our domestic problems. Bush admirers kept saying, “Thank you, Mr. President, for making our country safer.”

Each time Bush and Obama were up for re-election, supporters on both sides kept saying we were in the most important election ever, our destiny was in the balance, we would no longer be the light of the world if voters made the wrong choice.

I heard the same claims when Bill Clinton ran for his two terms in the White House. I heard it when George H. Bush ran. The sky is falling! Run and tell the king!

When I was a child, my parents, who I think were Democrats, told me politicians say the same things every year, in slightly different terminology:

“It’s time for change!” “It’s time to put politics aside!” “The American people aren’t dumb. They know lies when they hear them.”

Citizens respond with roaring applause. So let’s admit it — we’re dumb, rude and self-righteous. We aren’t willing to turn off the mudslinging or to put politics aside. We are the Washington gridlock we complain about.

I don’t even care. I’m loving the show.

Most Americans will vote for Crooked Hillary or Slanderous Trump because we are on the brink of destruction and, just to prove we are, some celebrities are threatening to move out of the country if Clinton doesn’t win.

I’m going to miss this show when it’s over.

Max T. Russell of New Palestine writes for the international business intelligence and nonprofit communities. Send comments to