The Kabuki Silence

This is the strangest election I can ever remember (and I’ve seen some doozies).

There is a silence that’s unnatural, like everyone I know is holding their breath – or in hiding.

hopper chairsElections tend to bring out the best and the worst in us citizen-spectators. The issues are, after all, about our lives – aren’t they? So while the candidates debate on TV, my opinionated friends usually carry on a debate of their own, offering sometimes-crackpot solutions and spending a lot of energy translating the national conversation into a ground-level discussion of how it really affects our lives.

I’m hearing very little of that this time around. There’s certainly plenty of ‘The other candidate is a threat to civilization’ or ‘the biggest crook in history’ but very little about the issues. Remember issues? That’s the part of the election that’s supposed to translate down to our lives. You’d expect us to be full of opinions there. But no…

In my head, I keep hearing the old line from Penny Lane: ‘and though she feels as if she’s in a play, she is anyway.’

It feels – to me, anyway – like the only people who are genuinely excited about these candidates are people I don’t necessarily want to know too well. Like the rest of us have decided we’ll do our duty and vote but that we really don’t have any real belief anything meaningful in our lives will change.

The whole thing feels like a kabuki show, a ritual that drones on according to it’s own rules long after they’ve lost their meaning, actors costumed according to traditions that have long since died, singing songs of whose meaning we retain only the vaguest of memories.


About ted krever

Ted Krever watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, went to Woodstock (the good one), and graduated Sarah Lawrence College with a useless degree in creative writing. He spent the next few decades in media journalism, at ABC News on the magazine show Day One with Forrest Sawyer and the Barbara Walters Interviews of a Lifetime series, as General Manager of BNNtv, a documentary production company, creating programs for CNN, A&E, Court TV, CBS, MTV News, Discovery People and CBS/48 Hours, and as VP/Production of a short-lived dotcom, followed swiftly by nine months of unemployment. Ted now writes novels and sells mattresses in Staten Island NY, a job which registers at a loathsome -98 on the Cosmopolitan Eligible Male Job-Status Guide. Ted is happily divorced, purports to be a good kisser and hopes for world peace. He was once accused of attempting to blow up Ethel Kennedy with a Super-8 projector.


The Kabuki Silence — 1 Comment

  1. I respectfully differ with you, I think……… Trump has taken hostage the profit motive of all media, so the silence from the Democrats is what happens when a blustering idiot and his side show capture the viewing/reading attention of a lot of people. I might be missing your point, but while those Sanders supporters who have agreed they must vote for Clinton, doing so because of that monstrosity opposing her, are not enthusiastic as the were for Bernie, there are a lot of people genuinely supporting Clinton, and an excitement about the possibility of a woman President….I was very pleased to see Clinton propose attention to what we are seeing with the epipen, taking on in essence a Democratic Senator as W Va’s Sen Manchin is father to the CEO of Mylan Pharm…………….If you are saying there is no discussion, i.e. a silence, on issues, in that there really is no exchange of policies as we did hear with McCain/Romney with Obama, that I think speaks to what is basically a campaign with insults and dramatic threats, but with no substance……..Clinton can try to match the loud sounds of Trump, but most analysts have advised her to remain focusing on issues, not becoming a Democratic Trump…………how that will play out in the debates, if he participates, is a problem they are considering since his only modus operandi in answering policy questions is to bring his opponents into the gutter with him.

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