Election 2020: Voting for a government

Sounds strange doesn’t it, “voting for a government.” And yet this was precisely the prescription offered up via FaceTime this evening by my Parisian friend, Michel:

Me: Did you see the debate, yesterday?

Michel: For a while, yes, until I turned my computer off to walk Gregoire (French bulldog).

Me: What did you think from what you saw?

Michel: I think Americans need to make up their mind and end this silliness. You know in France we are very concerned as to the direction America is taking. America is failing on so many levels, it’s breathtaking to watch. Not that we’re so hot, but this stuff is crazy.

Me: Can you explain?

Michel: Well, I would say America needs to grow up. You know you act the ingenue game, flirt with this, flirt with that, acting the ‘innocent.’ But another side of you is waking up, “recouvrir,” and looking in the mirror. But not stopping long enough to really see who you are and where you came from. It was revealing that Biden during the debate had no where to look but straight into the camera.

Me: If you had to take odds, who do you think will win?

Michel: That’s not the odds I want to take. ‘Cause I am pretty sure most voters don’t know who they are voting for. And the way you run your elections…it’s crazy.

Me (incredulous): What are you saying?

Michel: I think this election… America for really the first time is not voting for a President but is voting for a government.

Me: Please explain.

Michel: America in 2020 reminds me of France after World War II. Remember that post De Gaulle we had a succession of governments? France was literally on the ropes. We needed to move past De Gaulle, the man, the icon, in order to align ourselves with a government that could work. So we forgot the MAN, the cult of personality, and voted for THE government. Somehow it worked out for us. We were ridiculed by the world for being unstable: “not another Republic!” Ridiculed by America, I might add.

Me: I lost you. How do you vote for a government when there are names on the ballot?

Michel: It’s in the imagination. Look, everyone knows Trump is a cookie cutter version of a fascist. Yes, he’s not alone, so what makes America cringe at calling one of their own, a fascist? Not the polite thing to do? Exactly! I say look in the mirror and grow up! America is not so special. There are fascists in America. And Trump’s rhetoric is emboldening them.

Me: I get the mirror part… but how does one vote for a government?

Michel: Think about it. I have to walk Gregoire. Talk again?

October 1, 2020



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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.