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Commentary: A Front Row Seat to America's Freak Show

Is it November 8 yet?


On the Planet Tralfamador Americans are tuning into presidential debates that are enlightening, illuminating and helpful to voters.  There, on the other side of the galaxy, Americans are watching ads on TV and social media that are professionally and substantively addressing the issues that separate the candidates. There Americans are turning out to vote in record numbers in a national show of civic pride and duty.



On the Planet Earth Americans are being involuntarily plunged into a political cesspool without historical precedent.  They are cowering in suspicion and uncertainty as they await the inevitable new revelations about both presidential candidates.  Many voters will stay home.  Many who do vote will be voting in anger or defiance or resignation or desperation.

As the late and greatly missed comic George Carlin said: “When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show.  When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”


And if you live in Missouri, the front row seat entitles you to perform in the show.  Our no-limit campaign finance law is attracting dollars from as far away as the Planet Tralfamador – no, that is one of the few things that would be illegal about campaign finance in Missouri – and this money is being spent like there is no November 9, which, for candidates, there actually is not.  I mean, you’re nuts if you still have money in your campaign fund after the campaign ends.  John Kerry had $15 million left over after his 2004 presidential campaign, which he lost by a hair.  Just sayin’.  But I digress.


The local state senate race could be one of the most expensive in the country.  Money is pouring into statewide races as well.  The Missouri governor’s race is currently the most expensive in the country with $27 million spent on ads – so far.

Senator Blunt’s campaign is really fascinating.  He is doing calculations worthy of a nuclear physicist.  His equations have hundreds of thousands of variables.  They are called Donald Trump voters.  Blunt figures Trump will carry Missouri and wants them to stay in the voting booth long enough to move three inches down the ballot and vote for the next Republican: him.

But what if they stay in that booth and vote for Jason Kander and other Democrats?  What if they are Republicans who do not support Trump and want to make a statement about their disaffection?


What I really think Blunt wants is for Chief Wanna Dubie to have won the Democratic Senate primary back in August.  Then he would not have to do all this advanced math.


A guy named Chief Wanna Dubie running for the United States Senate in Missouri.  He actually got 30 thousand votes, almost ten percent of the total.  As the comedian Yakov Smirnoff used to say: “Ah, America.  What a country.”



Daniela Vidal is studying radio reporting at the University of Missouri. She worked at a freedom of the press organization this summer in Bogota, Colombia.
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