So, millions and millions of people play the lottery every week in America.
And that's local lotteries, not even the big-ass mega/multi/super/über lotteries that whip people into a puff-peaked meringue at the chance to win hundreds, thousands, millions, hell -- sometimes hundreds of millions of semolians. For that lottery people stand in line with ticket in trembling hand at candy stores and newsstands and make everyone standing behind them wait to buy cigarettes, nail clippers or lube (or all three. Hey -- a party's a party.) and who roll their eyes at the folly of such would-be wannabe plutocrats (while doing mental calculations deciding what they would do if they ever won that bounty).
And the odds of anyone hitting the jackpot are well-known, something in the area of 1 in 14,000,000. Steep, nigh on impossible odds. But I -- I mean, people -- continue to line up and smoke their pipe dreams in public (which I'm pretty sure is illegal in most states).
Kind of like what's happening to our electoral system, thanks to that delightfully un-democratic law known as Citizen's United.
Because of the UNLIMITED semolians being siphoned down right-wing sluices into the coffers of Tea Party/bat-shit-loony/Christian Nation/Flat Earther/Birthers (or, more simply, The GOP) the odds of there ever being a fair election have also become somewhat slim.
And so, those well-meaning pipe dreamers in Wisconsin and beyond who are not so much voting for a candidate as they are voting in the 14,000,000 to 1 hope that they, too, become millionaires and can then live the lives they blow into the air like so much exhaust from a lottery ticket-filled hookah of hooey, while the recipients of their votes are the real winners: Which lucky billionaire gets to manipulate the herd of desperate dreamers?
In state after state, voting is being suppressed by those big, big, big monied fellers, voters are being purged, lies are being pumped into the air and water like so much arsenic. And the peeps, ever trusting, ever dreaming, are falling for the scam.
But beating the odds is what America's all about! It's where a guy who's raised in a log cabin and without formal schooling can grow up to save the Union (what?) and abolish slavery (WHAT?) and become the most revered name in the American story.
The sad part is, with so much hanging in the balance (i.e., the choice between an admittedly imperfect democracy which still endeavors to serve the needs of a diverse mass versus a retrograde quasi-Christian quasi-conservative corporatocracy which rewards privilege and ignorance) the time for considering anything other than the election of Obama to a second term is not now. As in all things, the solution to the multitudinous problems effecting our country lay somewhere in the middle; those problems requiring the patience and analysis of a moderate mentality, rather than an extreme one.
But for obvious reasons, the far right has labored -- successfully -- to marginalize this middle/moderate solution, virtually assuring its own dominance. And it's not just in the balls-out effort by the right to make voting a total scam.
The flaw in, say, austerity, is that it's success is predicated on the relative exactitude of math rather than the shifting, liquid imperfection of people's lives. A nation is not a budget, no matter how much ideologues want it to be so. That is why the idea of a strict traditionalist interpretation of the Constitution is as faulty in practice as a strict and rigid adherence to the Bible -- it simply is not applicable in modern society.
Further, the far right ideologue that passes for "conservative" these days seems incapable of comprehending the needs of actual living, breathing people and therefore prefers to bestow human attributes to corporate entities, puts total faith in mathematic-based outcomes and vows allegiance to antiquated belief systems, all the while engaging in behavior that stacks the deck against any "rival". If you have to lie, cheat, steal, obstruct and bully to get your point across, it must not be a point capable of surviving on its own merits.
The right loves to boil things down to black and white, two plus two. Along the way they dress these simplistic memes up in provocative clothing, pushing buttons that needn't be pushed, mixing tangy lies with bland truths. They invoke hoary tradition and infuse it with paranoia, creating a distracting spectacle that only approximates Democracy, and the people, ever hopeful for a bigger piece of a diminishing pie, buy a ticket.
Because, after all: America's the land of opportunity. Even at 14,000,000 to 1 odds.