Election 2012: What We Won’t Find In Iowa

By ANDREW FLYNN, Managing Editor

The events of Tuesday in Iowa will not mean a damn thing. To any of us.

We’d all like to think the caucus votes mean a great deal, but here’s at least one voice quashing your idealism, at least for these few hundred words. A bunch of career politicians have scoured the state for the last who-the-hell-really-knows-or-cares many years get ready to be either really disappointed or psychotically elated for at least one glimmering moment. And then 7,000 journalists, media outlets, bloggers, and other microphone-holding opportunists focus their glazed-over eyes onto this whole event.

News doesn’t mean shit anymore. Pay attention to a half-hour of any news program and tell me how much you actually came away with. My money’s on the result of “oh, not really anything at all.” But there’ll be a heaping amount of advertising, flashy graphics, and other visual varnish that attempts to obscure the fact that you really just sat through something that you could entirely do without.

This is where we are today in 2012. News has become infotainment, the important stuff barely sticks if at all amongst all the trivial and banal horseshit that it’s covered in. After all these months of political coverage and talking points bloviation, have you really learned anything about any of the people running for the Republican nomination? Besides how they feel about each other, anyways.

A fairly popular president who has accomplished a decent amount of things in the three years he’s held the office probably doesn’t have much to worry about. Even the fringe polls who say that he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Dante’s 9th Circle of Hell are unusually quiet. Yeah, the country is going in the wrong direction, and fast. But the world is too. And has been for 30 years now. Our natural tendencies are catching up with us. There’s not any one person or political party that can fix the whole thing, only patch it up on the backs of the coming generations.

Tuesday will come and go, and none of our lives will have changed at all. Many of us will watch hours of coverage on the cable news channels in a fleeting attempt to absorb history. Ask yourself if that’s what you’ll really be doing though. Of course we’re all living history every moment of the day, but it’s not going to be the kind of history that one can wax nostalgic on. At least The Daily Show will be good enough for some biting and appropriate satire.

And that’s my giving a damn.

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