"How long, O Lord . . . How long? Where will it end? The only possible way out of this wretched campaign is the ever-increasing liklihood that it will cause the Democratic Party to self-destruct." - Doctor H. S. Thompson; Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, '72; quoted from Generation of Swine
Dear Friends: The Good Doctor called it, as only he could, straight to the bone and forty-five years a priori, or if preferred of his tastes, forty-five years aged in hardest oak, prescriptions ahead of schedule and lined with guts, the genius literary gambler. It took a brute force of nature in an age of conscious (and constant) chemical enlightenment to endure. Between perpetual inebriation and perpetual hangover, inebriation. A rare performance indeed.
Would we have paid the price to gig along with the good Doctor and his hideous troupe of traveling side-kicks? Only if as advertised: the weekends in Vegas, the long-strange trips on trails of doom, the breakneck deadlines driven over hellish schedules, that satchel to be damned with the bats. And it's the bats that are hitchhiking the ride these days, swooping-in zig-zags and flashes of black light from places unknown, no longer even bothering to dress the part. Theirs was a cheap act anyway, always as advertised: caveat emptor.
No, good Sirs. I'd pay for the full ride, no cheap escapes here. Under the savage guidance of the good Doctor and the viciously altered ego of Raoul Duke and the sage-savage advice of the legal-genius Dr. Gonzo, ill as he was, by the end, maybe I'd be the better for The Story today. Maybe. For if they preached perseverance, to weed out any weakness of the heart, I imagine, they'd give up to this pit-chorus. Talent is the only height requirement, they'd say. And a flagon of good whiskey. And that satchel-full of drugs. They liked their drugs, with a serious perseverance.
Certainly a fine idea at the time. Everybody was cool with it, even the uncool with it, which made it hip to all the possibilities of vicarious living within that diverse community of drugs. All were allowed. And when they ran out, break out the good stuff. It took a village, and rainy days were never seldom, and when it finally got down to snowing in Colorado, it was always the good stuff. If you kept your wits, you got The Story.
We're all the better for it now, to be but the benign symptoms of that malignant disease. Coherence was an unnecessary liability in times of swine. Doctors of Journalism took the ride and came out alive, until their very last statement. Maybe the doomed do speak best for the doomed, and the good Doctor may have agreed. He was keen for the sentimental type, would've had his attorney draw up the agreements. He played his cards openly, and all bets were on.
And I'd have anted up to put down that bet with him, just once. Maybe I'd understand the game better today. Maybe. Then again, what's to understand? Stand your ground or take the ride. Only the doomed need not apply.
The doomed indeed. Those polls came in and were proven irrelevant. The winners won, the losers lost, a Socialist from Vermont collected the vigorish. And somehow avoided all suspicion, even if we knew better than to trust their ilk. They only want to spend your money. And would doom us all. It's the Socialists today who live by Nixon's words of yesterday: "Fuck the doomed."
I loathe that digress, for the profane has no place, yet find it necessary in an age of no hope for the bleating: Socialists would do that to us all. No amount of wool can warm those hearts, nor keep their disguise.
So Hope & Gloating on the Campaign Trail '20 begins with Hope on our side, Bloating on theirs, and an early campaign stop for our President to celebrate his First 100 Days where it all began, Pennsylvania, the State that put him over the top and hammered the nail in their coffin. And the watch is on as they dig deeper and deeper to their core, bloated indeed. Their constituency remains The Walking Dead, and they don't vote. No need to, when the brains are for free.
And The Train, O That Train, it pulls freely back onto The Trail, and we're reminded of that Chinese Proverb: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is today.
Or a Saturday night in Pennsylvania. Embraced with open arms. The current President is stronger than the last, works magnitudes faster and better and harder at all times day or night, and Vegas has placed the inside odds at 16 hours/day vs. 8 hours/week, but not for The Trail. Hard odds there. Tough to beat that run from 2004 through 2012, with that brief interlude in the fall of 2016.
And to count him out would be grave. The Rumors have him campaigning to run in 2020, and we believe it, given the war chest he's amassing at $32.5 Mil/book and $400K/hour. He's learned from the "mistakes" of the Clinton Foundation, and he was a capitalist all along. (Note: Emphasis is made by all involved that he's only campaigning to run, at 32.5 Mil and 400K.)
But he would be tough to beat. He couldn't run a D.C. shoe store, but when it came to The Trail, he ran on it like water. And now he's mad as Hillary that she lost, no longer even denying that he had the parachute-in-waiting for Joe, but Joe wouldn't bite. Maybe Joe knew better. We know they'll always wonder about that Biden/Sanders ticket to ride.
So allow the campaigns to begin! said the man, and if on the other side, abandon all hope if you enter. The people have spoken. Politics is blood-sport, and only strength and endurance survive. And money. It's always been about the money. What else is there? they say. Only the doomed need not apply.
And so your humble narrator concludes this chronicle of 100 Days with a head full of hope and a heart beating red. The time has come for us all, and time must be taken to contemplate the story at large, with a solid ear to the ground-swell that is America in the year of our Lord, 2017, and an ever-present eye for The Fine Line.
Respectfully submitted, and to be continued...
THD; May 2, 2017
With all and every due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, Doctor of Journalism. I once knew what the S. stood for. I've since forgotten. Remembering would not have been his style.