Election 2016

A Walt Whitman Poem for Election 2016

...good or ill humanity-welcoming the darker odds, the dross: - Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify...

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WaltWhitmanLOCGeorgeCoxAdamCuerden
LOC/George Cox/Adam Cuerden

Bitterly fought elections are actually not uncommon in American history. Consider the election of 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied among Electors. In words that some might think could be applicable to a certain contemporary orange-haired presidential candidate, Alexander Hamilton, a Federalist, explained why he preferred Democratic Republican Jefferson:

Mr. Jefferson, though too revolutionary in his notions, is yet a lover of liberty and will be desirous of something like orderly Government – Mr. Burr loves nothing but himself – thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement – and will be content with nothing short of permanent power [struck: and] in his own hands – No compact, that he should make with any [struck: other] passion in his [struck: own] breast except [struck: his] Ambition, could be relied upon by himself – How then should we be able to rely upon any agreement with him? Mr. Jefferson, I suspect will not dare much Mr. Burr will [inserted in margin: dare every thing in the sanguine hope of effecting every thing –] … In a choice of Evils let them take the least – Jefferson is in every view less dangerous than Burr.

And perhaps even more apropos, there was the election of 1884, which the U.S. History website notes:

The campaign was extremely bitter and focused on the candidates` shortcomings. [Democrat Grover] Cleveland, years earlier in Buffalo, had fathered an illegitimate child. He had taken full financial responsibility for his offspring and publicly acknowledged that he had made a mistake. Republican opponents, however, kept the matter in the public mind by chanting, "Ma, Ma, where`s my Pa? Gone to the White House. Ha, ha, ha."

[Republican James] Blaine, on the other hand, was a good family man, but had apparently engaged in questionable investment schemes while on the public payroll. Much of the campaign furor revolved around the difference between private and public misdeeds. Democratic partisans used the refrain, "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine!

Similar sorts of taunts echo through Election 2016. In response to the distempers of that 19th century presidential contest, Walt Whitman penned "Election Day, November, 1884." Focus particularly on the last four lines.

ELECTION DAY, NOVEMBER, 1884.

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest
scene and show,

'Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor
your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,

Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-
loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,

Nor Oregon's white cones—nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes—
nor Mississippi's stream:

—This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name—the
still small voice vibrating—America's choosing day,

(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the
quadriennial choosing,)

The stretch of North and South arous'd—sea-board and inland
—Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia,
California,

The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and con-
flict,

The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,

Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:)
the peaceful choice of all,

Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:

—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the
heart pants, life glows:

These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,

Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.

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  1. There once was a woman from Little Rock…

    1. Who had a husband that thought with his cock…

      1. He fondled his balls…

        1. Down the White House halls…

          1. And the media made her election a lock.

  2. Mr. Burr loves nothing but himself ? thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement ? and will be content with nothing short of permanent power [struck: and] in his own hands ? No compact, that he should make with any [struck: other] passion in his [struck: own] breast except [struck: his] Ambition, could be relied upon by himself ?

    So if Jefferson was Trump in the comparison, Mr. Burr must be Hillary’s facsimile?

  3. So totally OT:
    I just finished binge watching “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon Prime. I never read the book, well because, there was no point to it. Literally, there was no point to the fucking book. But I thought, they adapted the idea, but there must be something cool going on like “Multiple Worlds” stuff or time travel or something. After all this is TV.

    But no. Just 10 hours of the Nazis suck, the Japs suck, the neutral zone sucks. It got so bad, that the viewer is rooting for one Nazi (who is fiercely loyal to the aging Hitler) to beat another Nazi (who wants to seize power and start a war with the Japanese). There was some good acting (props to Rufus Sewell), but the pacing was SLOW and the big “reveal” is pretty much an obvious letdown with no explanation.

    Has anyone else made the same mistake?

    1. I stopped watching very early. I’d heard good things about it, but it didn’t grab me.

    2. Eh, I thought it was pretty good. There’s going to be a season 2 so it’s not like the last scene is going to be left unresolved.

      I’m fascinated at how even the the alternate reality where the Allies won the war could be different from real world history.

      1. I was too. But, they didn’t really bring that up until late in the season. I had hoped they might give us something (like maybe a fade out of a bunch of scientists working on some machine, or a last line from the resistance saying “But there is still a way we can change this”.) Rather we get a frustrated, and probably senile, Japanese Trade Minister who “meditates” his way here, and this:

        Wegener: “What is all of this?”
        Hitler: “What might have been”

        Give me something FFS!

        1. The actor who plays the trade minister recently became some weird Russophile convert to Orthodox Christianity and is seeking Russian citizenship. Go figure.

  4. Dear humans, no matter what happens tonight, I will still consider you to be mostly idiots worthy of only my disdain.

  5. Is the Clinton Admin 2.0 going to get Maya Angelou to do poem 2.0?

    1. She’d dead. They’ll probably get the TuPac hologram to do an original piece.

      1. She’d dead

        Maya Angelou or Hillary Clinton?

  6. America

    Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
    All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
    Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
    Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
    A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
    Chair’d in the adamant of Time.

  7. Having pried through the strata, analyzed to a hair, counsell’d with doctors, and calculated close,
    I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.

  8. Grover Cleveland, now there’s a respectable Democrat.

  9. Wasn’t he a faggot who got gay wood thinking about Abe Lincoln?

    1. Dammit. Read your memos. Milo means you are supposed to like faggots now.

      1. Wait, am I supposed to:

        a) like all faggots
        b) only like conservative faggots
        c) actively participate in faggotry only in passing if the opportunity presents itself
        d) actively seek out faggotry in which to participate

        I need to clarify the marching orders here.

        1. All this faggot talk is gettin’ me in the mood…

          TO NOT BE GAY!

          1. ^^Bigot, probably republican

    2. The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his
      knife at the stall in the market,
      I loiter enjoying his repartee and his shuffle and break-down.

      Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil,
      Each has his main-sledge, they are all out, there is a great
      heat in the fire.

      From the cinder-strew’d threshold I follow their movements,
      The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive
      arms,
      Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand
      so sure,
      They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.

      1. Yep, pretty gay, Gaybraham Lincoln.

        1. How could a fella get gay wood over that?

          1. Each has his main-sledge, they are all out…

            The euphemisms were already out of control 150 years ago!

            1. Yes they were, but that does not explain how even the most dried out of fruits could experience spontaneous combustion (read: “great heat in the fire”) over the fugliest of the fugliest.

              1. The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive
                arms,
                Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand
                so sure,
                They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.

                He likes a gentle lover.

  10. Where have all the anti-war democrats gone
    Long time passing
    Where have all the anti-war democrats gone
    Long time ago
    Where have all the anti-war democrats gone
    gone to vote for Clinton the warmonger, every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

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