George Graham

The Thrill is Gone

Jeff Koterba cartoon for June 19, 2015 "Jeb Bush Trump Hillary Clinton Pope campaign"

News of the current presidential race seems to be fading from the headlines. And it’s not surprising. Donald Trump’s shenanigans could hold America’s interest for just so long. And it was only to be expected that the Bernie Sanders phenomenon would lose its shock value after a few weeks.

I bet the huge TV audiences attracted by the first two Republican debates will never be repeated. And if the Democratic candidates get a tenth of those ridiculous ratings, I will be surprised.

I suppose one reason the thrill is gone is that real news has erupted – the terrible massacre in Oregon, for example And Putin’s sneaky bombing raids in support of Syrian dictator Assad.

When such really important things happen, political tomfoolery can’t possibly continue to hold the public’s attention.

The campaign will go on, of course. There are 12 long months left before we get to vote. But I don’t think many of us will be persuaded one way or another. I know I made up my mind long ago, and nothing anyone can say is going to change it.

The malcontents and xenophobes who plan to vote for Trump will never switch to Jeb or even Carly. And the evangelicals who support Ben Carson will go right on praying for him. Eventually. somebody like Marco Rubio could slip between the cracks and grab the nomination.

Not that it matters. All of the Republican candidates offer the same mix of archaic, white male dominated, ignorance -based policies. And the Tea Party is still going to send nut cases to Congress to prevent anything from happening.

On the other side of the ledger, it won’t make much difference who gets the nod from the Democrats, Hillary or Bernie – or even Joe if he decides to run  (no, that guy from Maryland isn’t a factor). They will try their best, as Barack did, to build a brave, new America. But what with Blue Dog Democrats in the Senate and the Tea Party caucus in the House, their plans for hope and change will be an impossible dream.

America will lurch from crisis to crisis, two steps forward and one step back – with luck. Two steps back and one forward without luck (especially if the Republicans win the elections).

But the show must go on even though it’s getting stale. So we’ll still be subjected to stuff like Hillary on Saturday Night Live and Trump insulting all and sundry while promising to make America great again as only he can.

And, as time goes by, we will become less and less amused.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for