The Sword of Damocles Strikes Again***

***Careful children, this might get a bit political.

As a newly adopted denizen of the high seas, I find myself having the unique opportunity of viewing the current political mayhem with the fresh–if temporary–eyes of an outsider.

From afar, I’m amused (and often disappointed) to watch these supposedly distinguished and experienced candidates as they battle over such lofty subjects as pockmarked city streets and Wallstreet stock commissions, bickering like children about the proper way to plan and execute a stirring public address.

But when it comes to the “real” issues, the ones countless citizens lose sleep over, like war and crime and the future of the economy, it all seems to this current expatriate like so much noise. As pointless and annoying as the endless dripping of a faucet in disrepair, and twice as counterproductive, these words fall to the ground unabsorbed by the majority of the population.

Because of my American roots, I know where this malarky is headed. There’s no pleasant and amusing end to the exhibition of choreographed verbal stumbling we now witness. In a year, the cries of “When I am elected” will simply morph into “If I had been elected,” and nothing will change but the amount of attention given to the crier.

The dubious “winner” will climb the steps of power, and upon reaching his new throne, will promptly look up at the gigantic sword hanging above his head and say “Oh, shit.” After a few months, the excuses will start. “I didn’t know that was up there,” he’ll say. “My predecessor never told me.” When people start to notice his failure to uphold the countless, inhuman promises he made, he’ll sputter some nonsense about how the future he predicted has somehow changed, how the outlook is bright regardless of how bleak the present seems.

In two years, the next hopefuls will begin to line up behind his chair and begin scheming. None of them want to think about what they’ll really do when they get there. For now, it’s about the prize. The golden throne, the power and the glory.

Isn’t it funny, how it seems that glory only comes in retrospect, long after the glorious are dead and buried by the overshadowing mistakes of their predecessors? Something tells me I’d point and laugh if it wasn’t my own country.

But then I would seem ungrateful and unpatriotic. And we wouldn’t want that.

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