The difference between the presidency of Barack Obama and the 2016 presidential election may best be described through art. You may remember the iconic poster of Shepard Fairey with a depiction of Obama and the word “Hope.” The poster was a big seller and is still probably hanging in some basement playroom of a grown-up millennial. Of course there is always hope but that noble goal has taken quite a beating over the last eight years.
But in today electoral climate the art work that best describes the political climate should be Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. I am sure you have seen the expressionist painting of the gaunt hairless man with wide eyes and a huge open mouth holding his ears and yelling out a loud scream. If there ever was a proper depiction of the mood of the American electorate in this dismal election season it must be Munch’s “The Scream.”
By huge margins Americans can’t wait to see this hateful campaign come to an end and their screams are accurate representations of what they think of the two candidates and the state of our democracy. Screams are usually a form of emotional release, but they are screams nonetheless, and unfortunately, whoever wins, the screams will continue.
If the polls are right, Hillary Clinton will be the 45th president of the United States but she may instantly regret winning and engage in her own loud scream. Republican members of Congress, conservative pundits and the army of the “deplorables” will engage in their own screaming and do anything to make President Clinton II miserable and ineffective.
It may be cathartic if on November 9th we all go outside and scream just to let the political frustrations out of our system. But it may be wise to get in the habit of screaming at those in power on the day after the inauguration, January 21st. Who knows, maybe the noise will force them to listen to reason. Not.