Sick and tired of presidential politics?
You’re not alone.
And the worst is yet to come on the national level with dozens of primaries left and the general election more than eight months away.
At least a sort of end is in sight for us South Carolinians.
This is a solidly red (as in Republican electoral votes) state. So we will again be largely ignored — or is that spared? — from much more campaign claptrap clamor after our S.C. GOP primary today and our Democratic primary next Saturday.
But ponder the protracted plight of perpetually exhausted candidates who will move on from here — though maybe a couple of the Republicans will drop out after our state’s votes are counted tonight.
As of this morning, the average ages of those still in the race is 58 for the six Republicans and 71 for the two Democrats still running.
Even 45-year-old Ted Cruz and 44-year-old Marco Rubio are starting to a look a bit haggard from the relentless grind of rallies, debates, town halls, media interviews and fundraisers.
The traumatizing barrage of incoming campaign phone calls, mailings and broadcast commercials has gotten old for us S.C. residents, too.
Yet contrary to the critical mass of malicious messages condemning not just the judgment but the character of Oval Office aspirants, these candidates really aren’t all bad.
Unfortunately, though, when saturated by such mudslinging, lots of voters understandably fear that one, more or perhaps all of the candidates are liars, scoundrels, flip-floppers, incompetents and/or frauds.
And if you think the tone of the current primary political propaganda is ugly, brace for the vicious venom that will flow freely once the general-election conflict commences.
However, before succumbing to thoroughly conditioned dread that any — or all? — of these pretenders to the presidential throne will make an even bigger mess of things, keep this in mind:
Widespread dismay about a perceived lack of high-quality candidates — and not just in presidential races — is an American tradition.
So is our national knack for overcoming daunting challenges.
Sure, we conservatives rightly fret about additional acceleration of unsustainable Nanny State socialism and foreign-policy weakness if the Democrats win a third consecutive White House term. That would be the first three-presidential-election winning streak for them since they won five in a row from the 1932 through ’48 races (the first four by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the fifth by Harry Truman).
Meanwhile, liberals fret about what they wrongly perceive as a cruel, sink-or-swim, Social Darwinism — and misguided military adventurism — that would accompany the election of a Republican president.
And those stuck in the moderate middle wonder why so many other folks have bolted to the left and right extremes.
But lest you wallow in overwrought despair from your direction, don’t give up on our teamwork ability to “Make America Great Again,” “Feel the Bern,” “Reignite the Promise of America,” build “A New American Century” or even find somebody who’s “Ready to Be Commander in Chief from Day One.”
That last one was Lindsey Graham’s campaign slogan.
1) What song captures this long-familiar lament?
“Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidates’ debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose”
2) What song makes this reassuring campaign pledge?
“The gloomy night before us lies,
The reign of terror now is o’er;
Its gags, inquisitors and spies,
Its hordes of harpies are no more”
3) What song creates this troubling image in the mind’s eye?
“While preachers preach of evil fates,
Teachers teach that knowledge waits,
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates,
Goodness hides behind its gates,
But even the president of the United States,
Sometimes must have to stand naked”
4) What song expresses this ego-driven zeal to endure the ordeal of running for office?
“I’m your top prime cut of meat, I’m your choice,
I want to be elected,
I’m your Yankee doodle dandy in a gold Rolls Royce,
I want to be elected”
1) “Mrs. Robinson,” which hit the top of the Billboard singles chart in 1968, was written by Paul Simon and sung by Simon & Garfunkel. It helped set the rebellious mood in the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” which earned Mike Nichols a best director Oscar and made Dustin Hoffman a star. The film also starred Anne Bancroft, aka Mrs. Mel Brooks in real life, as Mrs. Robinson.
2) “Jefferson and Liberty,” with poet/naturalist/illustrator Alexander Wilson’s lyrics set to the old English air “The Gobby O,” was Thomas Jefferson’s campaign song in his victorious 1800 presidential run against incumbent John Adams. The “reign of terror” line aimed at Adams’ Sedition Act, a blatant betrayal of liberty.
3) “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” sung and written by Bob Dylan, was first released on his 1965 album “Bringing It All Back Home.”
4) “Elected,” sung by Alice Cooper and written by him and his band, was on his 1972 album “Billion Dollar Babies.” The single, which reached No. 26 on the Billboard chart, was released during President Richard Nixon’s landslide re-election over George McGovern, who only won one state — Massachusetts.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.