“Kakistocracy,” meaning “government by the least qualified or worse persons,” comes to us from the Greeks. “Kakistos,” meaning “worst, is the superlative form of the adjective, “kakos,” meaning “bad. We credit the Greeks for inventing democracy. We might also give them credit for being able to separate bad government from good.
Greek democracy was not perfect. For example, slaves, women, and children were not enfranchised. Not much different from the USA today. Persons of color and the poor, in particular, are disenfranchised by (usually Republican) governments’ reducing locations for advance voting, limiting advance voting hours to work-days, and making it difficult to obtain official government identification.
When the Soviet Union was breaking up, and then turning itself into the Russian Federation, I joked that “Kakistan” was one of the provinces spun off. “Stan,” in this context of course means “home of the.” Pakistan is the home of the Paks; Afghanistan, of the Afgans. By extension, Kakistan would have been home of Kaka. And of course, we all know that childens’ euphemism for excrement or feces.
Onece, I thought President Obama was responsible for the Balkanization of the United States, for the burgeoning conflict between Blacks and Whites, the quickness of police officers of all races to “shoot first and ask questions later” especially when addressing a Black, and for the strengthening of the Alt-Right.
The election of Trump despite his words and behavior during the campaign and despite any serious plans for the future, the activities of the most radical of his supporters, the actions of Republican-controlled states in limiting and discouraging voting by minorities, Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon (former head of Breitbart) as his chief strategist—all these things tell me I was wrong.
The mindless hatred was there, all along, simmering in the cauldron of ignorance and the cesspit of bigotry throughout the nation, waiting only for a demagogue to be elected President of the US and give it the imprimatur of his office.
I am 72 years old and have been diagnosed with several potentially fatal diseases (other than “old age”). I used to think that the collapse of civilization would not occur until after my death. However, I’m beginning to think that given four years of a Trump administration, the inevitable collapse may occur before my 76th birthday.
By the way, I don’t like Clinton, either, so please don’t brand me a libsymp or a Democrat.
Kakistan is not, after all, a former Soviet territory caught between the European Union and the dictator of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, former KGB Colonel whose power is greater than that wielded even by the Tsars. Kakistan is a soi-disant republic that occupies the center of the North American Continent.
For a treatment of a still-potential apocalyptic dystopian future, please see “Holy Fire,” featured on the home page, and available at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle.
A tip of the hat to Anu Garg’s “A.Word.Day at Wordsmith.org, for his post on 14 November, and Dan Warner in the Fort Meyers News Press, on 17 January 2016 for keeping the word, “kakistocracy” alive.
There's an old saying, "Eat a live frog first thing every morning and nothing worse will happen the rest of the day."
I'm eating that frog by watching the third debate between Trump and Clinton on YouTube while I write this.
They have just moved to abortion and Trump is waffling and propagandizing on Roe v Wade while Clinton is being specific and strong. I think she has won this point.
Now Trump is denying that Russia has conducted cyber attacks on the US (seventeen US intelligence agencies have said Russia is doing so).
The live frog is kicking. They've moved on to nuclear weapons, and it looks as if every pretense of civility has disappeared.
One of my correspondents suggests that Millennials are not educated about the election. They may not be educated, but they’re not the only ones. A couple of elections ago, a big deal was made about the large number of people who got their news only from John Stewart’s “Daily Show.” That concern is trivial compared to the large number of people today who get their news from Twitter and other “social media.” The mis-information machine is a monster that grows as it feeds on itself. Despite claims otherwise, there are no gatekeepers on the internet.
How can one find the truth? It will take more than a lantern to illuminate an honest man.
I follow both Breitbart and Huffington Post (covering the far, far right and the far, far left). I also read, daily, online news sources including AP, BBC, Al Jazeera, Reuters, UK Telegraph, Christian Science Monitor, Drudge Report, UPI, and Politico as well as a random selection of other sources. Occasionally, I’ll watch one of the late-night comedians. And I still don’t know what is true. I can only hope that I have surrounded it.
Whether or not we know the truth, you and I must make a decision. It’s too late to change anyone’s mind, and what was said at this last debate likely won’t make any difference.
I voted on Monday, the first day the polls were open for early voting. There was a large turnout while I was there. My sister and her husband went Tuesday afternoon, and said there was only a trickle of people. I’m looking forward to seeing how the contest turns out.
There are only twenty days remaining before the November 8 election will be over. I hope the results will put to rest the bitter, derisive and divisive debates both formal and informal, on the stage, in rallies, in the so-called social media, and in advertisements. Please vote.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.