In this tumultuous US election there seems, for once, to be a genuine choice on offer about which kind of ideas will spend four years being thwarted in a congressional logjam. This year’s race has already spawned thousands of newspaper articles and even a Book of Revelation. It’s actually hard to find a clip of Donald Trump’s campaign that doesn’t look like a RoboCop insert. Then again, saying that a US election is particularly ridiculous is a bit like saying that Towie has jumped the shark. Unfortunately, even the most horrified coverage of this depraved contest assumes that it’s the election that’s the problem and not the society that produces it.
American elections are traditionally held on a Tuesday. This is because it allowed people to worship on Sunday, go to the town hall on Monday, vote on Tuesday and leave Wednesday clear for market. In Britain, we have elections on a Thursday because everyone was too pissed on a Friday. American elections always seem incredibly complicated to us, which is probably a bit rich when we’re about to have a nationwide referendum on Europe to decide who’s going to be running the Tory party.