First there was Watergate. Then Chris Christie's infamous Bridgegate. Now, there is Weinergate.
Let me explain.
There is a classic Twilight Zone episode wherein aliens from outer space came to Earth. Much like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they seemingly wanted to be friends with us. We took them at face value. And, much like Clinton and Trump, they even handed out advertisements and booklets to us Earthlings. The booklets were titled To Serve Man, as a show of friendship and commitment.
Until, that is, some bright-eyed Earthling citizen discovered that To Serve Man was a cookbook!
Moment of clarity. Ah-ha! We knew it! We knew there was something fishy about this whole friendship thing.
And, not in a Twilight Zone episode, but in actual real life, Clinton has promised us she would unclassify the Area 51 and Roswell UFO information, suggesting that she knows something otherworldly and big. Her adviser and campaign chairman, John Podesta says, "The American people can handle the truth." Yikes! I wonder what that could mean?
In the 1973 movie Soylent Green, the moment of clarity came when a toothy, grimacing Charlton Heston announced after much drama and investigation, that the food additive our starving citizens in an overpopulated world were eating, was actually human remains. "Soylent Green is people!"
Moment of clarity. Ah ha!
I couldn't help thinking—hoping—that suddenly a similar, striking, game-changing moment of clarity would reveal itself before the election and flush out the suffocating frustration and suspenseful confusion regarding the two protagonists of the recent presidential election.
They are both eating us alive!
The surreal presidential race has worn us all down, gotten on our nerves and has driven many of us either to apathy, or anger and frustration.
More appropriately, to suspicion. Suspicion that Trump is a loose cannon on deck and would do more harm than good as president. Suspicion that Clinton is too dishonest and not trustworthy.
Nobody was fully content with either candidate to be honest, nobody 100-percent liked them, and the alternatives, after Bernie Sanders dropped out, were both inconsequential and unrealistic, leaving us even deeper in depression, frustration, fear and anger.
We (The People) need a national moment of clarity on the scale of "It's a cookbook!" or "Soylent Green is people!" to get us through this. To save and assure us that everything is going to be alright. And if it's not going to be alright, then let's get on with it, whatever it's going to be.
We need a revelation, an epiphany or some divine intervention. Something more than just a little comic relief here and there by our late-night comedians.
Something like, say, George Washington himself, from the grave and somewhere in the cosmos, intercepting our television signals, interrupting our regularly scheduled programming during prime time and telling us where we screwed up and what we need to do—kind of like in The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Imagine, if you will, that Trump had dropped out at the 11th hour. Wouldn't that have been great?
What if it had all boiled down to Anthony Weiner? It could've happened. It's happened before. Sex scandals are notorious for bringing down the best and worst of us.
Weinergate could very well have been our national moment of clarity—finally, something we could understand and sink our teeth into; a familiar port in the bizarre political storm we've been sailing through the past six months.
Everybody loves and understands a good juicy one-on-one sex scandal, but to earn the "gate" suffix there must be many people involved—staffers, husbands, relatives, etc.—all unwittingly or by design deceiving the public interest.
Whether there is criminal activity involved, and whether or not it has anything to do with Clinton and the presidency, the fact remains that Weiner took the spotlight for a moment. A moment when stakes were higher than ever, and the implications were astronomical.
I'm really going out on a limb here, and this is totally my own opinion, but the shenanigans surrounding Clinton, Huma and Weiner seemed kind of fishy. Careless emails and texts, sex, vengeance, classified information, personal servers, misappropriation, FBI investigations, the presidency on the line all adding up to something ... "deplorable."
What an irony, if Clinton were brought down by a guy named Weiner. Just sayin'. It would almost be poetic justice. More like just plain bad luck for her. Karmically ... it's the Curse of the Clintons.
John Kushma is a Logan-based communication consultant. Send feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org