The Loser endorses Ms Clinton, full-throated and energetically, to whatever degree possible for a man in a hammock, sipping from an ’85 Château de Fieuzal and reading from Kai Munk’s Niels Ebbesen. He does so with a sober awareness — metaphorically speaking — of the implications of her political machine and that her politics as such, far rightward of his own, approach the juncture of a flappy left wing to the bird’s plummeting carcass. Marxist to the snooty nerve, The Loser is nevertheless no pacifist. There are tasks he will undertake, with gusto or at least resolve and sense of duty, despite their representing neither his private fancy nor his personal tastes. Such tasks would include — in addition to washing windows and clearing gutters — casting votes against vicious, snake-tongued, police-state racists.
Would The Loser have found, in the German general election of July 1932, a candidate perfectly suiting his interests? Probably not. (This was the election in which Young Adolf’s Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei gained a paltry — though decisive — 37% of the popular vote, portending his eventual coalition leadership and appointment as Chancellor.) That said, The Loser‘s vote would have gone, without hesitation, to the SPD’s Otto Wels, the only member of the Reichstag — and the only major German politician — to denounce Hitler’s ravings, and in particular the Enabling Act, which marked a formal end to Germany’s parliamentary democracy. Not for one nanosecond would The Loser have considered squandering that opportunity — by cleaving, as might reflect his familiar indulgences, to some hopeless 7th Party advocate of free love and Bauhaus design.
If The Loser (knowing what he now knows, what we all now know) had been in that place, amid that recent history of human depravity, and had voted — along with many other, similar, losers — for the party of Otto Wels, rather than either lazily abstaining or a casting ballot of personal expression (i.e. to “send a message”), we might well have emerged from a different sort of Twentieth Century. I’m thinking especially of a large swath of The Lesser Half’s maternal family line who might still be alive — creaky and stooped no doubt, but enjoying the comforts, wit, and charming vintages of their respective homelands.
The Loser, as he says, often disagrees with Ms Clinton and on many points. He does, however, appreciate that she is a lovely, funny person (having met her and determined this for himself, not by hearsay), possessed of a scintillating intellect and genuine conscience. He believes that she will be able not only to understand but listen to arguments put forward by those outside her sometimes dubious inner circle.
While it’s true that he wishes Ms Clinton had acquired, in her previous decade of public service, a more thorough knowledge of server encryption (or more thorough, anyway, than that of fellow ex-Secretary of State and Four-Star General Colin Powell), The Loser feels that her lack of internet savvy is more than offset by, in the case of the opposing candidate, spittle-flecked plans for torture, deportation, and extermination.
Title painting: “Niels Ebbesen,” by Agnes Slott-Møller in 1893