election metaphors

Making the rounds on various Twitter and Facebook feeds has been a little quip from David Sedaris about undecided voters.

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
Source: author photograph

Source: author photograph

Most often, I've seen these words cited by Clinton supporters. Typically, they reference this quote to express their frustration with voters (usually Millenials who are flirting with third-party candidates) who loathe Donald Trump but are underwhelmed by the Democratic nominee. They are consequently trying to find a way to express their dissatisfaction with Trump that does not involve voting for Clinton.

The words in question come from a 2008 New Yorker article that Sedaris wrote. Thus the presidential election to which it referred featured not Clinton and Trump but major-party candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. McCain is the sort of figure who Clinton supporters generally contrast with Trump. While the latter represents the decline of the American republic, they say, the former is the sort of principled conservative that, if only they still existed, might actually represent a true choice for the electorate.

But Sedaris compared McCain, not Trump, to shit and broken glass. Putting aside the quote's provenance, however, Sedaris's comment does represent, for me, the perfect characterization of the current presidential race.

Because I am a vegetarian.