Rigged Elections and Professional Wrestling

Monday Night Raw is a professional wrestling television program.  Leaked documents from the show "[i]ndicate that professional wrestling is a rigged spectacle in which match outcomes are predetermined."  Many will say ho hum; this is not news.  Of course it's rigged.  But many pro wrestling fans will be surprised to know that "they have been duped by a phony sport."

The same could be said for recent presidential elections.  Is the current election a rigged game?  Is the outcome predetermined?  Have the voters been duped by a phony democratic process?  It's looking more and more as if this election is simply a high-stakes form of professional wrestling.

Two wrestlers, Donny and Hilly, enter the arena to fanfare, music, and the cheers of adoring fans.  Hilly has been in professional wrestling for decades and is well known by wrestling fans.  Donny made a name for himself outside wrestling, in football and other sports.  Donny, by virtue of his non-wrestling sports experience, brings a new skillset to pro wrestling, which has been becoming a dull sport.

Fans expecting a good flight see anything but – a referee calling penalties left and right on Donny while allowing obvious fouls and transgressions by Hilly.  The announcers and ringside sports reporters are much the same.  Despite Donny dominating the match, they proclaim Hilly the superior wrestler and ultimately the winner.  The fight judges agree, despite Donny scoring obvious points.  Fans leave the arena in disgust, wondering what happened and why they wasted their time and money.

Any objective observer can see this contest playing out in 2016 in a scripted manner, similar to many past elections.

Hillary Clinton was the anointed one long before she was selected for the big title fight.  She met Bernie Sanders in some preliminary bouts and more than met her match.  He was the better wrestler and the fan favorite.  The prima donna was outraged and, through her superdelegates, put Bernie in his place.  If Bernie ever wanted to wrestle again, he had better concede and support Mrs. Clinton.  Bernie fans, many new to the sport, wondered how such an obvious sham match could occur.

On the Republican side, Jeb was the chosen contender, darling of the establishment, elites, and GOP donor class.  Along comes Donald Trump, contradicting standard GOP talking points, discussing immigration, walls, trade deals, and Muslims, not part of any Republican script.  Leading man Jeb melted like a snow cone in the hot sun.  Other supporting actors tried to get the show script back on track, but too late.  Trump struck a note, not with the Republican Party, but instead with the voters.  The fans.  Those paying to see the show.

The script for the 2016 wrestling match is for the first woman to win the White House.  Devoid of accomplishments, temperament, ethics, honesty, stamina, and a host of other presidential attributes, she is the declared winner of the match long before the first round.

The referee is the American media establishment.  Newspapers of record with mottos "All the news that's fit to print" or "The newspaper shall tell ALL the truth so far as it can learn it, concerning the important affairs of America and the world."  Cable and broadcast news networks charged with  being "fair and balanced.  CNN claims to be "The Most Trusted Name in News."  Are they calling an honest fight?  Or are they doing everything in their power to affect a particular outcome?

Why are women's decades-old accusations of unwanted sexual advances or rape totally believable and newsworthy when directed against one candidate but ignored, belittled, and discredited when directed against the other candidate?

Why is audio of Donald Trump talking trash worthy of the N.Y. Times front page, but an interview with rape victim Juanita Broaddrick suppressed and ignored?

The October surprise chasing Donald Trump is as predictable as shorter days and cooler temperatures every October.  George H.W. Bush was supposedly having an affair with his secretary.  George W. Bush had a DUI when he was young and foolish.  John McCain was having an affair.  Mitt Romney hated dogs, tried to kill his employee's wife by cutting insurance, and never paid his taxes.  All ancient history, mostly false, but worthy of media scrutiny only weeks before a presidential election.

Now we have Trump as a groper, cad, and sexual predator.  Funny how Trump has been in the public eye for over 30 years, and we never heard such stories about him.  Not until last week did he become Bill Cosby.  Or Bill Clinton.  Just as he was never a racist throughout his long public life but instantly became one when he announced his presidential candidacy last year.

In the wrestling arena, the sports media can refute and shame a crooked referee.  In this contest, it's the Republican establishment that could defend and fight for its candidate – perhaps not their chosen candidate, but that of their constituents.  The little people in flyover country who receive endless phone calls, emails, and letters asking for votes and a check.  The little people have spoken, but the Republican Party has other ideas.

The poor saps who pay for a ticket to see the big fight are not seeing an athletic contest – one where the more skillful wrestler wins.  They are seeing theater – a show with actors, actresses, and a script to be followed.

A rigged system.  As Trump himself said, "the whole thing is one big fix."  Shame on the media and the Republican establishment for rigging the fight and telling the fans it's fair.

Those who rig actual sporting events are eventually caught and banished from the sport.  Time to banish the fixers; regardless of how this current fight ends, they have lost what little credibility they had and will be viewed as nothing but the sideshow they are playing in this election.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS, is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook  and Twitter

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