In the very ancient past, especially lugubrious hermits often resided atop tall pillars for years on end, demonstrating their superior asceticism for all to see. Some of these so-called stylites claimed they merely wanted to be left alone, Garbo-like, to contemplate infinity, but most were always very eager to dispense snippets of holier-than-thou profundity whenever seekers below requested such information. It seems an appeal to ego will shatter any vow of silence. Nevertheless, these stylites, crouching on their lofty, narrow perches, make the quintessential guru sitting cross-legged on a mountain look distinctly accessible
I'm not sure quite what sort of wisdom applicable to regular life in sixth-century Antioch anyone could acquire from sitting on top of a column except, perhaps, maintaining a phenomenal sense of balance and how to avoid nosebleeds. Likewise, I'm not sure what our two current Presidential candidates, considering their unappealingly self-interest stained biographies, can know about day to day existence for most people in twenty-first century America. Yet Hillary and Trump will straddle their debate podiums bellowing platitudes and babbling nonsense into the shadows of the spotlight.
Stylites and politicians have much in common if you ask me. For instance, I have no doubt that if Simeon Stylite was alive today he would employ a publicist and a press agent, and if they believed it would ensure their election, I'm certain Hillary and Trump would scramble up the filthiest of pillars to promote themselves. In the fables of olden days, both the stylite and the politician were taught humbling lessons by the simple goatherd. Alas, today, only the politicians are left and politicians listen to nothing but what media analysts tell them about the abstract realities of demographics and poll numbers.
So, because there is no goatherd candidate running for President, and despite Republican and Democrat zealots shrieking that this is the most important election for many, many decades, I will not be voting for anyone again. I don't want to encourage or validate these extroverts. After all, back in the Byzantine day, I would've thrown rotting vegetables at the stylites. Unfortunately, it's against the law to express your contempt in that manner today.