We still don’t know the outcome of the 2016 election, in which our “democratic process” has produced two candidates widely despised by the American people, but we do know the race’s biggest loser: reporters and the profession of journalism, which has been reduced to surrogacy, largely on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Before going further, let me state that my own politics are on the left but I won’t be voting in this election. Both parties have collaborated to rig the system so that’s it’s virtually impossible for an independent candidate to compete given the financial and institutional hurdles that have been put in place to block such a possibility. We live in an oligarchy where democracy is virtually meaningless; I’m not debasing myself by participating in this charade.

Several studies rank electoral integrity in the United States as the worst among Western democracies — for example, the one discussed here — and this year’s campaign has made the United States an international embarrassment. I’ve personally witnessed elections in Africa and Latin America that had more legitimacy than the charade that will culminate here next Tuesday. The idea of the United States lecturing foreign countries about holding fair elections has long been dubious and is now grotesque.