I just read an essay calling for a real independent alternative candidate for president, not just one such as the Libertarians offer, who would likely just splinter off votes from the two major parties. But how could this happen? The answer was people who want an alternative and people who have money to fund one and people who would be willing to sign the necessary petitions could make it happen.,
A little late I think for 2016. I don’t know.
But as I wrote yesterday in this space, I think this is the most crucial presidential election in my lifetime of 66-plus years.
This nation, still the greatest one on earth (no brag, just fact) has major problems, social and economic and security wise. And we are faced with apparently voting for one of two candidates polling suggests Americans by large numbers neither like nor trust.
I wrote yesterday that Hillary Clinton is the only logical, and I should add sane, choice we are offered.
A few posts ago I likened her being under a cloud due to the email scandal to Nixon’s Watergate scandal. He was re-elected and then resigned over it. In another piece I just read there was a Nixon analogy too. The writer called Mrs. Clinton the Democrat’s Nixon. She is evasive and deceptive and she surrounds herself with admirers and sycophants. I have just chalked up most of her demeanor as being a clever lawyer. She can see all sides of an argument and can argue them at the drop of a hat. But her behavior does bother me at times, and I am particularly appalled at what I read about the Clinton Foundation. To paraphrase one article I read describing it, the Clintons (Hillary and Bill, oh, and Chelsea too) have found a way to monetize good works by shaking down the money and power elites of the world. I don’t know, are they extorting the rich and powerful to help the poor and needy, kind of Robin Hood like? I think they have found a way to live high off the hog from their political connections. And in so doing they have handed out favors (especially while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State) at the public’s expense and favors they had no legal right to hand out. It is a bit murky.
But on the other hand, Mrs. Clinton is highly intelligent, well-informed, well-educated, and she espouses many views (not all) that appeal to me. And I have no indication that she is simply a nut case like the alternative on the Republican side.
I’ve voted in every presidential election since Nixon vs. McGovern. Tricky Dick (already under the Watergate cloud) and WWII bomber pilot but anti-Vietnam war McGovern who said he would be willing to go to Hanoi and beg for our prisoners back. But at least we had a choice between two seemingly competent men.
This time we have a choice between a competent to highly competent woman, who may just happen to be a clever or compulsive liar, and a totally unhinged and dangerous man.
I actually doubt Mrs. Clinton would do much harm (no one can predict, though, what might come up during a presidency that would change everything — such as 9/11).
On the other hand, Trump has already signaled that he would defy the rule of law, which he probably has little understanding of, except he is familiar with using the court system and the bankruptcy laws to his benefit.
Oh, and economists say he apparently has no understanding whatsoever of economics and our monetary system — but then I admit, who among most of us does?
Bottom line, we can only vote for Hillary or sit it out or hope that some legitimate candidate appears who could actually represent a third choice.
My previous post and update follows:
I did see some of Hillary Clinton’s so-called foreign policy speech where she criticized and (rightfully) mocked Donald Trump. Good job. Now there’s the Hillary I could vote for. I’ll have more to write on this and other things soon, but alas my real job gets in the way. But with the contest sure to be Hillary vs. the Donald, I think this is the most important presidential election of my lifetime (and my lifetime began in 1949). Yeah, Nixon was dishonest and crafty, but at the same time he was an experienced statesman, and in public he had manners. Hillary just needs to lay it on the line. She has faults — who doesn’t — but she is the only logical choice now for president.
So would it be a national disaster if Donald Trump really were to be elected president?
My gut instinct says YES!
I don’t see how it could be good.
It might be no worse than it was when George W. Bush was elected. Both men were or are woefully ignorant of world affairs and anti-intellectual (and I know that second part sounds good to some people, but I always thought men in high positions should be well read).
Bush let himself be led by the nose by Dick Cheney and his ilk into the quagmire that is Iraq and which spawned Syria and all the rest.
But Bush was only ignorant. He was not unhinged as Trump surely is. And Bush at least had manners. And I think manners count.
Bush had that silly false bravado: “bring it on”, wearing the flight suit (he dodged real war service by supposedly being a pilot in the air National Guard during Vietnam, but the story is he did not show up for all the meetings or training), “mission accomplished” (though it had just begun). But you get the impression in all of this that he meant no harm and he did believe in our system of government and he did not intend to be a dictator. And he was not mean spirited.
However, Mr. Trump is simply a bully and a know nothing. But he is also an entertainer of sorts (even if I personally never have cared for his entertainment). So via a combination of entertainment and bullying he has managed to essentially do an end run around the Republican establishment and capture the party. Trump is like the class bully who has everyone so scared that he will strike them, ridicule them and embarrass them in front of their peers, that he gets away with what others could never do. He can say or do anything he wants and seemingly not pay the consequences.
Poor Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had to cave and has now endorsed Trump. And by doing so has proven himself to be quite weak (okay, some might just call it pragmatic).
There is still some resistance, but it seems not to be able to pick up steam.
It is kind of like the story of the emperor with no clothes. The guy walks down the street buck naked but no one has the guts to tell him he has no clothes.
Some in the mainstream media try to get at him around the edges, but they are torn between criticizing him and making sure he will talk to them so that they can keep their ratings up.
News commentary is a tricky business. On the one hand, you want to have ethics, but on the other hand, all those ethics do no good if you cannot have ratings and you can’t have ratings unless you feature Trump. And to be fair, no one can seriously talk or write about the current election and not discuss him.
But at some point it would seem that responsible members of the establishment within the Republican Party would get some cajones and stand up to the man and say what he is, dismiss him, and move on — well a little late now perhaps. Oh, I know, it has been tried. Jeb Bush supposedly tried (he should have tried harder). Mitt Romney tried, but he is compromised by being a more-than-once loser and perhaps the poster boy for the “establishment”, which has seemingly lost or at least is losing its legitimacy.
And that’s it, all those years of ignoring the general public and kowtowing to the big money interests has caught up to the establishment. The general public shrugged its shoulders when it felt secure in the economy but in this new age people don’t feel that way.
But we need an enlightened establishment, not an unhinged demagogue who acts like a second or third grader.
Oh sure, on the Democratic side we have Hillary Clinton but she has let herself be compromised in an email scandal. We have Bernie Sanders. I know of no scandals involving him, but he is a kind of one-note socialist, more of a protest candidate. In fact both Trump and Sanders are protest candidates, with Sanders being the more responsible of the two, but then being more responsible than Trump is not saying much.
I only wish someone responsible would emerge at this late date and simply tell it like it is, the emperor Donald has no clothes and he is a brick short a load, and then that candidate should move on, dismissing the charlatan, and make his or her own proposals.
It could be that Trump supporters and those considering Trump are in no mood to listen to reason. They are just mad.
Right now I have to think the election will be all about turnout. If the Democrats can simply get their members to turn out, Hillary probably has it. I still have suspicions as to whether all this supposed support for Trump will result in a large turnout in the general election for him. Through the years I have heard so many regular citizens talk like Trump but most of them never voted. I realize people have voted for Trump in large numbers in the primaries. But will they have moved on to something else by November? And will that Trump support be able to match or beat the regular crowd of voters who quietly and deliberately consider issues?
But like I say, the Democrats need to have that turnout.
It would not hurt if some influential news commentator, Walter Cronkite-in-the-Vietnam-War style, would take off his glasses and tell it like it is:
Trump is a nut; he is not good for the country (but maybe commentators have lost their legitimacy too).
In the debates, someone should have said: at long last Mr. Trump, have you no shame?
I have a difficult time with using the terms “media” and “news commentators” because there are so many different connotations. Here I was talking about people who are not necessarily objective reporters of the news but are analysts who nonetheless use some objectivity. Broadcast media melds objective reporting with analysis. And then of course you have the partisan or hard right and even hard left commentators who simply stack the deck to preach to the choir.