Unfortunate. That is my read on prospects for our country, no matter which of the TV characters we elect this year. We are exhausted and wounded by the last eight years of economic and political warfare. We have endured failed and flawed laws, and created too many burdened and impoverished families. Pain is the current driving force in the nation. Voters have flocked to messages of analgesia.
For this presidential campaign, we have been fed a weak gruel of promises that escape the powers of any president. We have been led down a seductive, virtual path to accepting what we are shown on television as reality. If this campaign were a distorted version of “House of Cards,” which of these characters has the strong suit?
Answer: None of the above.
Exactly how did Donald Trump become a candidate? Who accepted his credentials as a Republican? I think the RNC let him in and wrote him off as a political rookie, a loser, and a joke. His success is anathema to the political establishment, and the politically correct. His remaining opponents are a well-funded, somewhat-unpopular, Texas U.S. Senator, and, for a while, a media-faded, underfunded, state governor.
(By the way, I believe we lost some credible leaders in the pillow fight of Republican “debates.” Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush are examples of people with leadership and intellectual qualities who just lost on this rendition of “Survivor,” or maybe “The Apprentice” would be more appropriate. Meanwhile, In the wings, waits Paul Ryan, the real Republican option against Hillary Clinton.)
The Democrats have a trust-dented candidate, and an uber-populist “straw man” who turned out to have more appeal to the disenfranchised than the DNC and the “super delegates” expected. No one else passed the primary test.
However, I believe the Democrats chose their candidate immediately after her failed bid for president in 2008; before she was appointed Secretary of State; before Benghazi; and before a private email server and the FBI.
I do not know how they got Bernie Sanders to run in the first place. But, hey, talk about nothing to lose, he was a third-term, Independent, Socialist, Senator from Vermont; he caucused with the Democrats until he joined the party in 2015. He epitomizes what his opponent lacks: compassion, empathy, honesty, consistency, and likability.
Really, DNC, just two viable candidates? Farcical and lame.
It appears that the rise of disgusted, heretofore, non-voters is threatening what the powerful people in politics planned to be a “normal,” boring, “video game,” presidential race. An unexpected populist throng of dissatisfied, disillusioned, under-employed workers and their families rose up when they heard their thoughts, pains, suspicions, resentments, and complaints voiced by unburdened champions of the futures they had lost. Others were refreshed by the smashing of political correctness, and the vision of America, free of foreign interference.
These are the marginalized people who have seldom voted before, because there seemed to be no voices that spoke for them. The same thing happened simultaneously on the both ends of the political spectrum. Together, these new and enthusiastic voters want to upset the power structure that keeps them down, i.e. party officials, “super delegates,” and cabals of money disguised as PACs.
The problems we face as a nation will not yield to any of the rhetoric on either side.
What can any president do to eclipse the lower costs of foreign competitors to our domestic businesses? Close Walmart?
How would a president evict 12 million unregistered aliens with who knows how many 14th Amendment U.S. citizen children? Tijuana taxis?
Since when has economic “inequality” been excised from the American Dream? Show us any nation in the world that meets the definition of economic equality. The whole concept of our nation is being free and able to exceed and succeed. And who better to emblemize inequality than the current frontrunners for both parties. Aren’t all the candidates at least in the top 10%? Who would trust the White House to someone who was not?
Hillary Clinton impatiently awaits coronation, notwithstanding a dearth of significance. At least she offers the advantage of having her husband as unofficial vice president. Here, faithfully copied from HillaryClinton.com, are her 7 greatest accomplishments; you be the judge of their relevance and greatness:
1. Fought for children and families for 40 years and counting.
After law school, Hillary could have gone to work for a prestigious law firm, but took a job at the Children’s Defense Fund. She worked with teenagers incarcerated in adult prisons in South Carolina and families with disabled children in Massachusetts. It sparked a lifelong passion for helping children live up to their potential.
2. Helped provide millions of children with health care.
As first lady of the United States, Hillary fought to help pass health care reform. When that effort failed, she didn’t give up: Hillary worked with Republicans and Democrats to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. CHIP cut the uninsured rate of American children by half, and today it provides health care to more than 8 million kids.
3. Helped get 9/11 first responders the health care they needed.
When terrorists attacked just months after Hillary became U.S. senator from New York, she worked to make sure the 9/11 first responders who suffered lasting health effects from their time at Ground Zero got the care they needed.
4. Told the world that “women’s rights are human rights.”
Standing in front of a U.N. conference and declaring that “women’s rights are human rights” was more controversial than it sounds today. Many within the U.S. government didn’t want Hillary to go to Beijing. Others wanted her to pick a less polarizing topic (you say polarizing; we say half the population). But Hillary was determined to speak out about human rights abuses, and her message became a rallying cry for a generation.
5. Stood up for LGBT rights at home and abroad.
As secretary of state, Hillary made LGBT rights a focus of U.S. foreign policy. She lobbied for the first-ever U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on human rights and declared that “gay rights are human rights.” And here at home, she made the State Department a better, fairer place for LGBT employees to work.
6. Helped expand health care and family leave for military families.
Hillary worked across the aisle to expand health care access for members of the National Guard and reservists—making sure those who served and their families had access to health care when they returned home. And she worked to expand the Family Medical Leave Act, allowing families of those wounded in service to their country to take leave in order to care for their loved ones.
7. Negotiated a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
As our nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary didn’t back down when the stakes were high. As Hamas rockets rained down on Israel, Hillary went to the region immediately. Twenty-four hours after she landed, a ceasefire went into effect—and that year became Israel’s quietest in a decade.