Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Man Who Would Be Emperor

Donald Trump knows words. He has the best words.

Yes, Donald. I'm sure that you do. You can't shut up. Now I don't have words. Your de facto nomination has left me speechless.

Donald Trump has been panned by the political establishment ever since he declared his candidacy for President. No more. Senator Ted and Governor Kasich dropped out of the race this week. And now we have this:

It doesn't get much more establishment than the chairman of the Republican Party.

As you well know, my loyal readers, I chose to register as a Republican because I thought my vote would mean more in the Republican primary than in the Democratic one. I chose wrong. I'll be writing in Dwight Eisenhower. I like Ike.

I'm honestly in shock. I didn't think Senator Ted would give up so easily. He might have been able to deny Trump the necessary votes to win on a first ballot at the convention. Of course, when Senator Ted dropped out, Kasich had to do the same. Kasich was drafting behind Senator Ted the way crazy motorists draft big rigs.

I have mocked Donald Trump. I hoped he'd win the nomination. He'd have no chance, I thought. Of course, the American public will see through this pompous, unqualified ass. People wouldn't vote for this blowhard. He's racist. He's elitist.

Now I just feel sick. It isn't that Trump won the nomination. Republican politicians have been cultivating credulity and innate distrust of reason and intellect among their voters for almost fifty years.

George W. Bush proved that lying to Republicans could be fun and profitable, that saying stupid things could be overlooked. But baby Bush colored within the lines. He was G.O.P. royalty. Very different situation.

Or is it?

Actually, this feels a lot like the campaign in 2000. After eight years of good Democratic rule, the Democrats nominate a weak candidate (both Democratic candidates are weak, only in different ways) to run against a clearly unorthodox Republican.

Hillary is weak. As of this writing, her unfavorability rating is 54%. Why don't people like Hillary? I suspect that sexism plays a role but can't prove it. Certainly, the right wing attacks haven't helped. Benghazi wasn't her fault. The private email server wasn't a great idea, but she wasn't the first Secretary of State to have one.

Many progressives don't like her because she isn't progressive enough. She wants to raise the minimum wage to $12/hour rather than $15 (and supports localities that want to raise it higher). She wants to improve the Affordable Care Act rather than start over with a single payer plan. (Bernie's plan is economically infeasible.)

More than anything, I believe it is the an anti-establishment tenor of this campaign that is her undoing. Her long and distinguished record in public service may be her undoing. People are mad as hell and want a revolution. Bernie's revolution will only lead to more political gridlock and a Republican President in 2020. And Trump's revolution will lead to ... who fuck knows? A huge boondoggle of a wall? Racist federal immigration policies? Nuclear armageddon?

And so I ask you all, to support whomever you like in the primary. Just vote for the Democratic nominee in the general election.

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