So, last night’s second Presidential debate was…something.
Accusations of sexual assault. Accusations that a former President is a rapist and assaulter, with several of his female accusers watching from the stands a few feet away. Accusations that the other Presidential candidate is a liar, incompetent, and probably should be tried and put in jail.
This is the best America can do? Apparently..the answer is ‘YES’.
And this can’t all be laid at the feet of Trump or Republicans, but let us start there…
1. The Republican Party and Donald J. Trump
They of course own the lion’s share of this…but not all of it.
The GOP is dead as a party, in my humble opinion. We are not a party so much as a team rooting for victory, not knowing what victory means. As I wrote in May when I announced I would be leaving the Republican Party:
And that is the core problem here. There is no philosophical core guiding the Republican Party any more. Are we the party of small government? Trump, who said education and health care (after defense) were the most important jobs of the Federal government today, clearly doesn’t believe in small government. Are we the party of individual rights, or more state power? Trump, the poster boy for private use of eminent domain, isn’t one to talk. And even on military power and foreign policy, Trump’s policies of a weaker NATO and a rollback of our force structure worldwide is in contrast to what conservatives have believed for a generation.
So, is a party that doesn’t even agree on its core beliefs a party in any sense of the word?
I hold by that. This is no longer a cohesive party by any means. Several weeks ago RNC Chairman Reince Preibus declared any Republican not supporting Trump would face future penalties.
Then, after the release of the damaging videos against Trump last week, Reince declared that RNC staffers who had been defecting could act as they wished.
All this came in the background, as numerous Republicans announced publicly they could no longer support Trump (too little, too late, in my opinion). In response, Trump told his campaign staff to openly attack any down ballot Republican that rescinded their support.
This is not a party; it is a dysfunctional family that is about to get a divorce.
That said, Trump may be more a symptom than the cause of the problem…but he has hurt himself, his reputation, his family, and the nation by his behavior and incompetence.
There is a reason that I became permanently against Trump in August of 2015 (before the term Never Trump even surfaced). I believed this was a man who was always in this for himself, with Trump above country in all cases. He has never shown the ability to elevate himself above a social media clown.
The video release last week actually didn’t change my opinion at all. This is simply Trump being Trump. This is a man who played with sexual innuendo and racial catch phrases for decades…who expected anything less now? Trump supporters are ecstatic when Trump handlers can keep these comments contained for just a few weeks. This is not how we should pick a President.
Trump and Republicans have brought shame upon themselves and the country. No way around that.
2. The Media.
I don’t know if I can adequately explain my anger at the media without using curse word after curse word.
They have been wholly incompetent.
This was compounded by the behavior of the journalists moderating our debates. The Debate commission has never learned its lesson. Last night, we had two moderators spending significant time debate the Republican nominee for President.
Forget the number of interruptions. Forget the questions. Why in God’s name is it ok for moderators to debate the candidate?
The entire concept of ‘moderation’ goes out the window when you have incompetents like Raddatz and Cooper fact checking one of the candidates on questions they feel needs to be answered. If Trump says something foolish (which is regular and common)…allow Hillary Clinton to respond. Having a three on one debate is not useful, or fair. But that is how modern journalism works, I guess.
The best example this is the video that emerged last week. I had heard rumors from people who had worked with Trump that these videos existed…LAST YEAR.
And I am no journalist. If a nobody like myself had heard these rumors…real journalists surely knew the possibility of these tapes existed. The fact that the tapes ended up being found at NBC makes this even more ludicrous. Is the NBC journalism wing so completely incompetent as they didn’t bother to scour their own archives for opposition data?
I don’t believe it. Not for a second. They knew a year ago they had this material, and happily kept it hidden until they could maximize the damage caused.
This is fine strategy for a political campaign. It is malpractice and negligence for a journalistic entity.
Some journalists have circled the wagons around NBC, saying there is no proof that they hid this. The problem with that? Most Americans no longer trust the media enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. I could list the litany of times we have now clearly and openly demonstrated such bias and coordination between Democrats and the Mainstream media; if you don’t believe me, you need not go any farther than emails showing the coordination between many journalists and the Hillary Clinton Campaign.
To take anything journalists say at this point on face value is a fool’s errand.
3. The Democrat Party
In all honesty, of any listed here, they deserve the least blame. Political Parties are always a cohort of people only out to increase power to further self interests…so being surprised they are doing that is silly.
That said…is Hillary really the best the Democrats could do? I know many Democrats still frustrated that she is their pick. Sure, they are going to vote for her. Sure, they will likely never vote Republican after the Trump debacle. But this is not a party gloating about the greatness of their political candidate.
The fact that an extreme left-wing socialist who is not even a member of the party, without any support or money to begin with, was able to take 43% of the Democrat vote away from Hillary, the most well-known candidate to run for President in modern history, with millions in her back account and virtually every major party leader (including the DNC Chairman) in her pocket…speaks volumes.
4. President Barack Obama
Obama supporters (a far larger cohort of people than Hillary supporters) will be furious to read this…but without Obama, there would never have been a Trump.
Obama is very much responsible for the environment that allowed a social media nobody like Trump to rise to take the nomination of the Republican Party. He isn’t as responsible as Republicans themselves, but to absolve him of any blame would be to ignore years of excuse making for Obama that allowed Republicans to use similar tactics when it came to Trump’s own bad behavior.
Furthermore, Obama’s main strategy to win elections was to divide the country into enough small pieces that he could pick which pieces he thought was necessary to win, and throw away the rest. Does this not sound familiar to Trump’s own rampage campaign?
I could take a deep dive here explaining why Obama is very much partially culpable for the failure of America’s elite, but I am fully appreciative of the fact that no amount of evidence will ever convince liberals that this is the case; and I need no evidence to make conservatives to accept this assertion. So lets leave it at that.
5. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary’s culpability here is not at large as Trump’s, in my opinion…but her culpability is likely to cause the most damage to the country in the long run.
Hillary is most likely to be the 45th President of the United States.
This statement will bring joy to a fair amount of Democrats and liberals.
It will bring apathy to a large share of Progressives.
It will result in abject horror in the remainder of Americans.
Hillary supports hate this analysis, by I think this is pretty much accurate. She is likely to win election by a healthy margin, all the time not being beloved at all by her base, and having the highest dishonesty numbers of any President in modern history.
And before Hillary defenders say “It is all because a quarter century of the right-wing conspiracy!”…let me stipulate that Republicans have viciously attacked her for years…but much of this is Hillary’s own fault.
Most Americans believe Hillary broke the law on her email server scandal. This is a fact. Most Americans believe Hillary did this only because of self-interest and her own political future. This is also a fact. And most Americans believe that after being discovered, Hillary spent a year lying about it time and again. This is, again, a fact.
Then, to compound the matter, Barack Obama did what he does best: play hyperpartisan politics with the entire matter, and made things worse. By having an opaque process to investigate potential crimes, he undermined the credibility of the entire process.
Then, these political geniuses compounded the matter.
First, Attorney General meets with Bill Clinton, secretly, for a half hour on a private plane, just days before the announcement of criminal charges. Then the FBI Director gives a presentation outlining his decision, where he basically admits Hillary did something wrong, but will suffer no penalty for it.
The American people are not as stupid as Obama, Hillary, or Democrats would like to believe.
These are not partisan numbers. The mainstream of the American public believes Hillary broke the law, and should have been prosecuted. The mainstream of the Democrat Party elite…disagree. The disconnect is mind boggling.
Let us note for a moment that Hillary could have (and should have) been completely transparent on this. Sure, some emails were damaging, but none were worth this coverup. Again, the Clintons cover up a scandal, and cause more damage in their wake by their actions after the fact than the initial scandal would have cost.
Apparently, the Clintons never learn their lesson, and they have a pathetic learning curve.
That said, where does that leave a President Hillary Clinton?
It leaves her largely as illegitimate.
I hate using that word, because of all its immense connotations…but I can’t disabuse myself of the feeling that this is correct.
The majority (yes, even some of her own voters) believe she broke the law, and then got away with it because of political connections. What kind of credibility does such a person have, when enforcing laws on others?
From day one, Hillary will be the most distrusted President maybe in history, but definitely in my lifetime.
Not all of this is her fault. Trump and Republicans, as I said above, own the lion’s share of this. Imagine if they had picked a competent Republican…Hillary’s crimes would be an after thought, because she very likely loses this election. But because of the GOP, we are likely left with a damaged, untrusted women as Commander-in-Chief.
The reality is this post likely will annoy Trump supporters, Republicans, journalists, Democrats, and everyone in between. I guarantee I will get a fair share of hate mail and comments for it. And I don’t care; the reality is we have all failed miserably.
I honestly don’t know how we fix this. Hard core Democrats will defend Hillary even if she were to commit more crimes. The media will defend her, because they are grossly incompetent. The GOP is a broken shell of its former self, and even if they somehow magically hold on to the House and Senate, their internal civil war will prevent them from having a cohesive message to oppose the President.
The political class, in all its representations, has failed the American people. The American People, having allowed this to happen, has failed the nation. And we have all likely made our future a poorer place for it.