Well, it’s at long last all over but the shouting, which will surely be long and loud and lusty and eventually much-regretted. After a decisive rout in Indiana’s primary on Tuesday the last standing hope for decent governance in America has been bitterly abandoned and Donald J. Trump is now surely the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
The Grand Old Party that once offered the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan to the country’s rescue now confers the honor on a self-described billionaire real-estate-and-gambling-and-strip-joint-and-professional-wrestling-and-scam-university-and-reality show mogul to “Make America Great Again.” Even though she lost once again to self-described socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the less-noticed Indiana Democratic primary, former First First Lady and Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still the nearly-as-ceertain nominee of that once useful party, and in any case the country seems reduced to two awful choices.
No matter who wins the grim election the country will continue to ignore the looming entitlement-driven debt crisis, which both major party nominees have agreed can be forever forestalled by either the Republican’s promises of extraordinarily great trade deals or the Democrat’s promises of making a handful of billionaires pay for the multi-trillion dollar shortfalls, which the Republican’s web site-published tax plans disagrees with but his latest campaign trail pronouncements agree with, and which in any case are pure nonsense. Both sides now agree with the Code Pink and looney-left claims that “Bush died, people lied” version of the Iraq War, although the Democrat voted for it and the Republican quite dishonestly claims he was always against it, and both peddle a foreign policy that is clearly not up to the challenges of the moment. The Democrat disastrously “re-set” relations with Russia to the point that it was soon occupying much of its former Soviet Union territories, and the flattered-by-Putin’s praise Republican and his Russian-deal-making advisors and his protection racket notions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that had putatively won the Cold War hardly seem an improvement. Both are in favor of the government’s meddlesome involvement in health care and housing and racial-bean-counting-quotas and any number of other things that are best left to the private sector, and both think they’re smart enough enough to run the entirety of a multi-trillion dollar economy that is best left to the private sector. We also glumly note that both are adamantly opposed the freedom of speech that allows us to object, with both promising to undo the “Citizens United” decision that was commonsensical enough to rule that an anti-Clinton documentary couldn’t be preemptively censored and Trump promising to “open up the libel laws” to prevent any criticism of him.
Such seemingly inconsequential policy questions and matters of civilizational necessity aside, there’s also the unavoidable fact that both parties’ almost certain nominees are such execrable people. We have voted for the Republican nominees in every election we’ve been eligible to vote in, and were supportive of the party in every race since we reluctantly went for the admittedly flawed Nixon way back in our childhood days of ’68, and although we’ve often had to hold our noses we’ve cast our vote for the party’s candidate without any loss of self-respect, but this time around that won’t be at all possible.
This time around the the Republican nominee really is the male chauvinist pig that the Democrats have previously accused all Republicans of being, despite his recently found “pro-life” yet pro-public-funding-of-Planned-Parenthood position is obviously open to negotiation, and although we’ve been willing to go on the record and challenge all that “culture of rape” baloney and that men-in-the-women’s-showers-stuff that Trump might nor not be on board with any of the other the post-reality-show claptrap we cannot defend any stance he might yet settle on. This time around the Republican nominee is a draft-dodging coward who denigrates the courage of America’s most selfless prisoners of war and mocks the handicapped and supports the most egregious eminent domain laws that he’s used to evict widows from their longtime homes so he can build a parking lot for the widows at his at his soon-to-be-bankrupt Atlantic City house-odds-as-usal casinos and openly boasts about all the married babes he’s bagged and the politicians he’s bought off, and assures his so-loyal-he-could-shoot-someone supporter’s that “believe me, nobody reads the Bible more than I do.”
Trump’s soon-to-be-swelling number of apologists will rightly note that his almost-certain Democratic opponent is at least an equally execrable human being, and although we can’t argue the point neither do we find any consolation in it. Clinton used her position as First Lady to save her husband from her numerous disgraceful sex scandals, used his popularity from the Republican-caused welfare reforms and “end of big government” and the seemingly sensible but ultimately economy-crushing “fair housing” policies to win an undistinguished Senate term, and parlayed a doom presidential bid into a Secretary of State gig that led to the Libya policy that the Republican claims to have opposed but actually supported and winded up with four brave Americans dying in the Benghazi compound and her lying to the American people about and those four brave Americans’ families, and the rest of her career has also been one self-interested deal after another.
At this point in this utterly unpredictable election we’ll proffer no predictions about how it might turn out, except to say that it it will surely end badly. At this point we can well imagine that Trump will convince a majority of Americans that Clinton is so awful only he can and his oft-bankrupt yet legendary deal-making can make America great, and at the same time we can easily imagine than Clinton and all those media that Trump has thus far so skillfully manipulated will make the similarly convincing case that the Republican is indeed a woman-hating and self-confessed adulterer who bilked the gullible in his “Trump University” same and to this very day employs illegal aliens and out-source labor and did indeed write checks to the very “establishment” he now vows to destroy and was effusive in in praise for the Democratic challenger that he’ll now be playing brought with.
Soon you’ll be familiar with that already “viral” picture of Bill and Hillary Clinton at the third wedding of Donald J. Trump to his H1-B Visa bride, the sometime-nude-model foreigner who would do the work that Americans aren’t willing to do, and we expect it will eventually become iconic of the “anti-establishment” year of 2016. Trump was sleazy enough to invite Clinton to this third — count ’em, third — wedding, and Clinton was sleazy enough to accept to his sleazy contributions to her sleazy “family foundation” to come, and that seems to be where we stand in this history of this of republic-if-you-can-keep-it.
We’ll leave it to the reset of this once great America, which in no case seems likely to be great any time time soon, to sort it it all out. In the meantime, we’ll bee sorting through all those no-hope third party candidates and holding on to some faint hope that an America that reveres free speech and believes that its multi-trillion-dollar economy and the rest of it are best left to sensible and ethical will somehow emerge.
— Bud Norman