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Those Post-Labor Day Blues

One of the quadrennial cliches of presidential election years is that the American public doesn’t start paying attention to any of that political stuff until after Labor Day. We’ve always wondered if that were really so, given the usual ubiquity of politics, and in this crazy election year we can’t believe that anybody has been able to avert his gaze from the spectacle. If you are so lucky as to be just now tuning in the presidential race, though, suffice to say that it’s been dreadful.
Believe it or not, the two major party nominees are Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Donald J. Trump, the worst choices that America’s longstanding and once-venerable two-party system has ever puked up. We are slightly heartened that enough of the public has been paying attention that a vast majority regards both as dishonest and corrupt and utterly unfit for the office, but it looks as if one or the other will wind up president nonetheless. As we enter the supposedly crucial post-Labor Day stretch of the race Clinton is still clinging to a slight lead in the average of polls, but the unprecedented unpopularity of both candidates makes it daunting for even the most daring pundits to offer a prediction.
Those civic-minded sorts who take a post-Labor Day interest in the issues needn’t both boning up on the candidates’ stands, as they tend to shift from day to day. The Democrat can be counted on to take the typical Democratic positions, but not to an extent that would upset her Wall Street backers, which is why she had such trouble beating a full-blown nutcase and self-described socialist as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primaries. The Republican takes all sorts of un-Republican stands on issues ranging from free trade to the Iraq War to socialized medicine, which partially explains how his pluralities more easily defeated a large field of far more qualified challengers, and he’ll routinely switch sides and insist that he’d been on the same side all along.
Neither candidate seems at all concerned about the nation’s unaffordable debt, much less expressed a willingness to address the entitlement programs that is driving it, and both seem to have the disastrous belief they can expand the economy enough to solve that problem their own brilliant micro-management. The Democrat has a long foreign record in public that includes four years as Secretary of State, which were disastrous in countless ways, the Republican has no public service record at all but routinely lies about his past pronouncements and spouts all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories and has openly mused about not fulfilling America’s treaty obligations. Both are protectionist, although the Democrat was sort of forced into that by her full-blown nutcase of a self-describes socialist challenger and probably won’t go so far with it as to upset her Wall Street backers, while the Republican seems to have arrived at this very un-Republican position on his own and has consistently stuck with his belief that any trade deal in the history of the country he didn’t negotiate is a loser. The Democrat is more friendly to illegal immigration than the Republican, but by the time she gets done “triangulating” and he gets done “softening” that might prove a wash, and in any case it doesn’t seem the all-important issue it was back during the Republican primaries.
Our guess is that it comes down to which nominee the public finds more personally loathsome, and we can’t blame any pundit who declines to guess how that comes out. Which is basically where we find our country on this day after Labor Day, when the public supposedly starts paying serious attention to the such matters. There are also the Libertarian Gary Johnson and The Green Party’s Jill Stein in the mix, and although neither of them will be the next president they do make the race even tighter, and somehow even weirder, which is saying something, but that just makes a pundit’s job all the harder.
We’ll probably wind up writing in some pointless protest vote, and leaving it to the rest of you to decide which candidate is more loathsome, but at least you’re caught up to this point, more or less.

— Bud Norman

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One response

  1. Why do some fringe brands of Conservatives have a death wish? I mean that in a figurative sense of course, since this death wish manifests itself only during an election. But Bud here is a great example. When I began reading him I found a conventional Republican with a talent for droll humor. But as the election cycle heated up the inner maniac showed up. We’re now past he point where Bud’s Hail May passes miss the receiver and he realizes that third party candidates are not going to be the next President. But we still hear the lonely laments that the Republican does not act like the standard issue M1A1 Republican loser.

    Here’s an outstanding example of the #NeverTrump mindset as it demands that the Republican nominee cut his throat in the town square at high noon.

    “Neither candidate seems at all concerned about the nation’s unaffordable debt, much less expressed a willingness to address the entitlement programs that is driving it…”

    Of course that sentence is nonsense on two levels. No one this side of an insane asylum expects the Democrat to do anything but ignore the national debt – or blame it on Bush as Obama did. And the Democrat is guaranteed to fatten current entitlement spending and invent new entitlements. In fact, “free” college education is part of the Democrat platform. So Bud’s not really being honest with his readers when he talks about “neither candidate.” He’s talking about Trump.

    He’s demanding that Trump run on the Scrooge platform. He’s demanding that Trump spend the campaign telling people how if he’s elected he’s going to cut Social Security and Medicare and take food out of the mouths of starving orphans and widows. And lest anyone accuse me of hyperbole, keep in mind that during the 2012 elections the Republican ticket was shown throwing a wheelchair-bound grandmother off a cliff.

    There are ways of solving our deficit spending problem; ways of making this country and its people less dependent of government and more independent in every way. The last time the budget was near balance was because the economy was growing fast enough that tax receipts actually kept up with spending.

    But first you have to get elected. And you do that by appealing to people’s emotions.

    Republicans have been doing that for decades by promising their constituents fiscal frugality and loosening the bonds of government. And when they get into office they deliver goodies to the people who bankrolled them while lying to the rubes that they didn’t have to votes to cut spending.

    Democrats have an easier path to bribing their voters and supporters: they just tell them right out that they’re going to pass out free stuff from the cornucopia that’s the federal treasury. How’s this for an appeal to the youth of the nation – and their cash strapped parents? “Wanna spend four years partying at State College? Elect us and we’ll pay the bill.”

    So this election is not going to be about who’s Scrooge and who’s Santa Claus. It’s a battle between a sick, corrupt woman who’s expecting to ride into office on the coattails of her husband, and a political novice who’s vanquished the corrupt, lying Republican establishment with the promise of Making America Great Again.

    I think the novice will win.

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