Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Friday, July 15, 2016

And now in the Center Ring...

Now that the clown car is almost empty, I am sure you are wondering why, oh why, I have not blogged about the politics and the reason is simple: until the candidates were settled there was little to say. I would point out that before Ted Cruz was supposedly the first candidate to announce, there were actually 194 other candidates, including 55 Republicans, who beat Cruz to the punch. Still, the clown car on the Republican side was so overflowing with candidates a few were required to ride on the running boards or grab on to the bumper while riding a skateboard.

Bernie Sanders
I watched in fascination as they railed against the front-runner of the moment even before Trump led the pack. It was fascinating to watch them attack each other, especially Trump on everything except for the fact that all of them held pretty much the same opinion. Trump and extreme points-of-view are monsters of their own making. The same is really true on the left, too. Let's face it, the Grand Old Party began courting more than evangelicals a few years ago. They also wanted the less lovely groups more . As ye sew, so shall ye reap. The establishment candidates ranted and raved that they would not support Trump, and as soon as the loyal base elected him, the party leaders announced that maybe they would support him after all. Sad to stand on such principles as to vote for the party before country.

On the left, the clown car was more spacious. It was fascinating how Bernie Sanders, essentially a one-issue candidate, convinced people he was a Washington outsider, even though he has been in office in D.C. since 1990, has been in politics since 1980 and became a Democrat in 2015 just before announcing his run for President. Since his loss, he has maneuvered to control what goes into the Democrat platform. The platform whether Republican or Democrat is that wondrous thing that most folks running for office tend to ignore. It's there for the base. It is true that Sanders has moved Hillary to the left which is about as much "Feeling the Bern" anyone is actually going to get.

Gary Johnson
So now there are two. Donald J. Trump, Republican, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat, will be the major contenders.  I am actually in a somewhat interesting position in that I actually know people who know both Trump and Clinton. There is actually I think only one other candidate that hopes to be on the ballot in all 50 states besides these two: Gary Johnson,Libertarian, about whom I know very little.

It has been a long time since two candidates were so disliked by the general electorate.  Hillary has long battled the trust issue which, in all honesty, is a narrative that has been constructed by her and her husband's opponents over many years.  Is it well deserved? Saying that a politician doesn't lie is like announcing sharks are vegetarians.  Is she guilty of poor judgement? With the email thing, yes. Then again, private emails were used on a regular basis by several Secretaries of State, or for that matter, by many government officials.  John Kerry is the first Secretary of State to use solely a U.S. government account. The separate server is not new either.  There was even one in the George W. Bush Whitehouse that some 22 million emails were deleted from when congress asked for information about the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. 
Hillary R. Clinton

I also know that up until the email scandal and the Benghazi incident, perhaps the most investigated incident in congressional history which has pretty much come up with nothing new, Clinton was actually pretty popular as Secretary of State and New York voters were satisfied with her as a senator, but then again her polling has always been up and down since she first came into the spotlight in 1992.

Still, the trust issue is very real, although, despite all the memes and pundits, she has not been convicted or even tried for anything. Like it or not, in the U.S.A. we still have a presumption of innocent until proven guilty, although you would think of late that isn't true, at least on social media. Nevertheless, she will still carry the "Teflon" Clinton name.

What people who know Hillary think, or so I am told, is that she is smart, and it is all about Hillary when she is in the room. 

Then there is Donald Trump.  Trump has zero political experience.  He is litigious by nature. He or his companies having been involved in at least 3500 court actions.  His record on lying is not much better. According to Politifact, 180 statements made by candidate Trump, only 19 fell into the true or mostly true category while a whopping 135 were rated  "mostly false" to "pants on fire." He even won the 2015 "Lie of the Year." He was a major supporter of the Birther movement. He has regularly attacked women and minorities in his speeches and on his twitter feed. While some think that his statements are just an appeal to the base, I wonder if that's a base to whom we really want to appeal.  It seems to me that at some point, Trump's seeming racist and misogynistic statements cease being appeals to baser beliefs and begin to reflect true beliefs of the candidate.

Donald J. Trump
He has announced different positions on the same ideas often within days. Like Bernie convincing people he is not a Washington insider, Trump has convinced people that he understands what it is like to be without money, despite the fact that Trump's father, also a real estate developer, was worth between $250 to $400 million dollars at his death. Trump has never lived pay check to pay check.  He did take his part of his inheritance and build it into his fortune of today, although no one is actually sure what the real numbers are. He is a billionaire but what he is worth depends on who you talk to. Trump says 10 billion while experts like Bloomberg and Forbes say it is more likely between 2.5 and 4 billion dollars. 

There are no economists I could find who believe that his statements will do anything but lessen the tax burden on the wealthy even more and not cause a massive recession.  How does one become a master at economics when his companies have used (or abused) the laws to file for bankruptcy four times. 

His wall is, to put it bluntly, ridiculous and so is his idea that he will somehow make Mexico pay for it.  His ideas on trade are not the only thing that will create massive economic problems. His ban on Muslims would be unconstitutional, harken back to the days when we put another group of non-combatants into camps in WWII, and it would also prevent the Mayor of London from entering the USA for any negotiations, since he is Muslim, not to mention other Muslim leaders and business people from around the world

He has claimed to be a moral leader, despite the fact that he is on his third marriage.  Look, I get it, people are angry at Washington. Putting support behind the one true outsider, whose trust quotient and obvious lack of understanding world events, is not a good answer-it is the wrong answer.  

What people who know Trump think, or so I am told, is that Trump thinks he is the smartest person in the room and he wants it to be all about Trump.  

We have much at stake to put it simply. 
A truly disturbing picture, and
yes,it blinks.