The True Deplorables
Okay, okay. I’ve settled down from the debacle (excuse me, I meant debate) held Sunday night between the two major party candidates. I have never encountered two more unfit candidates in my life (or in a search of the historical record – and we have had some doozies). One of them is a narcissistic asshole whose primary principles are 1) how to get more personal publicity and notoriety, and 2) how to screw more bimbos than Bill Clinton (if Mr. Trump wasn’t a billionaire and the Republican candidate for President the average guy on the street would have no trouble naming him as an asshole). The other is a conniving, manipulative harpy to whom the truth depends on whether she is talking personally or publicly. Her leaked and leaking e-mails (plus those of her trusted lackeys) portray a moral bankruptcy that uses a “charitable” foundation and a randy husband who can command six and seven figure “speaking” fees to create a political machine that would make Boss Tweed envious. Well maybe I haven’t settled down that much. Too bad Gary Johnson wasn’t also on the stage. He might have been able make some reasonable responses to the questions and the only attack the other candidates could make on him would have been about his pot smoking (but that’s cool, man).
We are really in for it for the next four years unless Mr. Johnson can throw a wrench into the Electoral College by winning a couple of states and have the election placed in the hands of Congress (it could happen – it took Thomas Jefferson 36 congressional ballots before he finally was elected president). Each state delegation gets one vote so big democratic leaning states like California and New York have the same weight as North Dakota and Wyoming. In such circumstances the lame duck congress would be unlikely to elect Mrs. Clinton. Nor would it be likely to endorse Mr. Trump since many voting senators and representatives may have lost their seats due to his ineptitude. Ahhhh, but this is only wishful thinking.
So who can we blame for this sorry state of affairs. We can’t blame Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton; they are just doing what comes naturally to people of their ilk. Look in the mirror, pal! Mr. Trump (as he likes to boast) got more votes than any previous Republican primary candidate. Mrs. Clinton didn’t even need all the help she got from Ms. Wasserman-Schultz and all those super-delegates to defeat Mr. Sanders. You selected these jerks (I must take collective responsibility because I participated in the primary elections but I didn’t vote for these people).
Unlike the Stones’ song, we didn’t get what we needed we got what we wanted. Assuming (and this is a big if) we survive the next four years and still have a somewhat functioning democracy and a reasonable chance at free and fair elections in 2020, what’s to prevent the American people from voting for these people or someone like them again?
Both candidates are offering the same Pablum. A smorgasbord of freebies for the dependent classes (which they hope is a majority of the voters) including free college (HRC), tax subsidies for child care (DJT), equal pay for women (HRC), and the continuation of bankrupt entitlement programs (HRC & DJT). The list goes on and on. They only differ in how they want to pay for it. For Mrs. Clinton, the giveaways will be paid for by taxing the wealthy (her donors? Come on!) and debt (lots of it). For Mr. Trump it will come from economic growth (he must of stolen some of Mr. Johnson’s weed) and debt (lots of it). Neither of these schemes is economically viable. When has government or politicians ever been able to predict future costs? Remember that in 1965 Medicare was projected to cost only $9 billion a year by 1990? Of course you don’t but I looked it up. The actual figure in 1990 was $67 billion. That is how government and politicians projects costs and benefits.
We need to wean ourselves off these political promises and their dreadful consequences. Not only have they generated $20 trillion of debt (and much more to pay for future obligations), they are making the people dependent on government largesse. Dependent Americans? It is a contradiction in terms. There has never been a successful communal society (socialist or communist) unless it is a monastery or convent. Mr. Sanders would point to the Nordic social democracies but that story is not yet finished. It is just taking longer to play out. Of course, the American story is not yet finished either.
It is up to us to determine how that story continues (or not). Founding Father John Adams was not very sanguine about America’s future.
"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
He could have been talking about the 2016 presidential election. Here we must rely on a quote from another great American, Winston Churchill (his mother was American).
"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else."
After Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump we will have tried everything. It is now time to do the right thing.