Friday, September 23, 2016

This Campaign This Damn Pain: Nothing Changes?


Next week, US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will meet on stage for their first debate. In this forum, Clinton and Trump will answer questions that will test their knowledge, their wisdom, their temperament, their readiness to take on the most powerful position of authority in the world. And when this momentous event is over…


Nothing will be changed.


For those who support Hillary Clinton, they will agree that she made a better case that she can trusted to be with nuclear bombs while Dumb Donald cannot be trusted to operate a Fisher Price Speak ‘N’ Spell. 


Meanwhile, those who support Donald Trump will agree that he remains the best chance to make America great again and Crooked Hillary only deserves to make license plates in prison.


And if you think I’m being too cynical, please consider the following points:

  • Trump supporters will tell you that Donald’s attributes are he speaks his mind, he tells it like it is and he’s not just another politician.
  • After years of casting aspersions on Barack Obama’s legitimacy as a US citizen and therefore undermining Obama’s legitimacy as President, last week Trump issued a statement that Obama “was born in the United States, period.”
  • Trump supporters responded that Donald had to say that in order to put this “birther” question to the side so he can win the election and defeat Hillary Clinton.

So the conclusion from the last point is that Donald wasn’t speaking his mind but saying something he had to say; he wasn’t telling it like it is, he’s just pushing this whole “Obama was not born in the United States” thing out of the way; and he’s saying stuff just to get elected just like he’s another politician. And his supporters are OK with that! Trump supporters are perfectly fine with a complete repudiation of their reasons for supporting Trump in order to continue supporting Trump!


I mean, what the fuck, people!


A lot of this stems from this unabashed hatred of Hillary Clinton that no one is going to talk them out of. Hillary can stand on that debate stage for 2 hours and NOT shoot fire and brimstone from her eyes and NOT feast on newborn babies and she will still be seen as the worst, most evil demon ever to lurch from the sulfur pits of deepest, darkest hell. 


But beyond that, this intransigent allegiance to Donald Trump owes a great deal to the appeal of the man himself. Yes, he has an appeal but it’s the worst kind. It’s an appeal to the darkest corners of human nature. Donald Trump appeals to hate and fear and ignorance and greed. The world is a dangerous place that’s out to get you and nobody’s doing a damn thing to help save you from those dangers. Donald Trump’s appeal is to the worst the world can offer and the worst responses of human nature.


Take for example the capture and arrest of the man who it appears set the explosive devices in New York and New Jersey this past weekend. The suspect was shot during a gunfight with police. At a campaign event after this arrest, Donald noted dismissively that this guy was going to get the best medical care in a nice hospital room and he’ll be assigned an attorney to represent him if he can’t afford one. Trump spoke with disdain about these actions and the bloodthirsty crowd of Trump supporters were in agreement. Trump and his supporters, in other words, are collectively opposed to the tenets of simple human compassion and the rule of law that we all have to answer to and which also protects us.


What kind of headway can Hillary Clinton make against a candidate who invokes America at its best as something to be mocked and scorned? And yes, I believe the treatment of this bombing suspect is a very good example of America at its best. The treatment of our enemies, of those who would hurt us tells as much about the true strength and character of the American spirit as how we treat our friends and allies. It’s hard to treat with dignity someone who was prepared to do us harm. But we must aspire to be a nation that answers to the better angels of our nature. It’s this that sets America apart, sets us above those who would do harm to others. This is what makes America strong, makes America great.


Too bad Trump can’t see that. And even worse, there are millions of people who are willfully prepared to not see that for themselves.

Everyone, be good to one another. I'll be back with another post tomorrow.

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