Robert A. Levine 10-24-16
Enough already! This is the most disgusting and painful presidential election in my lifetime and that of most American citizens. And it goes on and on and on. Even Lady Liberty is crying. The presidential contest started virtually as soon as the last election was completed four years ago, picking up steam as it rolled along. The maneuvering and fund-raising began in earnest about two years ago and the primaries to pick the actual candidates nearly a year ago. Why can’t it be over?
The process of American elections is the longest in the world with the main job of federal officeholders and candidates being to raise money to run their campaigns. Once a person is in office, he or she immediately starts raising money for the next campaign, which comes up every two years for members of Congress. Officeholders not only have to be concerned with potential opponents from the other party, but to be sure they are not going to be ambushed by members of their own party seeking to undercut them for not being conservative or liberal enough.
The presidential election is a whole other ballgame even though the candidates are out of the gate when the previous election is in the books. Seventeen Republicans were seeking the presidential nomination of their party when the primary season began, and after multiple debates, caucuses, party meetings and so forth, The Donald captured the nomination. He used his celebrity power, pushing the right emotional buttons, and a weak bunch of opponents to grab the brass ring that the pundits believed was beyond his ability to do. He sure proved them wrong.
However, this may turn out to be a disaster for the Republican Party and for American democracy as the dirt and abuse keeps flowing, with even more desperation as Trump appears to be losing to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate. He also appears to be losing his grip on sanity. His charges that the election is being rigged by Hillary and her supporters and the liberal media is beyond the pale, but there are millions of people in his base who actually believe these outlandish and dangerous claims. This came after the tape that revealed he was a sexual predator (which he denied) and a number of women who claimed that he had groped and forced himself upon them. All liars, he declared, even though his words seemed to support what these women were saying. Why can’t it be over?
This is not to say that Hillary is an angel. Far from it. She has had a number of ethical problems, was careless with her emails while Secretary of State, had questions of helping the Clinton Foundation while a government employee, attacked Bill’s sexual partners and blamed them for his infidelity, had backing from the DNC in the primaries, and so forth. But compared to Trump she’s as pure as the driven snow. And in addition, she’s a seasoned and competent professional who is knowledgeable about how the government is run and knows what needs to be done to address the country’s troubles. No grandstanding like Trump.
But the conflict between Trump and Hillary appears never ending with The Donald refusing to accept that he’s losing. When it finally is over, will The Donald acknowledge his loss gracefully or continue to claim that the election was rigged and that he really won. Every politician has a bit of a narcissist in him or her, but America has never had a total narcissistic candidate that could rival Trump in his self-adoration and belief in his omnipotence. And he keeps pushing the buttons of his supporters to get them riled up at the way the election is being stolen. What will they do after the fat lady has sung and the results are in? Will Trump and his supporters recede into the hills and wait for the next election? Will there be violence or an armed rebellion? Why can’t it all be over?
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