They’re Both Awful, And The Only Solution Is To Make Whoever Wins As Irrelevant As Possible

I recognize that a large number of The Hayride’s readers are either full-on Trump fans or have been dragooned into his camp by virtue of his winning the nomination, and I also recognize that many of you who fit either description are earnestly demanding everyone on the Right band together behind Trump in order to stop that corrupt harpy running atop the Democrat ticket, whose ascension to the presidency would bring on innumerable horrors and Change The Country Forever.

I get all that. The problem is I don’t find any of it convincing.

Hillary is atrocious, and it’s a permanent stain on the Democrat Party’s honor (yes, yes, I recognize the irony of that statement) that she had the way cleared for her to receive the nomination. No one with her record should receive any support in a presidential election; in fact, were it not for the complete and total corruption of the federal government’s law-enforcement agencies and particularly the Obama Department of Justice, which a Congress with some actual sand would completely de-fund until its personnel could be cleared out and replaced, Hillary would be indicted for scads of violations of federal law pertaining to the handling of classified information – and given the jail time such an indictment would threaten, she would be forced to take a deal that would include giving up her presidential run. One consequence of violating federal law pertaining to the handling of classified information, as David Petraeus found out, is that the violator is barred from holding federal office ever again.

The wheels should have turned on this question long ago, and the Democrats should have disqualified Hillary Clinton on that basis and opened their primary up to whichever hack candidates might have sought their nomination. It isn’t like an Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Mike Bloomberg or Liz Warren would have been a whole lot better than Hillary from a moral or ethical standpoint, but they certainly couldn’t have been worse.

But the Democrats have long since lost any sense of honor or intellectual consistency. As I said last week at the American Spectator, the Democrats are a political grotesque. They’re a rusted-out hulk of a political party, an outfit that has largely lost the ability to win elections at the local and state level outside of demographically-pristine “safe” districts. This is due to the fact that Democrats have embraced a raft of policies which are proven failures in honest governance but, paradoxically, are not proven failures in political preservation. Virtually every major city in America is run by Democrats and will continue to be run by Democrats for the foreseeable future. Why? Because the Democrats in charge of those cities have done everything they could to drive out the middle-class voters who vote Republican. They’ve offered failed public schools, high taxes, ineffective law enforcement, bad roads, declining municipal services, a substandard business environment, regulatory nonsense and thorough corruption – and those with the ability to move to suburbs not governed by Democrats have done so.

Which is bad news for a Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis or Atlanta – but it’s not bad news for the machines running those cities. What’s left are reliable Democrat voters, mostly poor but also some rich, who don’t seem to care how badly their politicians perform.

America understands this, which is why most of the country votes Republican. Look at the composition of the state legislatures, look at the governors, look at the House and the Senate. It’s possible the Senate might flip Democrat this year, only because the GOP is defending 2 1/2 times the number of seats the Democrats are, but even if it does you can bet that it will flip back in 2018.

So the Republican Party ought to be on the verge of a massive victory this fall, a repudiation of bad Democrat governance which produces municipal bankruptcy on the local level and Black Lives Matter and ransom to Iran for hostages on the national level. The public’s response to poll questions about the direction of the country after eight years of Barack Obama ought to make this 1980 all over again, and several of the GOP primary campaigns spent a good deal of time making that case.

And yet there will be no 1980. Instead, it’s becoming more and more obvious that Hillary Clinton will get that third term. Because the Republican Party allowed its primary process to be hijacked by a carnival barker who shares neither the party’s political principle nor its faith in American exceptionalism; amid a 17-candidate field containing a greater collection of qualified figures than any other, Trump insulted and preened his way to the nomination.

That he did so with some as yet undetermined number of Democrat votes which may or may not have been delivered as sabotage in GOP primaries has not been fully vetted. It’s also clear that the $2-3 billion in earned media Trump received because (1) of a personal friendship with outgoing Fox News president Roger Ailes and (2) a number of TV networks fully invested in Clinton’s victory who saw overcoverage of Trump in the primaries as a way to turn a profit while fixing the election for her.

If you want to call it sour grapes to make these points, go right ahead. The fact is that Trump got a lower percentage of the Republican primary vote than any candidate in modern history, and that gives the lie to any statements his supporters make about the record number of votes for him – some large fraction of which appear to have been Democrats with little better to do than sabotage the GOP primaries. Anyone not sour about that should take a hard look at themselves and their beliefs.

It would be one thing if Trump’s performance on the trail as a general election candidate was remotely satisfactory. Instead, since winning the nomination he’s done virtually everything possible to validate the conspiracy theory which holds him as a Democrat plant sent to destroy the GOP.

Just consider the past several days. Trump spent the weekend “punching down” against a man who 12 years ago lost his son as a war casualty in Iraq, something a competent candidate would simply not do. Is there an argument to be made against Khzir Khan? Without question there is. What Khan said at the Democrat convention about Trump was impolite and offensive even if there were shreds of truth in it. But the proper response to Khan by the candidate is appreciation and gratitude for his son’s service and sacrifice, a recognition that it was radical jihadists who both killed his son and threaten Americans of all stripes and a statement that what’s at issue is a disagreement over how best to protect the country against those radical jihadists – and that if Khzir Khan has a better solution than Trump as to how to do that, Trump would be happy to listen.

Then Trump’s surrogates could take some time to vet Khan and the credibility of his allegations – which as it turns out don’t hold up to much scrutiny. He’s an immigration lawyer who essentially sells American citizenship to rich Muslims, and his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and the corrupt Clinton Foundation don’t make him so much a Gold Star father as a shady operator whose faith in the Constitution doesn’t look any more unshakable than he accuses Trump’s of being.

Had Trump not cast himself in the role of petulant schoolboy slinging lowbrow insults at Khan and his wife, his campaign would own the Khan narrative as more information surfaces on the man. Instead, that opportunity was blown.

Which is simply a microcosm for his entire campaign, and why he’s unsupportable. It’s one thing to swallow hard and make the best of the fact Trump is no conservative. It’s another to view his total ignorance of how government and foreign policy work with hopeful rose-colored glasses and predict he’ll do better in office (He’ll hire the best people! He’ll learn this stuff as he goes along!). But if you truly believe Hillary Clinton is the end of America, shouldn’t you make demands that her opponent cease acting like he actively wants to lose?

Why is Trump attacking Paul Ryan? Why is he refusing to back John McCain? Both backed Trump, if halfheartedly.

Why is Trump talking about removing sanctions against the Russians and essentially accepting their annexation of the Crimea as legal?

Why is Trump falsely claiming that he refused a meeting with the Koch Brothers when it’s fairly plain Trump sought the meeting and was rebuffed?

Why is Trump expressing an interest in using nuclear weapons in conversations with unfriendly media?

Why is Trump kicking babies out of his campaign events, for Pete’s sake?

At this point, it doesn’t matter. Trump is such a disaster that even if he could fix these things he has likely let the election run away from him. The RealClearPolitics average…

It’s possible Hillary could have bad news cycles and that gap will close, but let’s not forget a few things. Trump’s tax returns will leak, and when they do it will be with maximum political effect. We know that what’s in those returns will be bad news; either they’ll show he doesn’t make the money he claims, that he’s stingy with charity, that he’s engaging in funny business, or that he does business with people Americans would prefer our president not to have a financial relationship with. That bomb has yet to go off, and the Katie Johnson bomb is also unexploded. Johnson is the woman who claims that Trump raped her when she was a 13-year old sex slave in Jeffrey Epstein’s harem; whether that accusation is true or not is of no matter – the media will play it out before the election and make Johnson the most famous woman in America.

This election cycle is a debauch. It’s an abject failure on the part of both parties and on the American people who allowed these two disastrously unqualified, terrible candidates unfit for leadership to become the finalists. And since there is no serious third-party candidate capable of taking advantage – Gary Johnson actually has an opportunity to do so, but it’s merely an opportunity and every time he opens his mouth he squanders a little more of it – we will be stuck with a terrible president.

Probably named Hillary Clinton.

The election is lost, regardless of who wins. What is important now is mitigation of its effects.

And if you can’t find a good president, it becomes crucial to limit the damage a bad president can do. It’s time for Americans to begin looking into an Article 5 convention which aims to drain power out of Washington and back to the states. Allowing crooks and morons to have outsized power over our lives is what the founders of our country stood up and refused to do; we’ve come to the point where we need to borrow a little of that revolutionary spirit and protect ourselves from the modern-day King Georges we’ve allowed into our midst.

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