The silly season commonly refers to the slow news time during the doldrums of summer when the media are forced to fill the newspapers and broadcasts with trivial and unimportant stories just to take up time and space. However, this is an election year in the US and the whole year qualifies as a silly season.
I first voted in an election in 1960 when I was 19 years old. John Kennedy got my vote. He was a Democrat and a WWII Navy combat veteran. Democrats were different in those days as was the electorate. Kennedy believed in pro growth policies and that included cutting taxes to accomplish it. He believed in a strong military and had the balls to back it up. I doubt that few young voters today have ever heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis that risked a nuclear war with the USSR. For those youngsters who may be curious how that turned out…..the Russians backed down. Can anyone picture Obama doing that? Or Hillary, or Sanders?
How different Kennedy, Scoop Jackson and other Democrats of their era from the politicians today who are deathly afraid of offending anyone. Some pervert wants to piss in the women’s bathroom even though he’s got a pecker? Have at it pal, we wouldn’t want to hurt the delicate feelings of the few transgender guys around. How many can there be, really? The women may not like it but they don’t count in this season of political correctness.
Maybe that’s the appeal of Trump? A lot of people are fed up with do nothing professional politicians who waste money and lie their asses off. Politically correct Trump is not. Nor shy. Throughout this long primary campaign I have been amazed at Trump’s success and wondered why? I speculated that he won some states that allow people from one party to vote in the primary of the other party. I know the Democrats believe Trump is easiest to beat and I happen to agree with that point. I wondered if the Dems had a strategy to vote for Donald just to defeat the more traditional candidates. But Trump is winning in states where crossover voting is not allowed. So I guess conservative voters are so frustrated that they are willing to overlook Trump’s obvious shortcomings – his brash braggadocio and his tendency to ramble on with annoying and insulting remarks.
On the other side of the aisle things are just as baffling to me. First of all, how the Hell does Bernie Sanders get taken seriously by so many people? To me the popularity of this cranky old socialist tells me two things: 1). The young people who form the bulk of his supporters are so poorly educated that they know nothing of history or have the most rudimentary understanding of economics and 2). Democrat voters are so sick of Hillary Clinton and so distrustful of that lying, smarmy broad that they will go for any alternative. Like I said, it’s a silly season and will go on.
The cost of this endless farce is enormous. The presidential contest in 2012 was 2.6 billion between the two contestants. Estimates for this year range from 3 to 5 billion and this is not counting the primary contests just to find out who will be the candidate of the two parties. Nobody knows yet how much money has been pissed away as the 17 GOP aspirants vied for the nomination slowly dropping by the wayside so that now the only serious contender is The Donald. Cruz was handily defeated in Indiana today and bowed out, leaving only Kasich doggedly hanging on for some unknown reason.
These primaries have been going on for about nine months already and there are still six more months until the election. Contrast this with the Canadian system of elections. Historically the median amount of time for an election is 50 days and the parties are restricted to spending about $25 million each. That certainly compresses things and saves a lot of cash, although I am uncertain the electorate is any better at making choices. The last time around Justin Trudeau, the son of a popular PM was elected. His name was his greatest asset for his qualifications were few. He was a former school teacher, part time actor. But despite the accomplishments of Harper, the Conservative PM, the Eastern Left and the media were sick of the guy. As an dry witted friend of my said, “Trudeau got elected by the young people. He’s young (45), good looking, has great hair and has promised to legalize pot.”
This will be the first US election in my memory where the two nominees are disliked by their base. Trump’s unfavorable rating is 57% and Clinton’s 52%. Maybe those numbers will change as the campaign wears on. One thing is certain, this will be a nasty one. Trump is sure to go after her for her many illegal and unethical failings and the Democrats have certainly unearthed dirt on Trump. The mud slinging will be historic.
I stick by my prediction first made in 2008 and again in my May 2015 blog post, “The Next President”, that Hillary would be the next president. As I pointed out then, the deck is pretty heavily stacked against the GOP nominee. Furthermore, I believe the Democrats who dislike Hillary will hold their nose and vote for her anyway to prevent a Republican president from appointing the next couple of Supreme Court justices. And, of course, Trump has gone out of his way to piss off Hispanics and women, two important voting blocks. Only an indictment by the FBI over Hillary’s email violations and mishandling of top secret documents can upset her march to the White House and coronation as the Evil Queen of the Liberals.
God help the USA.