Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Nightmare of Clinton versus Trump: Hillary is not a shoo in

Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?   
"The River" - Bruce Springsteen 

The failure of the economy to deliver real progress to middle-class and working-class Americans over the past 15 years is the most fundamental source of public anger and disaffection in the US.  BBC News 
Forty years of hurt has driven some people to answer Springsteen's question, that the American dream is something worse than a lie, and from that bleak answer they are looking for a political leader who echoes their anger. So my answer to presenters' questions whether Trump can win, is now and was before the primaries started: "Yes."  Michael Goldfarb - BBC

As of Today

In this the strangest of presidential election years, a poorly flushed Donald Trump pops up out of the backed up drains of the American psyche and the only thing standing between him and the Republican nomination is Senator Ted Cruz, who could pass as Boris Karloff's baby brother. 

Republican debate has now moved from the size of Mr Trump's penis to whether the evangelical Mr Cruz sleeps around. And this, far from hurting Trump, is fattening his lead in the polls
Mr Trump has succeeded in breaking down the boundaries of political debate. He has drained all civility from politics and licensed a discourse that elides bigotry with patriotism, is derisive of women, scornful of minorities and permissive of racism. The Republican primaries have become a contest in which it is acceptable to throw a punch at those who happen to disagree, to threaten to muzzle the freedom of the press and to make jokes about those with disabilities. Mr Trump has tossed overboard any idea that politics and public service can serve a moral purpose. Philip Stephens - Financial Times
If The Donald wins the nomination, which as of today, seems probable, he will, unless a kind providence intervenes, end up facing the most soiled politician in America... except for her husband, of course: Hillary Clinton.

For no one, not even Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, has objectively done more to turn Bruce Springsteen's dream into a lie than the Clintons.

Here is how Thomas Frank lays it out:

Ukraine is considered the most corrupt nation in Europe

After the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the corporate scandals of the Enron period, and the collapse of the real estate racket, our view of the prosperous Nineties has changed quite a bit. Now we remember that it was Bill Clinton’s administration that deregulated derivatives, that deregulated telecom, and that put our country’s only strong banking laws in the grave. He’s the one who rammed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through Congress and who taught the world that the way you respond to a recession is by paying off the federal deficit. Mass incarceration and the repeal of welfare, two of Clinton’s other major achievements, are the pillars of the disciplinary state that has made life so miserable for Americans in the lower reaches of society. He would have put a huge dent in Social Security, too, had the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal not stopped him. If we take inequality as our measure, the Clinton administration looks not heroic but odious. Thomas Frank - Salon

The Skinny
Assuming, as now appears most likely, that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and that either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz becomes the Republican nominee, the general-election ballot is set to feature a choice between two candidates more negatively viewed than any major-party nominee in the history of polling. Ruth Marcus - Washington Post
The only thing standing between such a nightmare choice for American voters is Bernie Sanders.

No two human beings could be more different than Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and the most fundamental difference between them is that Trump is a very bad man and Bernie is a very good man,

However what they both have in common is that their campaigns are both propelled by the passionate anger that so many Americans feel at the failure of the "American Dream" and their mounting distrust of the "Establishment", Wall Street, the media and of course the government itself.

Hillary Clinton's basic problem is that no one incarnates that Establishment so much as she does.

If it's Hillary versus Trump, America and a watching world will be treated to probably the dirtiest, most depressing campaign imaginable and with the probable, massive abstention of grossed out voters of both the left and traditional conservatives too and therefore with a result infinitely more unpredictable than anyone can now imagine.

However if Bernie Sanders manages to pull off an upset and the race is between him and Trump, the world will be treated to an all-American, Hollywood-esque spectacle of good versus evil, Batman pitted against The Joker, Saint George kicking the dragon's ass.

Not only would it change America and the world, it would be tremendous fun.

Probably the most fascinating, indeed endearing thing about the USA is the "let it all hang out" transparency of such a huge beast. What is missing today, unfortunately, is someone like Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis or Norman Mailer to write about all of this. DS

No comments: