It’s been quite the year. And, all things considered, it seems like the mess may potentially not be over after November 2ed. All depending on if Trump remains consistent with his definition of a rigged election (a loss due to a majority of votes to the other candidates). But if there is ANY bright side or silver lining to this mess, it has the exposure element. It is changed and challenged all candidates. Or at least it has forever challenged our perception of them.
Let’s start with Hillary Clinton.
First off, a big part of this campaign cycle was the rise of Bernie Sanders. Though involved in all manor of politics since before I even existed, 2016 was the year he would make his biggest accomplishment. In this, the cycle of the underdog and grassroots candidate, he was the lefts manifestation (answer?) to years and years of cumulative frustration with business as usual. Though we don’t know what he would have been like in the oval office (if he would have kept his fire stoked, or let it go to a smolder alike Obama), he accomplished something far more important.
Despite being in a battle for the position of head Democrat, he did help to change his opponent by aligning her views more to the left. But more than that, he also kicked open the door for future progressive candidates. A benefit I hope to see in increasing maturity come future elections.
Getting back to Hillary Clinton, one can not talk about her rise from nominee to official candidate without acknowledging the funny business in between.
Bernie didn’t have a chance, with these odds. A fact that Donald Trump is never afraid to speak of. However hypocritical it is for him to be pointing out unlevel playing fields, given his past (more on that later). But how we got here, despite how questionable, is small potatoes now. Like it or not, at least this time around, Hillary Clinton is in the driver’s seat. As sweet as vengeance sounds, there are much bigger problems to overcome.
To look on the bright side, being forced to run against an alpha male windbag has had it’s benefits.
Being the first women in a typically male playground comes with huge disadvantages. Even if the competition is merely Trump, there is still an uphill battle against gender expectations (even if unconscious). One has to not just outperform your male opponent, but one also has to remain completely composed, no matter what transpires. Because the alternative, taking a page from Trump and being COMPLETELY honest about what he is, would only come to harm the big picture. While a male could be completely honest about Trump and not be viewed negatively, a women will be seen as bitchy, bossy, or emotional.The same thing that often dogs many women in positions of authority, everywhere.
Knowing this, it’s no wonder the debates exhaust Clinton (as spoken of by Trump). It’s easy to be a willfully ignorant and easily triggered windbag. No effort at all. But it’s a hell of a workload to keep yourself totally composed in front of millions in the line of fire, as a matter of absolute necessity. I personally could not do it. Not that I would have to worry about it (since I have a penis). But that luxury (privilege?) is not available to females.
Before you go thinking that this is strictly a pro Hillary statement interlaced with feminist SJW rhetoric, think again. It HAPPENS that the situation involves Donald Orangutan Trump and Hillary Clinton. But in reality, the formula would be similar with almost any other combination. Even if the male is NOT a pompous ass of a man, his campaign remains largely effortless. While the female has to not just be evenly or slightly intellectually superior, but EXTREMELY well read.
Having said that, this imbalance in evaluation based on gender is not all bad (believe it or not). While having a microscope on her back forced her to put much more effort forward than Trump, it only served to make her a better candidate. Not only did this process help her to bring more knowledge to the debates (and hopefully beyond), it also helped her to be more engaging to people generally. Very important in town hall type settings (where direct interaction counts).
While Hillary Clinton is no Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, I believe that her trials have made her a better candidate than she was even merely months ago.
Now, Donald Trump.
Though I have changed my mind on him a couple times in the months leading up to this point, it seems that the picture is clearer now. For awhile, being the man formerly had public views that could almost be labeled progressive, I thought that he may be acting as sort of a progressive Trojan horse in the Republican party. Apt to troll his way in, then create one hell of a ruckus once elected.
But that silly bout of wishful thinking is gone.
Good at coining viral (and quite destructive, despite being very simple) ad hominem memes like crooked Hillary and lyin Ted,they are ultimately hilarious coming from him, given his history. First off, are the charitable donations for the veterans. Formerly I praised him for doing something good in holding a charity gala rather than attending another Republican debate. But I would ultimately reverse that, knowing how little selflessness the man actually displayed. Then there are the thousands of contractors and employees fucked out of rightfully earned cash by the man (including some of his own campaign staffers!). And then there is the campaign itself . . . utilizing primarily Trump owned or connected venues and services. Which matters because he ends up becoming further enriched by funneling his own supporters donations into his financial grasp (or at least, his reach).
It’s the perfect scam. And as much as many Trump supporters annoy me, being that I know many tend to be in the lower rungs of the economic ladder, I feel bad for them. While even smaller donations for these people likley involve much effort, it’s toilet paper to PROVEN lyin Trump. His supporters break their back to prop up a candidate they feel is worthy, and he responds by sucking them dry BEFORE HE IS EVEN IN OFFICE! People talk about corrupt Hillary . . . NOTHING she has EVER done even comes CLOSE to this. Unfortunately, all of these ignorant Trump supporters could well make things interesting if Lyin Trump does what he says he will, and refuses to concede the election. I’m still not sure what to think of that.
One thing is for sure . . . This election has brought a whole lot out into the open. Not only is it potentially historic for females, it COULD also be a turning point. Not just for people just starting into politics, but also for existing fixtures in various positions in politics.
Dave Rubin (host of one of my favorite online shows The Rubin Report) lives by the mantra that is, the best way to fight bad ideas is to expose them to the spotlight. If we look at this in the context of this entire election, it is brilliantly accurate.
Starting with Donald Trump.
Despite running for president many times in the past (gotta love free advertising when the media hands it over without question), being under the spotlight as Republican candidate has severely damaged his image. Rather than hanging around the unchallenged depths of our minds as a business man and reality TV star, he was forced onto center stage. As was his long list of dirty laundry and shortcomings. While it’s debatable what will happen after the cameras go away, I suspect that the Trump brand and name may not ever be the same.
For me personally, what happens to his business is irrelevant. What is more important, is that he will likley NEVER get taken seriously in politics ever again. The Trump tornado not only wrecked the RNC for the foreseeable future, but also his own house. But unlike the RNC (which will eventually figure it’s way out of this mess), I doubt Trump will ever fully mitigate his disaster.
Another area of American politics that will likley under go a shake up after this, are the alternatives. The Libertarian Party and The Green Party.
Though the horrendous choices in the main options finally ended up giving both underdogs more deserved publicity, their candidates to, have not weathered well. While both (like Trump) have typically never spent much time in the forefront of our minds, this election turned that around. Though involved in their respective parties for a long time, I doubt that will last now, being that their flaws have been clearly showcased to the electorate.
One has proven to be ignorant in many areas of importance to a potential president elect. And the other, while not an idiot, has proven far to open to embracing questionable conclusions and philosophies which at times border on the dangerous (such as enabling 9\11 truthers and anti-vaxxers). But really, as distressing as this election has been, it is not all bad. Though the silver lining may not be yet apparent, one has to look beyond decision 2016, maybe even decision 2020.
Starting on the right.
The GOP is in tatters at this point. If things go as many figure they will progress, we may well have a Hillary Clinton landslide. Which should illustrate plainly, exactly what the RNC and the GOP need to do to survive. In an America with a rapidly changing demographic profile, what worked in the good ole days is no longer a guarantee. Whether or not this transitions into being beneficial for anyone outside the RNC\GOP is questionable. But we hopefully will be hard pressed to find another Trump in this situation.
Though the DNC\Democratic Party stands to benefit from the fall of the GOP in the short term, they can not let their guard down either. This election has shown just how much people dislike the system. If the Democrats are bleeding NOW, imagine what will happen when the GOP gets its act together!
And, the Greens and the Libertarians. While both were highly regarded this time around, imagine what it would be like if they had COMPETENT candidates. Candidates that AS A RULE, were more than just annoyed protest votes.
Bernie may be out of the race (and may never make presidency in his lifetime), but his inspirational movement still lives on. We will, with luck, see the fruits of this in up coming years. But in the meantime, it’s as good a time as any for ALL entities to do some house cleaning.