A year ago, had anyone told me that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would by this time be their respective party’s nominee, I would have said they were half right. I will be honest. (Am I ever not? Don’t answer that.) I didn’t think Donald Trump would go the distance even when almost immediately he gained traction in the Republican field.
I thought by the end of last summer he would pull out after titillating the political world with his bravado. He would have bashed a few of his opponents and then moved on to other things, like filing more lawsuits against anyone who looked at him wrong, or firing more celebrity-wanna-be-celebrity-again-celebrities.
Boy, was I wrong. And as Donald Trump stayed in the race and mowed down one candidate after another with his insulting, demeaning style, I was both fascinated and horrified.
Fascinated, because hey, the Republican race (the Democrat’s as well) hasn’t been this interesting since Abraham Lincoln’s ascent caused a rupture in the country. Yikes, using Honest Abe’s name in the same paragraph discussing a huckster known as The Donald makes me shudder.
Horrified, because well, as I have been writing for over half a year, the Republican Party has been creating its own schism. So mad is the party about Obama and Congress and more, and it should be mad, and I am too and have been, that it has actually become mad.
This was a slam dunk presidential election for the GOP. Had it nominated someone who was actually sane, not too far to the right, and had the proper gravitas, someone who could attract Independents and even Democrats, Republicans would have won back the White House, protected the Supreme Court, held onto a shaky majority in the Senate, and not endangered the House of Representatives and every elected-Republican all the way down each local ballot to the position of dog catcher.
I made no secret of my support for Ohio Governor John Kasich. But God forbid, Republican primary/caucus voters should choose a popular, successful leader of an important swing/battleground state to carry the banner.
Friends, Hillary Clinton was the worst the hypocritical Democrats could do, and they gave us their worst.
And we blew it.
Trump did just fire his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a guy he defended after Lewandowski had a confrontation with a reporter back in March. Let’s see, what did Donald say then about the guy when there were calls for his firing? Oh yeah. Touting how loyal he is to his people, he said, “I can’t destroy a man. I can’t destroy him. He’s got a beautiful wife and children, and I’m not gonna destroy a man for that.” For squabbling with others in the campaign, out you go. For putting his hands on a reporter, nah.
But you know what? Even with that, I don’t think Trump is serious, or certainly serious enough, about the election. He said he was. He said he would pivot and become presidential as soon as he locked up the nomination. No one can be as presidential as him, right? No one can be anything like him, right? He is the best in everything he does, right? But the unfiltered one could not just shut his mouth and tone it down, and play nice.
The whole campaign has been about him and him alone. What further proof can there be after his attack on the judge working the scammy Trump University case? Yes, reporters asked him about it, but he spent valuable campaign time blasting the guy, making bigoted statements when he should have stayed focused on Hillary and the Democrats. After all, they were self-destructing too.
Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee and at nearly the same time, the State Department’s Inspector General reported that Hillary Clinton, the Democrat’s 2016 presumptive nominee since 2009, violated the Federal Records Act and lied (big shock) about everything she said related to her email server. (If I had a buck for every one of Hillary’s lies about so many things, I could become a big donor to the Clinton foundation and get some cushy job somewhere in government.)
As Clinton was finally done with the nutty Bernie Sanders, at least before the convention, and as she consolidated her troops and her PACs, her ads and her focus, she did have to squirm through her own self-inflicted wounds. Of course, Trump squandered the golden opportunity to stay on, and only on, Hillary and her failings, of which there are many from which to choose, instead deciding to settle personal scores, to say foolish things about the Islamic terrorism in Orlando, and to attack the very people who could help him. Much to the delight of my friends on the other side of this presidential race circus freak show.
I have tried in so many ways for so long to tell the die-hard Trumpsters (Trumperinos?), many of them smart, cultured, educated, bright, caring, etc., people, contrary to the stereotype fed by the media about all Trump voters, that their guy would bring disaster. No matter. They refuse to believe anything written that is not from some fringe site, or any words spoken by those they believe are traitors because they refuse to jump on the Trump train wreck coming. And we who decline to give our support (like me), or do so tepidly, will be blamed, don’t worry, when ruination comes.
Watch and see. The die-hards will not take responsibility for their short-sightedness and self-destruction.
Because I have used polls so many times in my analysis (not always agreeing by the way) – every poll dismissed by the Trumpsters as unreal, I had some sent to me by the die-hards when Donald tied Hillary in the numbers. Again and again, before the polls were sent my way and after, I explained those were national polls and the race would be decided in swing states by Independents/moderates in those states – not by anyone queried in California or Utah, as well as how angry at Trump women and minorities would be by election day in those same states.
Now the national polls show a widening of the gap. And big surprise, I do not get the polling surveys sent to me anymore. And what it means by the way, is that more states are now in play because of Trump’s stupidity.
Check out the RealClearPolitics electoral map. You can see that Clinton starts with 157 definite and likely Clinton state electoral votes and Trump begins with 83. Add the leaners and it turns into 211 to 164. 270 are needed to win the presidency.
There are 12 states and 163 toss-up electoral votes in play. That includes what most pundits believe are the usual purple swing states like Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and others, but now also includes states like Arizona and Georgia, which even with changing demographics, should have been leaning Republican in the very least. And there are a couple Clinton leaning states, Wisconsin and New Mexico, that could very well have been in the toss-up column.
Now it ain’t over till it’s over, but without divine intervention — and frankly, I think God is either laughing, or so appalled at how we decided on two such flawed and unpopular nominees, He decided to punish the country by turning off the air-conditioning — we will be forced to choose between a bloviating blowhard egomaniac or a couldn’t-care-less-about-national-security pathological liar.