By Ben Tanosborn
Sadly for most Americans, the more we examine our choices for president, arrogantly referred to as “the leader of the free world,” the more our 2016 presidential election is starting to look as a simple referendum, the flip of a coin that has either two heads or two tails: a toss of a coin that no matter how we call it, as it lands, we are all likely to lose. The question we might want to ask this year, however, is how reparable we want that loss to be. And the answer, as unhappy as it may seem to most of us, appears to be rather clear.
A nation of 320+ million people, several million among us with a somewhat reasonable tripod of education-knowledge-morals, and we, a supposedly rational self-governing people are asked to choose a “supreme leader” of sorts – since there is not just a nation but an empire to run – between the terrible Tweedledee and the horrible Tweedledum. What’s being presented to us is nothing but a choice between two people who by any standard of morality would stand to be rated somewhere between questionably-poor and abominable.
There is very little that needs to be said about Trump that his words and actions haven’t already been broadcasted loudly and clearly for decades: an amoral individual that only a self-serving corporate press has kept upright when silence would have decayed him into certain oblivion. It is inconceivable how the media, regardless of type or affiliation, has continuously capitulated to his whims, notwithstanding the financial benefits that this symbiotic coverage has provided such corporate media. And a fast shrinking bigopat America, largely composed of power-declawed white males, in its anger against what appears as a late if not last hurrah, has had nowhere to turn but to a charlatan!
At the other end of the candidacy, we have a warmongering career politician whose top claim to fame rests in a commencement speech she gave in 1969 at Wellesley College: a well-crafted speech that propelled the 21-year-old Hillary Rodham Clinton-to-be into a career in politics, just like many other bright but inexperienced young people. And I say the top claim to fame because her sociopolitical litany of claimed successes pale when measured against the major blunders in which she has participated from the time she entered the White House as Scoundrel Bill’s consort, to her time in the Senate or her tenure as US’ penultimate Secretary of State – and her foreign policy recommendations, not the GOP’s political over-exploiting of the email issue. Her decades of experience in politics bestow a failing grade on her judgment, and that’s key in decision-making, inside or outside of politics. Experience which add up to key bad decisions can hardly be construed as qualifiable experience for a higher position. As I recall, in management studies we referred to this observation as The Peter Principle – the tendency in most organizational hierarchies, be it a corporation or a political unit, for employees (managers) to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach the levels of their incompetence. Hillary is in crowded company in a Washington replete of career-politicians on the dole and their special interests’ mentors.
As extensive as the reach of our empire is, or the influence the US exerts over other nations, our nation has been unable to produce a cadre of dedicated, effective, elected legislators who conform to the best interests of the people they represent in Congress.
Should we then be surprised at our lack of world-class statesmen…none by most historical accounts since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)? Since then we have had a run of mediocrity in our presidents, even if they wielded formidable military power; and we associate, mistakenly, significant events – such as the missile crisis in Cuba or the Berlin Wall coming down – with undeserved presidential greatness, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan in those two instances. But if there is no list of “great ones” after FDR, one can sure rate the “worst ones,” starting at the head of the list with Six Trillion Dollar man, Mission-Accomplished Bush.
Since neither Green-Jill nor Aleppo-Gary are likely to influence the 2016 presidential outcome, there might be a chance for Bush43 to move up one slot…but that will only happen if Trump is elected. But as bad as the political scene looks currently, I don’t believe we have yet reached the suicidal stage.
So we are likely to be stuck with Hillary for four years, hopefully while the nation regurgitates its anti-democratic fodder, allowing Sanders’ revolution to start bringing down the corrupt politics engendered by the sharing duopoly which has engulfed us and made our government, a government of the elite, by the elite, for the elite.