Assessing the two candidates for our 2016 presidential election reminds us of two famous quotes about America. One was Benjamin Franklin’s as he left the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, in response to a question asking what sort of government they had agreed upon; he responded: “A republic – if you can keep it.”
The other was provided by H.L. Mencken, who observed that: “… no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Quite so; it is evident that the voters gathering behind Mr. Trump to revolt against the status qui are easily reelecting their Congressional incumbents without any strain. In ancient Biblical terms, they persist after all those centuries to: … strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”
Mrs. Clinton somehow swallows her husbnds’ sexual hi-jinks while taking unbrage at lesser offenses allegedly of Mr. Trump. All such allegations are conveniently decades past and unsupported by evidence or by complaints at the time. The ploy worked to destroy Bill Cosby, a black entertainer who did not know that the was required to elect Democrats. The same technique – media propaganda endlessly repeated – destroyed Republicans Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin.
If President Obama has initiated ruling via an unending campaign in this new era of the internet and social media, Mr. Trump has displayed how to campaign that way; Mrs. Clinton is following, though apparently at somewhat greater expense to her. Following is not good enough; there is no second place in this contest.
The real question here is not so much who will win; it comes down to two more questions. First, will the fed up Republicans and Democrats (Yes, they exist too) see through or just ignore the propaganda and vote for Mr. Trump, or at least against Mrs. Clinton? And the second and by no means less important second question: Who will actually count the votes? The two parties divide that between them usually; this time, one of the candidates is at least somewhat, opposed by both parties.
In a bit less than a month, we will see the result, whether or not we believe it. Considering that most all else stemming from government is suspect these days, it seems a lot to expect that voting will stand as the exception to the general corruption.
We can hope though, remembering that hope is the triumph of desire over experience