This political summer, there are two big problems that I’ve seen. No, I’m not talking about the candidates themselves. I happen to be a strong Clinton supporter, but for those who aren’t, well, please heed the words of PJ O’Roarke.
No, the problems that I see are (a) the Trump supporters; and (b) a failure at the DNC.
The problem with the Trump supporters is that they have been so convinced by the Republican media-machine of the guilt of Hillary Clinton that they can no longer think critically and reason for themselves. They can’t see the flaws in their candidate. They are so angry at the political establishment that they would rather blow it up. They are, essentially, political terrorists, playing into the hands of terrorist leaders and demagogues. It is not good for our country, but they have been wound up so tightly with hate that they don’t care. This is the same thing that ISIS does with hatred for the west, and it may very well produce the same level of carnage in this country if it succeeds. More significantly, their minds are so closed they can’t see the bill of goods they have been sold. Not only is their candidate much much worse than he has been portrayed, but the Democratic candidate does not have the level of corruption and deceit that the Trump-supporting media has been stating. Independent assessors have actually pointed out that she is the most honest candidate, and all of the “corruption” investigations — including the email message — are more smoke than substance.
On the other side, the DNC failed to address the above. Oh, they addressed the problems with Trump. What they needed, however, was to have Clinton come out and straightforwardly address all the lies that have been circulated about her, demonstrating that there is nothing there. Bengazi — nothing. Email scandal — nothing. Clinton Foundation — nothing. Cronyism — nothing. But by not directly addressing the issues, they permit the rumors to live. No, they won’t be able to convince the Trump stalwarts. But they might be able to convince the Sanders supporters and the third-party supporters that Clinton isn’t the corrupt politician she’s been made out to be. They might be able to reach the folks that would vote for her, “if she wasn’t so corrupt.”
This election is one where much of our problems can be placed squarely on the media and its obsession for eyeballs. Trump may be a horrible candidate, one of the worst presidential candidates ever — but he is entertaining and draws the eyeballs to the media. This improves ratings, and helps the media companies. Clinton? She’s never been an exciting candidate or a moving speaker, and is very cautious — and so doesn’t make the mistakes and gaffes that get into the news. Why cover her strengths?
We need to figure out a way for people to think critically. To look at what Trump is doing and his history critically. What is in his tax returns? Why have all his businesses failed? What does his notion of having Ben Carson and Sarah Palin as his foreign policy advisors say about his judgement?
On the other side, for those so upset at Clinton’s emails, ask yourself this: If she was sending classified information against State Dept policy, then why didn’t the recipient’s report receiving the mails? That’s a requirement as well. The answer is that it wasn’t a problem — it was normal practice at the State Department, which does things differently than the DOD. If there was something clearly at the level of prosecution, it would have been prosecuted by now. The evidence of anything other than occasional poor judgement is just not there.