America’s institutions corrupted long before Trump

October 23, 2016

trumpclintonfinaldebateFrom the moment the words rolled off his lips, I knew as sure as the dawn would come, that Donald Trump had just set the next day’s lede for every MSM newspaper and network morning show in the country.  His “I’m not looking at anything now, I’ll look at it at the time.” answer to debate moderator Chris Wallace’s question whether he would “absolutely accept the result of this election” was the perfect set up for the media vultures hungrily waiting for the next “hands up, don’t shoot” meme to feed a gullible public.

When Hillary Clinton chimed in with “that’s horrifying” and her oh so memorized, oh so perfectly practiced “every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is “rigged” against him.” the die was cast.

And as much as I hate to admit it, I too was sucked in.  I knew what was to come and couldn’t help thinking:  “Donald, how the hell could you be THAT stupid. You played right into their hands.”  I woke the next morning to the media nightmare I had expected and set off for work prepared for the worst.  Yet by mid-day I found myself feeling more than a bit embarrassed for being played the fool.

But as the day wore on and the coverage expanded, stories of Al Gore’s 2000 retraction of his concession and the 36 days of hell he put the country through when he refused to “accept the result” were rippling out, and talk radio and internet sites were repeating the voices and quotes of prominent Democrats like Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Howard Dean, and even Hillary Clinton herself, in a unified chorus of how “rigged” the system was against average Americans.

What had started as a media narrative of Trump the Tyrant running roughshod over American democracy was fast turning into a very embarrassing moment for the partisan media that started it.

By the end of the day, the message was clear:  Donald Trump had played the media upon itself once again. Beyond the hysteria was a simple, pragmatic message that no candidate of any party should ever concede anything until the results are in and each state’s situation fully known.

I have witnessed one new low after another this election cycle but I must admit, this “Trump is destroying democracy” is the lowest.  This Republic has survived far worse from actual administrations than the words of one rogue candidate.

But the media is not the sole perpetrator in this parade of charades.  Opportunistic politicos have been jumping on the band wagon as fast as the microphones can be tossed.

One of the worst goes to New Jersey Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, a Republican, quoted in the New York Post saying: ““It’s a very dangerous path to go down”..“The most important thing is our belief in our institutions. We may disagree with each other on policy, but we don’t believe the institutions themselves are corrupt or rigged.”

Really Mr. Bramnick? Have you even been above ground these past 8 years?

What began with Fast and Furious, Lois Lerner, Lisa Jackson and the “Like your plan, keep your plan”, continued on with Bergdahl, Benghazi, Syria and ISIS, and has culminated with veterans literally dying at the VA, ransom payments to Iran and Clinton/Lynch “tarmac justice” for the connected and jail for the peasants is the largest collection of lies, cover-ups and corruption since the Grant administration.

Newsflash to the media and political cowards everywhere: If the “undermining of American institutions” is truly your concern, you’re eight years too late.  Trump is destroying nothing that the Obama/Clinton machine hasn’t already turned to rubble.

The question before us today is, come November 8th, will America vote to begin rebuilding or will we scurry back into the rubble?

Publisher Note:  A version of this column first appeared in the October 23, 2016 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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