How did we get here? Dems AND Repubs deserve scorn

March 13, 2016

DemRepubIn the Democrat debate Wednesday night Univision anchor Jorge Ramos went straight to Hillary Clinton’s trust problem.  Bringing up her 2011 memo directing employees to use official email because of security concerns he noted: “it seems that you issued one set of rules for yourself and a different set of rules for the rest of the State Department…”

Following that up with “who gave you permission…Was it President Obama?” got him a “how dare you” glare for the ages and a smug response of: “There was no permission to be asked. It had been done by my predecessors. It was permitted.”

Not a smart move for someone who 60 percent of Americans find dishonest and untrustworthy. (Quinnipiac University National Poll, November, 2015)  And even less smart because the “my predecessors did it” is an outright lie.  While past Secretaries of State have admitted to occasional personal email use, none ordered up for themselves a private server completely out of the government network.

Following up Hillary’s “you’re questioning ME?” performance was Thursday night’s Republican debate that for once was more than an R rated reality show.

Donald Trump, while still short on several specifics, did what D.C. Beltway wisdom said wasn’t possible:  be Presidential.  Gone were the personal attacks and in their place calls for unity of the party and getting to work for the benefit of the country as a whole.

If you’re wondering about now just how the world’s sole remaining super power, a nation of over 320 million people, has as the frontrunners to the most powerful office in the world William Safire’s “congenital liar” and New York City’s biggest mouth, know you are not alone.

But to understand the conundrum requires looking past the candidates to the parties themselves.

From the moment the Democrat party decided that its future lay with identity politics and a coalition of the aggrieved, and the Republican elite began running from Reagan the minute he left for his ranch, it was inevitable that this time would eventually come.

Forced to stand atop the mountain of debt and failures their last identity candidate has wrought these past 7 ½ years the Democrats have no other option but to hope they can fool just enough voters to play along for just one more “historic” election.

And the Republicans?  Well, you can only make so many promises and deliver on none of them for only so long before the base eventually revolts.

While Democrats pushed one lie too many and the Republicans went one trade deal too far, tens of millions of Americans were left with no jobs in hollowed out communities with no future.  (Pandering and promises does not food on the table provide.)

Hillary Clinton may or may not be indicted.  She may or may not convince the 60 percent that don’t trust her to vote for her.  She may or may not have her own historic election.

Donald Trump may or may not win Florida and Ohio this coming Tuesday.  He may or may not garner the 1237 delegates needed to become the Republican Party’s nominee for President.  He may or may not become the 45th President of these United States.

Yet whether it’s Hillary, Donald or someone as yet unknown, whoever takes the oath of office come January 20th, 2017 is going to inherit an America more divided and more politically polarized than at any time in modern history.

Leading that nation it is going to take more than just being another politician or having business experience; it’s going to take nothing short of a miracle.  And looking at the landscape as it is today, all I can say is “God help us”.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the March 13, 2016 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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