I’ve taken enough shots at the leading candidates in this year’s Presidential race, it’s time to tackle the Big Two parties.
Like it or not, and for as long as we can see, Democrats and Republicans decide who is going to be your president. Independent voters may swing the race, but they still can only credibly choose between the two nominated selections.
That means there is a tremendous responsibility upon the parties to make smart decisions about whom to support and, more importantly, when to “break glass in case of emergency”.
Let’s look at how our two major parties hold up to our inspection of that duty…
The Democrats –
Hillary Clinton was anointed almost before she had begun campaigning. If ever there was a done deal, this was it. Heck, all you had to do was read those leaked Democratic National Committee emails to know the whole kit and caboodle was stacked in her favor.
Beyond those questionable ethics, let’s look at Clinton brand policy and how that compares to classic Democratic goals.
Her general tenor is more hawkish (read: interventionist) than normal Democrats are comfortable with. Her position on free trade is (temporarily) aligned, but the Clintons are historically biased towards free trade.
Her overall attitude to the most aggressive liberal goals is usually moderate, preferring to aim for things that “we can get done” as opposed to high ideal aims that may be unrealistic.
No one (other than Bernie Sanders, only nominally a Democrat, himself) called her on her leanings (and most likely return) toward the middle. The DNC is fine with all that, as long as she keeps leading in the polls.
Then there is the ethically and judgmentally challenged decisions on the email server and the Clinton Foundation. No one, not even Bernie, called her out on those.
Shame on the DNC.
The Republicans –
Goodness, where to start. The hypocrisy on this side is more out in the open. If you can label hypocrisy “honest”, then the Republican cowardice is more honest than the Democrats.
Long-standing ideals and beliefs of the Republican party have been challenged, insulted or dismissed by Donald Trump. In the process of steamrolling his massive lineup of competitors, he cared little for the reputation of his reputed party.
Throughout the campaign, as Mr. Trump went through a variety of negative (sometimes hateful) statements, various members of the Republican party would carefully tiptoe around the issues, making sure only to criticize the comment or idea, but not the man.
Years of planning and strategizing about expanding the party’s voters by reaching out to minorities and women were sent spiraling backward by the uncouth rhetoric of their nominee. Dangerous implications made by Mr. Trump about international affairs caused uproar and unease both here and abroad.
And the RNC remained quiet. Oh, a Senator here or a Congressman there might offer up a mild chastisement, but the main powers, Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus and Mitch McConnell, refused to say what needed to be said.
Shame on the RNC.
Shame on the whole political process that the absolute antipathy between both parties creates such a need to “win” that each party is willing to severely hurt the country and the citizens they were elected to serve.
Neither candidate is worthy of the job of President of the United States. Neither party will admit that about their candidate, though they will surely tell you that about the other. In this case, no one is lying…about each other.
The DNC and RNC need to get their heads on straight and remember who they are there for. Not “right-wing” or “left-wing”. Not “to win” or “to save the Supreme Court”.
They are there for us, the American people, all of us, and the best way they can truly help us is to give us a presidential candidate worthy of the job.
No matter whom the popularity contest victor that the primary elections provide.