Although many would regard the 2016 election as depressing that is because it has been, far and away, the most information rich campaign in memory. The crucible of events have thrown penetrating lights on the strengths and weaknesses, characteristics and flaws of Rubio, Cruz, Trump, Hillary and Sanders.
Most of the time voters see elections as contests between two opposing statesmen. By contrast, statesmen is probably not the word the public would use to describe the candidates who are now shown not as they wish to be perceived, but the way they would prefer not to be seen. The collapse of the Narrative, the breakdown in party discipline and the general chaos of 2016 has basically thrown the choreography and costumes out the window. We see the contenders pretty much as they are. The sight is not necessarily pretty, but it’s true. There’s a saying that the truth shall make you free, but only after it makes you miserable.
If both Trump and Hillary are so nearly equally flawed, the logical implication is that the 2016 election cannot be the solution, but at best only the necessary prelude to a real one. In the same way the wrecking-ball precedes the construction of the actual building perhaps the role of this election is to destroy politics as usual to make way for something different.
The question of whether Hillary or Trump will create more favorable opportunities down the track is interesting one to consider. The argument for Hillary is that she is a known catastrophe; that one should vote for her because she is bad and electing her will bring bring on a crisis that would make genuine reform unavoidable. On the other hand voting for Trump runs the risk that that he might not be as bad as the press portrays him; in which case he might actually delay the crisis which Hillary will reliably precipitate, without being skilled enough to fix the current dilemmas.
The case against voting for Hillary is that it is like taking a serum that might kill you before effecting a cure. Whether you accept such a serum depends on how risky you believe it would be. Are the odds 50-50 that it will cure you before it kills you, or more like 1-99? The case for voting for Trump is the belief that he may buy time and in that time something good may happen.
The probabilities are ultimately unknown. Each person must ultimately weigh the probabilities himself — and choose. America is in a place of great peril because it made bad choices in the past. Now it must take a chance if it is to win redemption. Nothing is guaranteed. The choice in 2016 is ultimately one of calculated risk, which Nimitz famously defined as accepting loss for likelihood of greater gain. But don’t worry. Remember that however bad the odds are, that means there’s a chance.
Follow Wretchard on Twitter
Support the Belmont Club by purchasing from Amazon through the links below.
Recently purchased by readers:
Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them — but she’s trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world, to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine.
It’s Not the End of the World, It’s Just the End of You: The Great Extinction of the Nations, This book presents, in one comprehensive volume, the wide scope of David Goldman’s (Spengler’s) theories on Christianity, Islam, America, the financial crisis, horror movies, modern art, Israel, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, tribalism, the global balance of power, demography, and sex in the 21st century.
Mengele: The Complete Story, Based on exclusive and unrestricted access to more than 5,000 pages of personal writings and family photos, this biography of German physician and SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Josef Mengele (1911-1979) probes the personality and motivations of Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death.”
The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages, 400-1000 (Penguin History of Europe Series), An ambitious and enlightening look at why the so-called Dark Ages were anything but that, by prizewinning historian Chris Wickham.
Life At The Bottom, A collection of essays from the doctor and consultant psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple, looking at the collapse of the British way of life.
Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with your friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
The War of the Words, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Belmont Club