Hillary Vs. Trump: Godzilla Vs. King Kong?
- Is Hillary perhaps still a Bill Clinton centrist or at least an elite member of the establishment whose first allegiance is the sober and judicious status quo?
No. Her tenure as secretary of State was the worst since Cyrus Vance served under Jimmy Carter. To Vance-like incompetence and therapeutic blather, she added serial dishonesty, violations of the law, callousness toward the families of the Benghazi dead, and opportunistic trashing of her predecessors. Hillary was as responsible as her boss for the Russian reset, the Iranian deal, the Libyan tragedy, the implosion of Iraq after the needless total withdrawal, the cluelessness about ISIS, the red lines/deadlines/step-over lines embarrassments, the slow and steady decline of Afghanistan, the genocide in Syria, the reach-out to thugs like the Castro brothers and Recep Erdogan, and the estrangement from Israel. She may have not done the apology tour, but it reflected well enough her worldview of the moment, as did the euphemism campaign of workplace violence and man-caused disasters.
Then there is Hillary the person. Her career is one of fiscal dishonesty and status quo graft, from the cattle-futures fraud to the Whitewater/Travelgate/pardon mess, to the shame of the Clinton Foundation, to her shake-down, $300,000 30-minute speeches. The billion-dollar money trail to the foundation from Wall Street and foreign illiberal interests makes the schlock of Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka mostly petty change.
Her positions are entirely predicated on what 51% of the voters in an upcoming election feel on any given week—gay marriage, Keystone, the Pacific trade deal, and most everything is contingent on polls. Her sudden metamorphosis to a Barack Obama racial warrior is a crude attempt to get some of the Obama minority bloc vote, as insincere and demagogic as her faux-black accentuated speeches.
Whether Clinton will be indicted for creating a private server to hide her government email trail, and then serially lying about, is entirely a political decision; all know that an independent prosecutor would have charged her long ago. Under the new feminist guidelines about sexual propriety, Bill Clinton in a logically left world would be barred from any major campus and simply unable to speak; so would Hillary as an abettor whose job for two decades was to provide cover for destroying the lives of those who had consensual and non-consensual sex of every sort with her husband.
In other words, staying home or voting for a third party will elect the most unethical politician in recent memory, one who stayed out of court or jail only because of her connections and candidacy. Her exemption from indictment in itself will be a stain on the entire judicial system for generations to come.
- Is Trump beyond the pale?
Lots of us have contextualized Trump’s boorish crudity in the long tradition of American politics. In truth, for all his bombast he is no Wallace segregationist, much less a Hitler-lite brown shirt. His melodramatic excesses are firmly within the Obama or Reagan tradition of bring a gun to a knife fight/get in their faces/punish our enemies and "if it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with"—only serial rather than episodic.
His quips are or are not as uncouth as those of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on abortion and Eric Holder and Obama on race. When Trump crudely starts talking of the positive aspects of aborting black babies, or referring to whites as “my people,” or lamenting that the slain Nicole Simpson might have looked like the second daughter he never had, I’ll reconsider that assessment and agree he is racist.
I agree that each day Trump says something not only stupid, but gross; Hillary is more mannered but in a way even more cruel as when she blithely wrote off coal miners as losers or claimed that no one died in Libya. If you think political discourse is debased, then Trump is a good run-of-the-mill example; if you think political discourse is not debased and Trump is ruining it, then I think you are delusional.
Next page: Is Trump a total blank slate?