(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve learned a lot about American politics we would have preferred not to know. We can start with highly placed DNC operatives recruiting and training mentally ill homeless people to bait attacks at Republican rallies. Both of these people were caught on tape expounding monologues like a James Bond super-villain explaining their nefarious plot to ruuule ze vorld. One of them was at pains to explain just how good he was to also see to the medical and legal bills of his goons- it was very touching. The phrase “theoretical conversations” has been trotted out in an incredibly lame attempt at spin, and both men have been fired from their positions.
As the week went on, wikileaks revealed additional details like the DNC chair being provided debate questions in advance, reporters pre-clearing stories with the DNC, and more “pay for play” business from the Clinton Foundation that Bob Woodward described as not just unseemly but corrupt. So the election is rigged right?
Repulsive as these things are, a Presidential election is not Ivy League football. A Presidential election alas more closely resembles SEC football, where the unofficial conference motto should be “If you a’int cheating you a’int tryin!” People age into political awareness and learn about how bad or corrupt things currently stand, and assume that things were much better in the past. Read enough history however and you’ll learn that there is nothing new under the sun. As utterly repulsive as it is to send mentally ill people into rallies in an effort to bait violence, let’s face it there are good ways to deal with this tactic, and bad ways to deal with it. Option one would be to inform the crowd that agitators are in your midst and want to lure you into attacking them, but that you should refuse to take the bait and instead alert security, who can escort them out. Option two would be to encourage people in the rally to punch these people and offer to pay their legal bills…which help me out here but lies in the same ethical neighborhood as the agitators does it not?
As far as I can tell, the election is not even remotely close. If it is remotely close the Clinton campaign team is utterly incompetent in moving large amounts of resources into a style point state like Arizona, which Romney won on his way to a decisive electoral college loss in 2012. There are some national polls that have the race close, but others have Clinton winning in a blowout. I don’t know enough about polling to discern which polls are more credible, but I do know that we elect the President in 50 separate state elections rather than in a national election and that the Clinton campaign is behaving as if the latter scenario is in play. Republicans complain of dirty tricks and MSM bias, both of which are real. Note however that the media today is far more pluralistic than in the past, and that Democrats would be happy to provide their own laundry list of perceived dirty tricks played by Republicans. Don’t complain too much Vanderbilt fan, it’s your choice to play in the SEC so pull up your big boy pants.
I found this piece by David French to be far more disturbing. There is a naive, hopeful part of me that wants to believe that what French describes in this column is another dirty trick by some goon squad black op outfit, or the Russians, or well, anyone other than a disturbingly large portion of my fellow Americans. Sadly at the moment I have no evidence that would support such a belief.
Neither party has taken Uncle Sam’s looming insolvency remotely seriously. To these eyes, one major party fought off a socialist insurgency with dirty tricks by the hair of their chinny chin chins so they could at least stick with a corrupt royalist, who would have lost in landslide if not for the folly of her opponents. The other fell under the sway of a nativist demagogue despite the obvious disaster that would ensue. Personally I’m not anxious to reenact the Spanish Civil War in American politics, and I am not falling for the “you have to support the fascists because the communists are even worse” trick.
Put me down for none of the above.