I was wrong.
Exactly one year…to the day…that I wrote “Have no fear Trump haters…he won’t be the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Republicans will choose someone much safer & more prosaic. Your nightmare will be over soon enough” Donald J. Trump officially received the Republican nomination.
Wait!! There’s more!!
In that presentation a year ago I also said that “Trump’s lack of finesse and bull-in-a-china shop mentality is unlikely to inspire much confidence and negatively impacts his viability as a contender” and “since it is doubtful that he will get the nomination the more likely scenario is that, at some point, he bows out and goes back to doing whatever he was doing before with barely a scratch to anything, especially his ego & his bank account”. My career as a political pundit looks to be on the brink of collapse, although, to be fair, I still have as much credibility as just about anyone at MSNBC or CNN.
I completely underestimated the anger & anxiety of the American people. I misjudged their resolve to venture outside the box and really challenge the status quo. I didn’t give enough credit to Mr. Trump’s determination or his political prowess. I applied the normal rules to a game that…atleast in this instance…has totally changed.
So now here we are. It’s Trump vs. Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. For me it’s kind of like a baseball game featuring the Cubs vs. the Cardinals or a football game pitting Virginia Tech against Florida State. My team isn’t directly involved, but the outcome has consequences, therefore I am concurrently disinterested yet have to pay attention. I haven’t watched hardly any of the Republican National Convention. I am aware of the kerfuffle about Mrs. Trump’s speech and won’t attempt to defend it. Sure others have cribbed from peoples’ speeches before…it seems to be surprisingly common…but the fact is that Melania Trump should have never been put in that position in the first place. We vote for candidates, not their spouses, children, or any other family members. We all know that most public figures have speechwriters, and the people involved in writing for Mrs. Trump were lazy & careless. That being said the issue shouldn’t…and probably won’t…matter to anyone with an ounce of common sense. I also went back and watched the Ted Cruz speech that has been the subject of much vitriol. Personally I don’t see the big deal. He congratulated Trump for winning the nomination. He urged voters to participate in the process and vote for candidates who will uphold The Constitution, and we all know that ISN’T Hillary Clinton. Lest we forget, Donald Trump insulted Cruz’s wife and insinuated that his father may have been involved in the JFK assassination. Senator Cruz appears to be a bit angry about that, and who could blame him?? Atleast he showed up at the convention, which is more than can be said for John Kasich, Jeb Bush, & a bunch of other GOP old schoolers.
As for Trump himself, his most appealing quality is that he is not Hillary Clinton. My friend Slack has been invited to be a guest blogger here at The Manofesto, and if my intel is correct he will be explaining why the prospect of a Trump presidency scares the bejeesus out of him and why he thinks Clinton is the better choice. You probably won’t be shocked to know that I see things completely different. I don’t like everything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth, and I am pretty sure that some of his views on social issues don’t jive with my own. However I do believe three things about Mr. Trump: a) he is knowledgeable about business practices & job creation, b) he will surround himself with a top flight team of experts on every subject and allow them enough autonomy to make good decisions, & c) the social issues he & I may disagree about are way down on his priority list…maybe not even on his priority list. Unlike our current President I don’t think Trump is on a mission to “fundamentally transform” an America that he loathes on some primordial level. My vibe is that Trump simply thinks we can do better and truly believes he can help.
For me this election comes down to one very important topic…The Supreme Court. The next President will likely be tasked with nominating up to 3 or 4 new justices given the advanced age of some of the current occupants of those seats. I do not want that kind of power in the hands of Hillary Clinton. I don’t trust her. I don’t trust her judgment. A Supreme Court molded by that woman might very well be the death knell for the United States that we all know & love. Barack Obama has given The Constitution a rather fierce thrashing the past several years, but a Clinton-shaped Court would negatively restructure the country for the next couple of generations…perhaps forever. I am willing to take a leap of faith that Mr. Trump would be far more reasonable in his selections and be given a nudge in the right direction by his advisers to choose justices that have a robust admiration for The Constitution instead of trying to ignore or even altogether rewrite the document. Is it a gamble?? Yes. Is it appropriate to reduce a Presidential election to one issue?? In this circumstance I believe it is.
I’m not usually a fan of the “lesser-of-two-evils” narrative. I’d like to think that we could do better. I probably have an overly romantic view of history, putting men like George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, & John F. Kennedy on a pedestal they may not completely deserve. I wish that we had the choice of a highly respected statesman whose wisdom was undisputable and integrity above reproach, but my grandmother used to say wish in one hand and…do something else…in the other and see which one gets filled first. The bottom line is this – in January of next year a new person will be sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. That person will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I think the choice is obvious. Your mileage may vary.