Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Election Year of Living Dangerously

Can Bernie calm down his craziest former supporters?
OK, just who are the Bernie-or-Busters? Now that the nomination process is over, what's their point?

While some are bound to be moles dedicated to getting Donald Trump elected, most appear to be well-meaning people -- self-styled liberals who just can't stand to lose. It seems that for some of them Bernie Sanders raised their hopes of a revolution so high, now they're standing on a ledge looking down at a leap into the bleakness of Donald Trump's dystopia. 

Well, when they boo Sarah Silverman, they lose me. So beyond being liberals, for the most part, who the hell are these people?

From what I can tell, relying on reports and conversations, there are two groups in particular that stand out:

  • The young people new to following politics who have suddenly discovered there are people in political parties who try to game the system to favor the candidate they prefer. Caught in the throes of their righteous indignation, now these Bernie-or-Busters want to punish the cheaters in the Democratic Party, even if that means facilitating Trump's election.
  • Then there are the geezers, who should know better. Some of them are dwelling on old grudges so much they don't seem to care if it means putting Trump in the White House. Their denial of what that would mean isn't all that different from the baffling denial of evolution and climate change by rightwing religious zealots.

Meanwhile, my guess is Trump's camp, such as it is, will try to manufacture October Surprise-like stunts/revelations every day of the week, from Labor Day until election day. If I'm only half right, to think such a strategy couldn't pull the rug out from under the Democrats get-out-the-vote operation is wishful thinking.

Yes, Hillary Clinton should win and win big. It should be a landslide that sweeps in Democrats down-ballot, too. But don't fool yourself. Trump the celebrity could win.

Richard Nixon should never have won in 1968. He was a washed up guy who had lost two elections in a row – 1960 (presidential) and '62 (California gubernatorial). It was hard to find people who actually liked him.

Nixon touted a secret plan to end the Vietnam War – can't tell you what it is, or it wouldn't be a secret. Who would fall for that?

Well, history tells us a lot of people bought it, so Nixon and his team of busy admen/dirty tricksters figured out how to win. Trump is probably the most media-savvy Republican to run for president since Nixon.

Meanwhile, as long as the mainstream media keeps treating Trump's every tweet as breaking news, because it gooses ratings, he could win. It's as simple as that.

If Trump does win in November, don't be surprised when every Hillary-hating Bernie-or-Buster angrily denies having anything to do with putting a thin-skinned sociopath, a man who cheats at everything he does, in charge of the executive branch of our government.

 -- Art and words by F.T. Rea

-- 30 --