The candidate we deserve
Remember one thing about democracy. We can have anything we want and at the same time, we always end up with exactly what we deserve.—Edward Albee
One of the things that amazes me about this election is not just that Republican voters keep nominating candidates who think the press will treat them like Democrats. What amazes me is that such candidates still exist. Even after Dan Rather’s attempted October surprise lie against Bush, McCain and Romney weren’t ready for the lies made up about them. But at least they didn’t try to act like Democrats. Even after McCain and Romney were vilified by the press as Satan incarnate, Trump seemed to think that if he acted like a Democrat, the press would let him get away with it and treat him like a Democrat. That since the press isn’t searching out forty-year old documents in which Hillary Clinton said that a twelve-year-old rape victim was asking for it, they’re also going to give his own ancient history a pass.
Literally just being old made John McCain’s health an issue during the 2008 campaign and he never collapsed while leaving a ceremony early.
Democrats a huge advantage in an election with two really bad candidates. When Republicans nominate a bad candidate, many Republicans don’t pretend this candidate is great. Some will, in fact, not even vote for this candidate.
Democrats who nominate a careless and unreasonable criminal who is also a horrible person will not just continue to vote for that candidate; they will praise her. A Republican President whose potential successor had violated public records law like Hillary Clinton did would have asked that successor to resign. President Obama, however, “remains enthusiastic” about her even after her blatant violations of the law have become clear.
The reason Democrats had no problem screwing over Bernie Sanders and his supporters is that they knew his supporters would vote for them regardless.
For example, I recently saw this description of Hillary Clinton in a discussion about how bad the choices were this year among the two mainstream candidates:
The Democratic candidate is far and away the most prepared and best qualified candidate, with a record of compassion, service, intelligence, and leadership beginning in her teens.
Given the crappy choices this year, I can understand someone reluctantly choosing to vote for Hillary Clinton1. But “a record of compassion and service”? That’s self-deception above and beyond the call of duty.
Hillary Clinton is a viable candidate for one reason: the press does not investigate Democrats as much as they investigate Republicans, or even undecided voters who ask questions at town halls.
A Republican who did no more than what Hillary Clinton did just on deleting emails before law enforcement could see them would have been hounded from public office by the press. It would be a non-stop feeding frenzy until that Republican retreated from the public eye. Any Republican candidate who continued lying not only about what they did, but about what the FBI director said they did would have been hounded about it nonstop until they gave up seeking office.
A Republican who did no more than what Hillary Clinton did when she blamed the Benghazi attacks on a YouTube video would have been hounded from public office by the press. It would have been a non-stop feeding frenzy until that Republican retreated from the public eye.
Any Republican who, no matter how far back, had signed a court document blaming a twelve-year-old rape victim for fantasizing about sex with her attacker would have been hounded from public office by the press. It would have been a non-stop feeding frenzy until that Republican retreated from the public eye, and probably had to leave the country. And I wouldn’t have any sympathy for that candidate, either.
Instead, a person who asked a perfectly reasonable question at a forum designed for asking questions is attacked by the press, their secrets dug up, while the candidate he asked questions of is allowed to skate.
For the record, while I have a lot of sympathy for the guy who asked about health care in the town hall forum, I don’t have any sympathy for Donald Trump. He should have known better. But so should the rest of us. One way or another, we’re getting the candidate we deserve this year.
In response to Election 2016: Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.