By Brian McKay
Thomas Jefferson was a big believer in respectful, learned and considerate debate. There is no doubt that he would look at American politics in 2016 with absolute disgust. Who knows? He might even think, “We put this all in place and this is what they do with it?”
The biggest offender of Jefferson’s vision of political debate and decorum is leading the pack for the Republican nomination and could even take the White House if several variables play out in the next 10 months. That Donald Trump might end up in the Presidency and then annihilate Jefferson’s (and every other Founding Father’s) ideals of responsible leadership and foreign diplomacy.
Huge walls, offensive POTUS tweets, certain reporters banned from the White House and a First Lady whose main initiatives will be to make all school uniforms come from Dolce & Gabana and install catwalks in high school gymnasiums, potentially await us if certain things play out before November. Please, Please, please don’t let these things happen.
A big recession would be a catalyst for a Trump presidency. Zenruption has frequently pointed to the signs that a big one is coming and it would certainly be a boost for Trump. Typically, the party of the incumbent President fairs very poorly when the economy is bad despite anything else that has happened before it. If employers start cutting employees faster than barbers cut hair at a military salon, the “Greatest Jobs President God Ever Created” could have a path to the Oval Office. Recessions aren’t actually announced until several quarters after they have begun, so there is hope that the general public just missed all the signs until the election is actually over.
A terrorist event could create a big populist boost for the guy that says we should ban all Muslims from the country. We American’s love to overreact even more than a Kardashian not getting her way at a Starbucks. If you need any proof of this, just consider the rush to approve the surveillance state outrage that was the Patriot Act. Just one ISIS sponsored attack before the election could swing the vote in the favor of the boisterous, orange guy.
Hillary Clinton has shown some weakness as the presumptive nominee for the Democrats. Bernie Sanders has been a close rival even without the political machine that is behind Hillary. While a subdued message is letting the Republicans kill each other off right now, that won’t work against Trump. The man knows how to draw people into nasty debates and Hillary will have to respond in ways for which she might not be ready. The question will be, can taking a higher road capture voters when a populist sentiment is motivating many of them?
One scandal for Hillary could be bad whereas scandals seem to fall off Trump daily. Has America potentially become the land of reality tv voters? The trash cans are filling up with 44oz. Big Gulp cups from Tump rallies.
Most didn’t expect what is currently happening. Many of us thought Trump couldn’t possibly last in the race. There was no way his bravado and crass approach could appeal to voters. Apparently that assessment was very wrong. With polls showing his domination in upcoming primary states and the fact that he has more delegates than the other Republican candidates combined, it seems inevitable that the nomination is his and the White House could actually happen.
2016 is shaping up to be the most important election we have seen in our lifetimes. A man with an ego such that he wouldn’t pull his Bentley over for an ambulance could end up in charge. Foreign policy could end up going from working together to winning. “You’re fired” could be echoed through the halls of America’s most important residence. A buffoon would now be able to reach over for the so called “football” case that launches nuclear missiles and turn the key. The same guy who remarked about Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle would have veto power and appoint Supreme Court justices.
When your European friends contact you to tell you they are concerned, they are right as outsiders looking in. While they wonder what the hell is going on with the Americans, we are about to see the political shit storm we never anticipated. A man that bankrupts his own companies might just bankrupt the soul of our country.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license