In mid-October Hillary Clinton was ahead of Donald Trump by 11 points, as of this morning, 11/6/16, most of that lead had dissipated thanks to the latest batch of e-mails, which may have been inappropriately released, many of which may in fact be duplications. That gnawing question about Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness just won’t go away and with it the outcome of the election is no longer a given. Meanwhile the number of woman who have accused Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior has reached double digits. Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich harangued Meygn Kelly about her “obsession with sex” suggesting that her animosity towards Trump, founded on his poor behavior towards her during the presidential debates, impeded her ability to honestly cover his candidacy. Against this backdrop of tawdry and salacious news, Roger Ailes at Fox News is forced off the stage which has been the fountain of truth for America’s conservative rank and file for decades, and that as a result of his own sexual misconduct. Rudy Giuliani told us that Trump was a “genius” for not paying taxes for 18 years, leaving the rest of us to conclude that we’re just suckers.
If you’ve been watching Fox News it’s ironic to see Bill O’Reilly and Bret Baier have to swallow the reality of Trump as the conservative standard bearer even if he’s not even remotely close to being a genuine conservative. Barry Goldwater’s granddaughter, Carolyn Goldwater Ross, said that Trump violates all of her grandfather’s core values. Ironically Miss Ross made that statement while appearing onstage with Michelle Obama at a pro Clinton rally in Phoenix. Mr. O’Reilly went so far as to say that Trump was not “seasoned enough to understand the geopolitical world” while at the same time bemoaning “Clinton is too far to the left.” It’s safe to say that this acceptance of Trump is more a function of a deep seated disdain for all things progressive than it is for a true affinity for Trump himself. Fox News has apparently looked past Trump’s fact free messaging, his dishonest twisting of those facts that he does employ, his foreign policy ignorance and his baseless economic positions, apparently concluding that the election of Hillary Clinton would be the greater of two evils. Some have even suggested, sardonically, that we should return to being ruled by the British. I could go on with the examples but if you’ve been paying any attention to politics over the past year I think you get the point and that point is that this country is on the threshold of a very unsettling immediate future.
The political system is broken and this election is, in the words of pollster Peter Hart “about fear not hope.” How can one honestly vote for a candidate, in this case Miss Clinton, when a major organ of the Democratic Party, the D.N.C., actively sought to derail a legitimate contender as they did in the case of Bernie Sanders? How can one support a candidate who was given questions before a debate so as to make sure she had the answers? How can one vote for a candidate that has one policy view when talking privately to Wall Street bankers and another when she’s standing in front of a campaign crowd addressing the very same issue? How can one vote for a candidate who says in private that she favors pipelines while in public raises an alarm over climate change? A good friend of mine told me I should vote for Hillary because she’s more likely than Trump to promote programs that benefit me but seeing as much of Clinton’s campaign rhetoric is a function of outmaneuvering Bernie Sanders I just can’t buy my friend’s logic. I was burned by Bill, how can I trust Hillary?
In the case of Mr. Trump, the misogynistic aspects of his background, his dog whistling on Hispanics and Blacks, his misconceptions on economic facts and his isolationist foreign policy position along with his affinity for Vladimir Putin make him most unfit to sit in the oval office, let alone have access to the nuclear codes. Scores, if not more than 100, former Republican security officials and military advisors have gone on the record in opposing a Trump presidency. More troubling in Trump’s case is his suggesting that extra legal means may be an option in opposing a Clinton presidency, that “Second Amendment remedies” may be in order or that he may refuse to concede, if he loses, because “the system is rigged.” Then again after the release of the latest batch of e-mails Trump suggested that “maybe the system isn’t rigged after all.” Talk about a situational reality. Yet for all of his flaws, which are more than obvious, Trump appeals to a great many Americans and for good reason. If approximately 65 percent of the American people don’t go to and graduate from college and those same people traditionally relied on mining and manufacturing for providing a middle class lifestyle, what are they supposed to do when all they have for an explanation of their human condition is some set of airy fairy economic theories that are academic in nature and inapplicable in reality?
This was supposed to be the election where third party candidates had a real chance to shine but their performance has been tragi comical at best. The Libertarian Gary Johnson doesn’t know where Aleppo is, or what it is, even though it’s the oldest inhabited place on earth and it has been reported on in every major newspaper several times a week for over a year. The Green Party’s Jill Stein wants to pardon Edward Snowdin and give him a cabinet position. Many of my Libertarian friends complain that their point of view wasn’t given a fair hearing during the debates but if the American people were truly looking for a third party alternative they surely knew where to look and having done so they, most likely, came to the conclusion that the alternatives were worse than the mainstream candidates. What else explains this latest of third party failures? Did I hear someone say check please?
When I started to write this piece, and before I left for an afternoon of NFL Football, there was no indication that James Comey and the F.B.I. would come out and once again state that there were “No new conclusions in Clinton email investigation.” Thus, for now it looks like, once again, Hillary Clinton is off the hook for criminality and, running true to form, Donald Trump is back to claiming that “the system is rigged” which implies we’re back to not conceding defeat or the seditious conspiratorial lure of revolt and possibly revolution. Just so that we’re all on the same page here, advocating violence against, or impeding the lawful functioning of the federal government is seditious conspiracy punishable by a lengthy prison term. See “Election rants, threats are pushing First Amendment limits” an article written by a registered Republican and cited in the sources below.
So a day or two before the election here’s where we are. A large portion of the American people feel they’ve been left behind due to globalization, which is certainly true and those former Democrats are now Republicans or vote as such. They are the one’s powering Trump’s rise in American politics and they see nothing to attract them to Hillary Clinton. It is naïve to think that the defeat of Donald Trump will in any way mollify their anxious feelings or their rejection of social change. The rank and file person of color feels that he’s got no place in the G.O.P. unless he’s a parrot for the party line or a token personality. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Trey Gowdy, (R-SC) U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 4th congressional district and veteran Clinton hunter among others all vow to investigate Hillary Clinton the day after her inauguration. The talk of impeachment is in the air and as of this evening only 40 million votes are in. The sorry fact of the matter is that whomever is elected they will probably be the subject of investigation. There is no reason to think that the grid lock of the past 8 years is even close to being a thing of the past on the morning of November 9.
This past Friday night I was having a beer at “happy hour” with a number of fellow union iron workers and a retired member among them, and veteran liberal hater, said to my wife and I “I can’t wait for this election to be over.” Not trying to purposely ruin his weekend or his immediate outlook I said that the election’s passing would merely be nothing more then the beginning of what I now call “The Dawn of the Great Dismal.” Is this the worst political climate we’ve seen in the post WWII era? Most likely it is. Is it the worst in American history, not even close, well not at least thus far. Let’s face it after the election of Abraham Lincoln we sank into a civil war that took the lives of up to, or possibly more than 620,000 Americans out of a population of just 31 million. That said unless we can get beyond the rank partisanship of mass and social media, be it left or right, and unless we can accommodate social change and reconcile that with basic American core values and changing American demographics we’ve got nothing to look forward to but more of the same. There is no reason to believe that the end of this election cycle will meaningfully change anything when it comes to political polarization.
Personally I can’t bring myself to vote for Clinton, Trump, Johnson or Stein. Together they may as well be the four political horsemen of the absurd. I think it’s pathetic that in a country that’s supposed to be the beacon of freedom that this is the best we can do. Hopefully we’ll get trough the next four years and true leaders will rise from among the American population, much the same was as they did in the dark days of WWII and we’ll be able to build upon that and move forward, beyond the “Great Dismal”. After all a country that defeated Fascism, that out lasted Soviet Style Communism and put a man on the moon should be able to meaningfully change course and sail out of the “Great Dismal” and into a new age of dynamic democracy. Till then, good luck.
Steven J. Gulitti
New York City
Donald Trump has never been closer to the presidency than he is at this moment http://wpo.st/cVIC2
The electoral map is definitely moving in Donald Trump’s direction http://wpo.st/uTIC2
Dems getting nervous over Michigan http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304557-dems-getting-nervous-over-Michigan
Nate Silver: Clinton one state away from losing electoral college http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304551-nate-silver-clinton-one-state-away-from-losing-electoral
Buchanan: Trump has a path to victory http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304508-buchanan-trump-has-a-path-to-victory
Trump and Clinton running neck and neck in Ohio and Florida http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304546-trump-and-clinton-running-neck-and-neck-in-ohio-and
‘The FBI is Trumpland’: anti-Clinton atmosphere spurred leaking, sources say https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/03/fbi-leaks-hillary-clinton-james-comey-donald-trump?CMP=share_btn_tw
Possibility of FBI leaks to Trump campaign raises alarm; http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/new-concerns-fbi-is-leaking-to-trump-campaign-800667203987
Politicizing of FBI becomes hallmark of 2016; http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/politicizing-of-fbi-becomes-hallmark-of-2016-801655363718
Can Fox News survive the forces it unleashed on the 2016 election? https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/oct/20/fox-news-changes-donald-trump-rightwing-politics-roger-ailes?CMP=share_btn_tw
Trump’s growth projections leave economists in disbelief http://thehill.com/policy/finance/302271-trumps-growth-projections-leave-economists-in-disbelief
Donald Trump’s Denial of Economic Reality; http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/05/opinion/donald-trumps-denial-of-economic-reality.html?ribbon-ad-idx=8&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article
Beyond Lying: Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Reality; http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/05/opinion/beyond-lying-donald-trumps-authoritarian-reality.html?ribbon-ad-idx=8&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article
Queen Offers to Restore British Rule Over United States http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/queen-offers-to-restore-british-rule-over-united-states
50 GOP national security experts oppose Trump @CNNPolitics http://cnn.it/2b8JTPP
GOP Foreign Policy Hawks Pen Letter Opposing Trump’s National Security Views https://n.pr/1TM1qaE
Trump Gets Ready to Be a Bad Loser http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/trump-gets-ready-to-be-a-bad-loser
House Oversight chairman: FBI has not changed conclusions http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304587-house-oversight-chairman-fbi-has-not-changed-conclusions
Trump Supporter Tells Reporters ‘Hillary Needs To Be Taken Out’; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgo_i8MtRsU&feature=youtu.be
Legal expert: Election rants, threats are pushing First Amendment limits http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/303569-legal-expert-election-rants-threats-are-pushing
Threat of investigations looms large over Clinton-Trump race http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304399-threat-of-investigations-hangs-over-clinton-trump