With the first Presidential debate competed and the second looming on Sunday it is good to reflect and analyze the state of Campaign 2016.
Once again, with his horrible debate performance and a week of public relations disasters, Donald Trump becomes the focus of attention. Once again, we hear the whines of the weak, the timid, the pessimists.
I am pretty fed up with the hand wringers, the breast beaters, the doom and gloom prophets, whining about how low America has fallen, reflected in having someone the caliber of Donald Trump running for President. They simply cannot abide the thought of President Trump, blaming the so called Birthers, the fringe elements, the “vast right wing conspiracy.” You remember them, they were falsely blamed by Hillary Clinton for the affair between Monica Lewinsky and her husband - or any and all other forms of “deplorables” for the fate that has befallen America. But as it is so often, the truth lies in within, in a culture that worships the superficial, to the determent of substance. It has been said that we get the leaders we deserve. This election more than proves that point.
The office of the President of the United States is a singular honor, reserved throughout time for only those chosen be to be worthy by their fellow Americans. From 1787 forward, there have been probably 40 to 50 billion people who were privileged to be citizens of the United States of America. Of that colossal group, only 43 men have held the title of President, the most exclusive club in history. Some have been great, some not so much. But each and every one has in their own way, believed in and maintained the dignity of the highest Office. That is, until now. The current occupant, elected as a Celebrity with no more than a smile and a promise, has chosen to diminish the bar so low in the White House that a reality star like Trump stepping up as Presidential timber was inevitable. I shall explain.
Trivia question: The very first President to appear on the Tonight Show? Not as a candidate, but as elected office holder. Answer: Barack Hussein Obama. While many, many men, and some women seeking the job have appeared on entertainment shows… e.g. Richard Nixon: “Sock it to Me”; Bill Clinton blowing the sax on Arsenio Hall - once the election was over, the dignity demanded of Commander in Chief prohibited such frivolities.
Until Obama. Playing to his strengths as a celebrity, famous for simply being famous, he danced and joked with Jimmy Fallon, rode around getting coffee in cars with Seinfeld, and generally made the late night, Comedy Channel circuit. American intellectual substance appreciation and discrimination being at such a low level, the barrier between TV news and TV entertainment has all but been eliminated. It is just all TV. When the President appears to be just another character from “America’s Got Talent,” is it any wonder that the star of the top rated reality show would be one of his two possible replacements? Sometimes we do indeed get what we deserve. Unfortunately, since we failed to object to the Obama diminution of the Oval office, now we deserve Trump.
At a time of budget tightening, it is revealed by the Government Accountability Office - the same group that found the Clinton State Department had lost over 6 billion, not wasted, but misplaced - the White House in the last eight years has spent over of $800 MILLION taxpayer dollars on public relations. It is more important, and certainly easier to spin rather than work. Obama’s White House reflects, rather than leads. It correctly emphasizes style over substance, the way we look and act as a society. How else to explain the Kardashians? The campaign of Trump was paved by the actions of Obama. The bitter pill of truth… no Obama, no Trump.
The all too popular refrain wishing Mike Pence was the top of the GOP ticket is futile. Such is not the case. Trump is the only alternative to Wicked Hillary... not a great choice, but the ONLY choice. His self-inflicted problems stem so largely from his lack of discipline. He would be wise to study the demeanor of Pence, learning how not to take the bait of a Clinton side issue. But it is now time to put on your Big Boy / Big Girl pants, and to make the selection between two obvious choices. Ask not how this came to be. Remember instead the words of Shakespeare – “the fault dear Brutus lies is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Be not afraid...