The first presidential debate last week proved, not surprisingly, that this election has officially become a popularity contest. While Donald Trump attempted as best he could to defuse irrelevant personal attacks by Hillary Clinton and to fend off a hostile moderator who encouraged them, the mainstream media has already decided that this election will be framed as a choice between the madman and the insider. This narrative is not untrue; but of course this prism of personality politics distracts, much to Clinton's advantage, away from the truest and most universal narrative which has Trump's ascendancy as the climax of a civilizational shift to nationalism, this election a choice between status quo and revolution.
Of course politics has always been a nasty business, and personality is always on the table, although this year in particular it seems that most voters and even most pundits have sworn their allegiances based based solely on character. Character seemed to be the single issue which forced a contest within the Democratic primary when it had been envisioned, almost since 2008, as a bloodless coronation, a mere formality. Fox News didn't explode into warring factions in 2015 because of disagreements over policy, it was Trump's polarizing personality which split the right wing down the center.
Since character will be the deciding factor for most people voting against Trump especially, let's be clear: every single person, to a man, who does not vote for Donald Trump because of character alone, is ridiculous and a hypocrite. The latest "scandals" to rock the Trump camp are Trump's outrageous comments about women and his shadowy tax returns which have been malevolently concealed from the public's prying eyes. Hillary has reprised Lyndon Johnson's favorite argument, that it doesn't matter what you think of her opponent, he has his finger on the button, people! There is a big, fat, red button smack in the middle of the President's desk in the Oval Office that can send mankind headfirst into a nuclear holocaust if some orange lunatic gets frustrated on Twitter.
How about a little honesty? Regarding Trump's tax returns, everybody knows why he won't release them; because he probably saves a scandalous amount of money through loopholes and other accounting tricks. He probably hasn't paid taxes or paid very little for a very long time. Where exactly is the scandal? In the first place, the implicit assumption is that Trump should be giving away money; that is hardly a good business practice. Moreover, If Donald Trump is erecting great skyscrapers and golf courses and casinos, creating tens of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, why is it that he should be needlessly diverting wealth from investing in the American economy and into the coffers of bureaucrats and politicians?
If I had the money to afford the lawyers and accountants to pay no taxes, I'd be right there with him; and although many are unwilling to admit it, most people would be right there with him too. Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama have taken the absurd line that there is something patriotic about paying your "fair share" because everybody uses roads, or something like that. Given that 76% of federal tax money is spent on entitlements or endless bloodshed in the Middle East, it is a tough sell that there is something inherently virtuous about voluntarily surrendering earned cash to Lockheed Martin or the welfare office.
Moreover, Hillary Clinton and her husband have been living off of the government dole for thirty years. While Trump may not have paid any taxes since I was born, the Clinton's have been taking money in taxes for their entire adult lives. The President takes a salary of nearly half of one million dollars a year in addition to $50,000 for expenses, $100,000 for travel, and $19,000 for entertainment, which means that Slick Willy and Crooked Hillary profited some $4.5 million in the time of their "service" during the Clinton administration.
And what were they paid for exactly? What was Hillary Clinton paid for as Senator of New York or Secretary of State? We got lousy trade deals, Al Qaeda, the housing crisis, the Iran Deal, the Russian reset, anarchy in Libya, ISIS, the collapse of Iraq and Syria, military air strips in the South China Sea, and no significant legislation. Hillary does pay taxes, she pays 43%. But had she not cooked up this phony scandal, nobody would be looking up either Trump's or Hillary's tax returns, hell nobody is looking up Hillary's tax returns now. The entire issue is nothing but a desperate political diversion, it is hypocritical to pretend otherwise.
With regards to Trump's crude and inappropriate comments about women, there ought to be a sense of proportion. Given that Trump has hired more women and done more for women in real estate than any of the presidential candidates who competed this year combined, we should be willing to look past a few crass jokes from The Celebrity Apprentice.
On this issue, Republicans can admit that Trump has poor table manners sometimes; but let's remember, he's a New Yorker who was born in 1946 and he's been a private citizen in the public eye since the late 1970s, can there not be some leniency on CNN's mandatory death sentence for mildly inappropriate jokes? Is there not a statute of limitations on offensive one liners from the 1990s? Does anybody need a refresher on why Hillary Clinton's husband became the second president in American history to be impeached? Younger people won't remember what he did with his cigars...
Donald Trump may have said crude things to women; but his record of employing them and of almost universal respect for him among his female employees proves that, as Trump himself endearingly said, "he cherishes women." Bill Clinton may say nice things about women; but his record of beating, raping, sexually assaulting, and humiliating them proves that both him and his wife hate women. By the most conservatives estimates, Bill Clinton has sexually assaulted at least three women, although that number could be as high as eleven. All of this while Hillary intimidated and used the bully pulpit to silence her husband's rape accusers for decades, a stark contrast to the third wave feminist types who maintain that all victims have a right to be believed.
The millennials and liberals who snort and laugh at Trump's supposedly misogynistic worldview are either ignorant of or completely ignoring thirty years of sexual abuse by Bill Clinton and an equally sadistic over up by Hillary. That the media and these young liberals are so willing to turn a blind eye to one of the most hedonistic predators in the history of American politics goes to show the depravity and intrinsic hypocrisy of liberalism in America today.
The final and dominant line of attack which nearly every candidate has pushed from the start is that Trump is a psychotic and immature madman who will bring on a nuclear apocalypse because of an insulting tweet. While those on the Trump Train affectionately refer to their conductor as a madman, the plain and simple truth is that there was nothing ironic or silly or even incorrect in Trump's assertion that his temperament is a strength.
In this Buzzfeed culture of spineless men and limp wristed weaklings in government and Hollywood, Trump's bombast can come across as volatile or reckless. The Republican nominee in 2008 could barely move his arms and the nominee in 2012 was a mormon, Trump is a slight disruption from this tradition. My generation has been brought up with a media consisting entirely of gentle NPR-voices talking down to and patronizing them; Trump does seem nuclear compared to that. But considering that he can change his intensity at will, as evidenced by the tamer Trump who visited Mexico and the bombastic Trump who called Ted Cruz a liar, his temperament is far more controlled than Hillary Clinton's.
If liberals are worried about temperament they ought to be consider that the Democratic nominee has assaulted Secret Service members and made her own staff members cry in fits of rage. If Trump is supremely in control of his entire spectrum of emotions and moods, Hillary Clinton can barely maintain her trademark drug induced uncharismatic apathy. She has a problem with laughing controllably, coughing uncontrollably, shaking uncontrollably, collapsing uncontrollably, and sleeping uncontrollably. Liberals worried about an out of control president with the nuclear launch codes will be voting for their own worst nightmare if they can scrape her off the street.
Hillary Clinton and the entire establishment which supports her knows full well that she can't win on the issues. In the few moments of the debate when Trump was able to sound off on matters of substance and not ridiculous "Trumped up" scandals, he shined, because he eviscerated the most vulnerable status quo political order in decades. The economy is not getting better. America is not stronger than she was eight years ago. Americans don't want an open border and they don't want Syrian refugees. On these issues, Trump knocks Hillary down harder than a cool breeze and a 9/11 ceremony; but the media will do everything in their power to prevent this historical context from defining the ballot.
In this election, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, are all one people, the American people. Democrats must understand these hypocrisies and the ridiculousness of the made up scandals, they should be just as a angry at their political machine which promised them change and gave them more of the same in a different color (Blue or black, works either way). The most important platform that Trump is running on is that he is going to bring back some common sense, and common sense that serves the American people. The amount of concentrated power in the hands of the amorphous and shadowy establishment which has supported Hillary Clinton from the beginning is surely not something which should sit well with members of either party.
If Hillary Clinton gets in the White House, she won't owe her position to the American voter, she will owe it to her monied handlers on Wall Street and K Street. You may be with her, but she's with them. Liberals ought to exercise their open minds which they never tire of gloating about and consider just which of these two personalities is the lesser of two evils. Whether or not they choose Trump, he's still with us. Will Hillary be with the deplorables and basement dwellers? Words matter, my friends.