Say what you will about Mitt Romney — he was a robotic, out of touch, super-rich tool of the one percent, for sure. Hell, say what you will about John McCain – he was a war mongering relic of a bygone era who thinks dick waving is the same as foreign policy and diplomacy. But no matter what you say about those two old, white dudes, neither one of them was so blatantly and awkwardly ill-prepared to be president as Donald Trump is. And Trump’s mere existence in this election, whether he wins or loses, proves what an utter joke America has become.
Trump, in past years, would have been the sideshow clown candidate. But the problem is that from 2008 to 2016 the Republican Party embraced candidates who were increasingly more anti-intellectual and terrifyingly short on experience and preparation to be president. That’s because for over 20 years windbags like Rush Limbaugh have pumped them full of the stupid notion that all politicians are corrupt and far stupider than they are. So they presume that any yokel can be president, and while technically it’s true that the Constitution doesn’t have any actual restraints on the intellectual acumen of the Head Honcho, no one in their right mind really thinks Michele “Vaccines Give You Mental Retardation” Bachmann should have been president, right?
Well, not so fast. Because just four years prior to Bachmann’s derp-a-rific run for president, Sarah Palin was legitimately posited as someone of the temperament and knowledge to be just one skipped heartbeat away from the Oval Office. The right-wing in this country has embraced ignorance for years, calling public schools a waste of money and colleges “liberal brainwashing institutes.” So no, I’m not in the least bit surprised that America’s Dumbest Sexual Predator is now within striking distance of holding the most powerful office in the land. I’m disheartened by it.
But, well, maybe this is what America needs. Maybe Trump is the cold, silkwood shower we all need to collectively endure together. We have never, ever fully embraced racial or gender equality. We’ve instead decided to, in the name of idealistic, lofty goals of free speech and expression, decided to sheepishly chide the racists and bigots among us, but never really do much more than that. Violence isn’t the key, but a full-throated, angry rebuke of their lies, ignorance, and hatred is what’s needed now.
So what I truly hope is the truth is that while Trump shows unequivocally that at least one major party in this country has gone completely tits-up, the rest of us will just pick up the pieces and move on. The Whigs are no more, and the very same fate could and probably should befall the Republican Party. The consequences for falling so far outside the realm of decency within your base should be that you lose relevance and political power. I have a feeling that won’t be the case if Hillary squeaks one out, but a landslide might just be the smackdown the GOP needs to hit the ground hard, burst into flames, and arise from the ashes less racist and more solution-oriented.
The thing is our country is kinda broken right now, at least our government is. Neither side wants to work with the other because they know their bases don’t want that. If Trump wins, he’ll face years of obstruction like Obama did. If Hillary wins, the Republicans have already said they foresee years of scandal investigations…just like Obama faced. Our government isn’t focused enough on cyber security. They aren’t focused enough on immigration and the environment. Or education. They’re focused, instead, on the dog and pony show. Our country, again, is broken.
I’m not arguing that Hillary is the perfect candidate. I wanted Bernie, and given that the FBI has decided, apparently, that they want their own, special votes in addition to their regular one they get, I’m really wishing the DNC hadn’t foisted her on us so much. That being said, there’s more direct evidence that Trump is a sexual predator, fraud, and tax cheat than there is of anything illegal happening in Hillary’s emails. So it’s nice to know our country could be plunged into oblivion over rumor, conspiracy theories, and idiotic conjecture.
Then again, the GOP went on a crusade over which mouth Hillary’s husband had around his shpeppy. So…
Now, I’m a fucking clown. I don’t have any answers. Just jokes. So I don’t know what the final score will be. I don’t know if Trump will win or lose. I just know that the fact he made it this far, when in every single other election year he’d be laughed off the stage faster than Herman “ShuckyDucky” Cain or Scott “Always Has A Dumb Look On His Face” Walker were. No one outside this country thinks he’s qualified to be a world leader. And most people in this country who are going to vote for him to get that job are doing so only because of the party he’s in.
George Washington famously derided the two party system when he was on his way out of office. He said, to paraphrase, that while political parties can be used to serve the people, they often time wind-up serving themselves in the name of serving the people. The Republican Party has been serving itself for years, and people like Palin are proof of it. After 2012 they tried really hard to learn a lesson, and they still failed, deciding this year to embrace the crazy, and the crazy part is that it could work.
As a comedian, people ask me if I’d be excited for a Trump presidency and all the material it would provide me. And yeah, that’d be fantastic. I just wish I was a heartless piece of shit enough to only care about my comedy. But I don’t. I also care about my country not becoming, somehow, an even bigger laughing stock than it was for the eight years that George W. Bush was president.
And when you find yourself pining for the intellectual titans of the Bush Administration leading the GOP, you know for a fact Trump has broken them. The only question left to answer is just how much of our country he broke in the process. The good news is we find out in less than a week.
The bad news is that we find out in less than a week.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.