Every time I encounter one of our two major party nominees, the same nervous tic of a response kicks up in my brain:
“Surely the other one must be better.”
This was not always the case. When Donald Trump first nabbed the Republican nomination, it seemed impossible that anyone could be worse. (It is still inconceivable.)
The Putin love, the dictatorial leanings…
Trump says and does so many offensive, frightening, and just embarrassing things, it is humanly impossible to keep up. (Never fear: James Fallows at The Atlantic is compiling a running time capsule, so you don’t have to).
But then, there is Hillary Clinton.
To be clear, I draw no false equivalence here. In terms of who is better prepared to serve as Commander in Chief, the answer is undoubtedly Clinton.
She knows foreign policy, she knows how the government works, she boasts a long resume of political experience.
And yet, her best chance at getting elected is the fact of Donald Trump. Why?
Clinton is dishonest. She just… is.
There’s the secret private email server, the 30,000 deleted emails, the conflicting accounts in real-time of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, her lawyer-speak when it comes to tricky questions (“I’ve always tried to tell the truth.” What does that even mean?).
According to a recent poll, 67% of Americans think Clinton is untrustworthy. “Only” 62% of voters say the same of Trump.
We haven’t even touched the troubling questions raised by Clinton’s attachment to the Clinton Foundation while she was serving as Secretary of State.
(And while it is by no means disqualifying, Clinton did nearly faint at a 9/11 Memorial service.)
Consider: Over 2/3 of Americans don’t trust Clinton.
And she’s still the odds-on favorite to win in November.
Dave Maney summed it up best in a Sunday article at The Daily Beast:
“Is this the best America can do?” and “Who’s got a match?”
Maney argues for an end to the two-party system. And though I agree with his assessment of the utter unacceptability of Clinton and Trump, and while the “burn it to the ground” argument feels cathartic, I remain unconvinced that chaos is a smart route forward.
My final, flickering, unrequited 2016 dream?
To see the #NeverTrump movement join forces with #BernieOrBust, and march on Washington, a loud, mass display of “No Confidence.”
Maybe that would wake up Democratic and Republican politicians that their status quo, stand by your man/woman no matter what, will fly with roughly no one going forward.
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