mead berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
Trump Pulls Even in Race to the Bottom
Features Icon
show comments
  • Gene

    Either would be disastrous as President — disastrous to the rule of law and the spirit of freedom that helped create the idea that is the United States. FWIW, however, one candidate would spur the nation’s judiciary, legislative bodies and media to do their goddamned jobs and the other would not.

  • Andrew Allison

    “This is an election in which many voters will approach the ballot box thinking about minimizing the damage to the United States” is nonsense. Very few voters think about anything other that the party of the candidate.

  • Anthony

    “Betrayal and disdain” sum it up pretty much WRM for the electorate generally. The sentiment, when magnified by both partisan rhetoric and societal anxieties (tensions), can make the differences between the parties appear quite significant thereby inducing stirred citizens to vote if not “for” then “against” someone. Moreover, this lesser of two evils appeal has to make a thinking person question the electoral contrivance – Americans are offered a candidate who violates their sense of what country represents and then Americans are presented with another candidate who promises to be even worse. Indeed, we are not so much offered a choice as forced into one!

    Perhaps, ‘in this time of crisis we have to rethink a great deal about our system: why do our elections go on for three years with great costs; why do we have a system where 96% of the political incumbents get reelected; why do we tolerate a system where over 11,500 Federal lobbyists are registered to seek out 535 voting members of Congress.” See: and

  • Fat_Man

    The factors you discuss are indeed relevant. But the conclusion I would reach is that turn out will be way down. Since Trump has shown so little inclination to pay attention to the political blocking and tackling of gotv, it will hurt him. Hillary can of course rely on the Democrats legions of living dead to show up and vote. So on balance she should win.

    • Jim__L

      What is your take on the idea that GOP primaries have seen record turnouts, while Democrats have not? (According to one poster here, Hillary got less votes this time around than she did in 2008.)

  • amoose1959

    BJ in the oval office – cosmopolitan
    charged with rape -cosmopolitan
    sexual pervert – cosmopolitan
    Lie about Benghazi – cosmploitan
    Lie about emails – cosmopolitan
    A security risk -cosmopolitan
    recklessly carelessness – cosmopolitan
    On and on.

  • Beauceron

    In the end a candidate’s abilities and fitness for office have little to do with it.
    This is America in the 21st Century. People will vote for who benefits their group.
    The hard core identity crowd– racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual preference “minorities”– will vote for the candidate that will give them money and extra privileges and rights. And they have the majority now and forever. Hillary, unless she really screws up, will win this easily. The Left has sewn up this coalition.
    It doesn’t matter who the Republicans nominated– although Trump is a particularly bad choice. Every Republican is a racist. Every Republican is a fascist. Every Republican is a moron. Every Republican is unfit for office. Remember McCain and Romney? They were all racist, fascist morons. Bush was a Nazi, remember?
    I can’t stand the Donald. But I am white and have at least a modicum of self-respect and self-interest left. That precludes me from voting for Democrats. So it’s either Trump or third party.
    It’s over for this country. Read the writing on the wall and stop deny reality.

    • Felix Keverich

      You hit the nail on the head. This crisis is fundamentally different from the 1930s or 1970s. The nature of the country is changing. It’s becoming less like Europe, more like Brazil. Last year was the first year when minority babies outnumbered whites. This really is the end for America as a superpower and advanced civilization.

      For those of us, who live outside the US, the real fun will begin when America is no longer able to finance its overseas empire.

      • Jim__L

        Color doesn’t matter, culture does.

        Raw demographics hide more than they show.

        • Felix Keverich

          Culture is derivative from race. Where do you think “African-American culture” comes from? Blacks behave in pretty much the same way no matter where they live: US, Brazil, South Africa etc.

          • Jim__L

            You’re seriously claiming that Communist culture is identical to Tsarist culture? Same race, there.

            I admire Roman culture, although at the time my “race” was the devils of Teutobergerwald who amused themselves by nailing legionnaires’ heads to trees. I admire British culture, although my own ancestors were the axe-murdering pirates who terrorized Europe until they Christianized (at which point everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief.) My religion? (And I’m guessing, yours too?) It’s Middle Eastern by “race” — a linear descendant of Judaism.

            I have no blood relation to any of these (except by marriage.) And yet, they are my culture.

            This can be true for anyone. Race is irrelevant. Note the following image…


            … and I only use that because there really isn’t an iconic image of the Russo-Japanese war.

          • Felix Keverich

            “You’re seriously claiming that Communist culture is identical to Tsarist culture?”

            No offence, but you don’t seem to have a grasp of what a culture is or what a nation is. Obviously, Russians didn’t become a different people when the bolsheviks seized power in 1917. In fact, Russian people remained exactly the same! Russian culture endured through decades of Communist rule, and reasserted itself when the regime crumbled, because RUSSIAN PEOPLE DIDN’T GO ANYWHERE.

            American culture is destined to die, because the historical American nation is being displaced demographically. People who displace them have no attachment to traditional American values.

          • Jim__L

            So, how do birthrates among Russians over the last few decades compare to birthrates among non-Evangelical Americans? (Among Evangelical Americans?)

  • Nevis07

    “This is an election in which many voters will approach the ballot box thinking about minimizing the damage to the United States: Which of the two candidates is less likely to inflict irrecoverable wounds on America’s constitutional order and place in the world?”

    This presupposes that American voters believe the system is worth saving at this point. TAI might call Clinton the status quo candidate, but she is so corrupt and the system is so gamed by the liberal media, politically connected, corporations and special interest groups that one wonders if Clinton is actually the safe choice… Can the country actually survive her? Trump might be disastrous for the US and Clinton might not even bring immediate ruin upon the country – but deepening the rot even further may well in my calculation doom the country to a slow death, nonetheless; I’m not sure the Union is capable of surviving much more corruption.

  • GS

    “Trump Pulls Even in Race to the Bottom”
    For those who stand on their heads, the notion of “bottom” is grossly misplaced.

  • Pete

    “Never in American history has a major party nominee been as wildly unqualified for high office as Donald Trump.”

    Wrong — Barack Hussein Obama, an America hating leftist radical — is the least qualified by miles.

    • lhfry

      Trump will finish the job begun by Obama: diminishing the US’ role as world leader. Every President for 100 years, Democrat and Republican, has understood that without US leadership, the world will descend into chaos. Thus the situation today and Putin, Erdogan, Xi, and others are just getting started. The threats made about withdrawing from NATO must be music to Putin’s ears. Not that I believe for one minute that the current NATO military deployment in the Balkans will be effective. NATO will back down in the face of serious Russian aggression. Obama has done that much damage already.
      Don’t imagine for one minute that I will be voting for the new leftist Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton was part of the old tradition – Kosovo, for example. Bernie Sanders and his followers will keep her in line. I’m hoping for an electoral college deadlock that throws the election to the House of Representatives. Virtually no one will be happy with the result that comes out but at least we will avoid the certain disaster of either a Clinton or Trump Presidency.

  • WigWag

    Professor Mead, find a doctor who will write you a prescription for Prozac or Zoloft. You’re depressed and its having a bad impact on your usually prescient analysis. Many of us come here for your thought provoking insights; this essay could have been written by anyone of a thousand pusillanimous pundits.

    There’s plenty of good news in this election. You suggest that in this election we are faced with the most dreary choice in American history. That’s plainly not true; either Clinton or Trump would be a better President than Barack Obama.

    Trump may be less qualified in the traditional sense than Romney or George W. Bush but it is highly doubtful that he would be a less capable President. Dubya was an unmitigated disaster; Willard would have been terrible. As for Clinton, I would take her over Obama in a heartbeat. Are you really suggesting with a straight face that she’s actually so much worse than previous candidates the Democrats have had on offer? Worse than McGovern? Worse than Carter? Worse than Mondale? Worse than Dukakis? Warts and all, Clinton would be a far better President than any of them though admittedly, that’s damning with faint praise.

    The other mistake you make is perfectly in keeping with your fellow members of the clueless commentariat. You limit your discussion to the trivial. Trump is a blowhard; Clinton is a crook. Trump is impulsive; Clinton is a world class influence peddler. Trump is a bigot; Clinton is a liar. Trump isn’t polite; Clinton is an enabler of all of her husband’s worst behavior. With all due respect, Professor Mead, you and your fellow members of the media are more guilty of dumbing down the debate than the candidates are. It’s the clerisy, of which you are a card carrying member that refuses to engage about the policy differences between the candidates. Despite your purposeful blindness about Trump’s policies, they are bold and iconoclastic. Despite your disintetest about Clinton’s proposals they are real. In my opinion, Trump’s are far better.

    Whether you believe he will actually build his famous wall or not, it is clear that Trump would drastically limit legal immigration and strive to remove illegal immigrants from the country. Clinton believes that legal immigration is a net plus and that illegal immigrants should eventually be offered citizenship.

    Whether anyone believes it is legal or even appropriate to impose a hiatus on the travel to our country or not, Trump would clearly seek to carefully scrutinize visitors from Muslim-majority nations. Clinton thinks that’s a bad idea that will make things worse.

    Trump believes that multilateral trade agreements are generally a bad idea and that those agreements which already exist need to be renegotiated or cancelled. Hillary Clinton is a free-trader; full stop.

    Trump believes in an expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment. In her heart of hearts, Clinton wishes there were no Second Amendment or that it would be enforced with all of the vigor with which the Tenth Amendment is enforced.

    Trump believes that the current wave of anti-police rhetoric is a bad omen for America. Clinton believes that our country is systemically racist against people of color.

    Trump is opposed to the Common Core and high stakes testing. Clinton endorses or opposes the common core and high stakes testing depending on the political winds.

    Trump supports the Keystone pipeline. Clinton opposes the construction of the pipeline.

    Trump supports the coal industry while Clinton has bragged about putting coal miners out of work.

    Trump has promised to do everything in his power to keep manufacturing jobs in America. Clinton thinks it’s not possible and that we should offer job retraining, education and increased welfare payments to manufacturing workers and miners who lose their jobs.

    Trump is mostly a foreign policy realist who believes our foreign policy should reflect the interests of our country and the small number of real allies we have in the world as opposed to our faux allies. Clinton, the liberal internationalist, is a kissing cousin to the neoconservatives.

    Trump was delighted with the results of the Brexit vote. Clinton was horrified.

    Trump is doing everything in his power to kill political correctness. Clinton and her crowd invented political correctness.

    Trump believes our nation’s obsession with identity politics makes us weaker but if that’s the way it is to be, white working class people also deserve a voice. Clinton believes that identity politics is exclusively designed to protect people of color and she is puzzled by the anger of the white working class.

    The problem, Professor Mead, is that like the rest of the members of the clerisy you refuse to engage in a debate about the policy differences between the two candidates. You would rather focus on the banal character differences between the two.

    These character differences are far less important than you think. Yes, Clinton is a dishonest dissembler; so what. We’ve known that for decades. If elected, we know exactly what kind of President she will be; she will run a modestly better Administration than Obama did.

    As for your constant name calling about Trump; has it occurred to you that the fact that he is brash, rude, iconoclatic, vain and hotheaded is a feature not a bug? Not everyone thinks political correctness is a problem. That’s fair enough; people of good will can disagree about that. But for the millions of people who think political correctness is impeding a much needed discussion about race, gender and a million other topics, Trump’s outspokenness is just what the doctor ordered. It’s unwise to bring a knife to a gun fight. The politically correct thugs in the clerisy will only be defeated by one tough hombre.

    That hombre is the Donald.

    • f1b0nacc1

      An outstanding analysis, and the sort of smack-down that WRM (sadly) needs.
      Might I offer one small critique…. You keep saying “Trump believes….Clinton believes…”, what makes you think that Clinton believes ANYTHING that does not serve her immediate interests? One reason that I have warmed (a bit, I am still deeply suspicious of him) to Trump is that he does actually seem to believe what he is saying, as opposed to Clinton, who simply says whatever she has to in order to grind another point or two in the polls.

  • Boritz

    “Never in American history has a major party nominee been as wildly unqualified for high office ”

    Interesting mindset.  It seems to work like this:  If a candidate is horrendously corrupt but otherwise qualified they are qualified (corruption not a disqualifier).  Not the end of the world yet but you can see it from here.

  • PKCasimir

    More agitprop from a career State Department liberal totally out of touch with America west of the Potomac.

  • f1b0nacc1

    What, PRECISELY, are Hillary Clinton’s qualifications for the office that she is a superior choice to Donald Trump? Other than being married to a wildly successful politician (which is what paved the way to her other offices), I don’t see any real accomplishments worthy of note. I have had some direct professional contact with her during her time as FLOTUS, and I can assure you that her only notable accomplishment was to be roundly disliked, even by her own staff, many of whom owed their jobs to her. She was a bully then, and there is no real evidence that this has changed over time. Her ability to interact with anyone not currying favor with her is minimal at best, and despite all of the endless gushing over her intellect, there is really no evidence of anything other than a pedestrian intelligence behind the pursed lips.
    Trump is a successful business man in a gruesomely cutthroat environment, and has (despite the almost universal opposition of every single mover and shaker) been able to run a successful campaign. I don’t care for him myself, though in fairness a big portion of that dislike is aesthetic, not substantive. His policy positions (as detailed here by WigWag) are certainly worthy of discussion, and for the most part more serious than those of Clinton. I wouldn’t have chosen him myself for the nomination, and I don’t still wish that another had risen in his place, but he is light years ahead of numerous other choices that WRM didn’t seem to feel the need to sneer at.
    So I ask again….what are Hillary’s qualifications?

    • FriendlyGoat

      Hillary’s qualifications are the accumulated experiences of going into the political arena on the liberal side, then meeting the grim reality of Republicans in a statehouse, the White House, and the Senate, followed by concentrated exposure to the complicated realities of foreign affairs. She knows what to oppose from the never-ending fountain of bad GOP ideas, how to do it and the reasons why—-for the benefit of ordinary citizens.

      Trump’s life experience is quite different. His random pronouncements of the last several months let us know he is absolutely clueless on both citizens’ issues and international relations. His business life is soooo successful, his tax returns are “none of our business”. But, “this I can tell you”, Donald should say, “I’m great, I can’t make your life great, I don’t even give a damn how great your life is or is not, but I’m great”.

      • f1b0nacc1

        So Hillary’s qualifications are that she knows what to oppose? I can find you any number of Occupy denizens who meet that criteria, even if I were inclined to agree with your assessment, which of course I do not.

        Hillary married Bill Clinton, and every single opportunity that she has had (and frankly failed miserably to exploit) is entirely due to that. Do you honestly believe that if Hillary were married to some non-entity with no political influence that she would be anything other than a bitter HR harridan in some mid range corporation? For all of her ballyhooed skills and knowledge, what has she EVER accomplished?

        You don’t like Trump (remember, I don’t either), but the question wasn’t about whether or not he was any good, it was about what was worthwhile about Hillary. That you, the avatar of the ignorant left, could come up with nothing better than ‘She isn’t Trump’ is about as damning as anything I might have pointed out on my own.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Much (much) of politics is what a powerful person prevents. The founders knew this and we today still should. Mrs. Clinton is well-versed in the “what”, the “how” and the “why”. That’s good enough for me.
          As for you, well, you can go off and vote for Gary Johnson in the private booth if you want. In the more public area where we listen to you, if these nominations go as expected at the conventions, and, you are actively against the election of Mrs. Clinton, then you are a card-carrying, flag-waiving, hat-wearing Trump supporter. Verbal gymnastics seriously do not count.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Once again, you miss (or simply ignore?) the point. This isn’t why you are voting for Hillary…to be honest, nobody here (with the possible exception of your compadre Anthony) really cares. The question was what qualifies Hillary Clinton, what is it that she can point to that represents anything other than a ‘my tribe’ moment. This isn’t about what is ‘good enough’ for you or not. It isn’t about whether or not Trump is a nice guy or not…it is about what makes Hillary qualified, not preferable. You still have offered no qualifications other than she shares some of your beliefs. That isn’t a qualification…that is a preferance.

            As for my choices, I don’t pretend that Trump has any significant qualifications. He is somewhat more accomplished than Hillary, but not sufficiently to matter. Unlike you, I am not concerned about this…I understand that my choice is based upon my values, and don’t need you to agree with them to validate me. I am indeed a Trump supporter, not happily, but I am comfortable with my choice. You are the one who seems to think that your preference needs to be validated…

            One last chance…what are her qualifications?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, let’s see. Brownback screwed up Kansas. Is he qualified now?
            LeBron plays truly excellent basketball. How about him? Springsteen is a legend. Should we elect him? Tom Hanks makes lots of movies. Is he okay? Some people have written 20 books. Are they accomplished enough? How about Condoleeza Rice? They say she plays good piano. Maybe Ralph Loren or P Diddy?

            Mrs. Clinton has been the spouse of governor and president, has served in the Senate and has been Secretary of State. She has been an active centrist liberal for 40 years or more and is familiar with the nuance of virtually every policy issue of any consequence. Knock it off f1b. Your argument only sells on your side.

          • Jim__L

            So you’re saying the Democrats simply don’t care that she has no actual qualifications?

            That doesn’t speak well of you.

          • f1b0nacc1

            This surprises you?

          • Jim__L

            The Millennials I talk to (even the young women) say that Hillary’s main qualification is that she’s a woman.

            This does not impress them.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Nor should it… Failure is an equal-opportunity thing, women can do it just as well (or badly?) as men can

          • FriendlyGoat

            You don’t think anything speaks well of me. I somehow manage to be happy anyway.

          • f1b0nacc1

            So you concede point then? You offer no qualifications of significance. Being a Senator – essentially winning in a ‘rotten borough’ riding on her husband’s coattails – or SecState – a sinecure designed to get her out of the way while Obama was president – hardly count given the circumstances, though if you wish to point out any notable achievements in those lofty positions, you have had your chance repeatedly, and failed to do so. I can only conclude that you are simply out of ideas and must accept that she is in fact unqualified.
            This really isn’t a problem you know…you admit it yourself that the only reason that this sad pathetic harridan is being considered by you is that she is a liberal (of a sort), and really that isn’t a problem. Ultimately this is an election about policies (shouldn’t that be the case?) not resumes, and certainly not about personalities. Your own failure to identify any real qualification or reason to vote for Clinton OTHER than your policy preferences makes the case more eloquently than I need to.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Good grief, partisan. You asked a question, or I wouldn’t be talking to you. I answered your question. YOU answered your question, to wit:

            “Ultimately this is an election about policies (shouldn’t that be the case?) not resumes, and certainly not about personalities.”

            But here is my answer and your answer again. Mrs. Clinton is eminently qualified to not introduce most errant right-wing policies and prevent a number of other ones which conservatives in Congress will inevitably introduce.

            That’s it. That’s plenty. That’s the enchilada. That’s the ball game. And, as everyone knows (except argumentative hacks), her resume is fine and fully sufficient for the job too.

          • f1b0nacc1

            That isn’t a qualification, that is a preference. Preferences are fine, everyone has them, but they are not qualifications…which was the point of the question. You state in your last sentence that ‘her resume is fine and fully sufficient for the job too’…really now? Is that he hill (forgive the pun) that you choose to die on?
            Once again, and finally…your preferences are of course yours to choose, but to pretend that they are anything else other than that is simply silly.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Why do you ask open questions? So you can insist there are no answers?
            As for choosing hills to “die on”—–sick. Yeah, I’ve heard the expression. Too flippant a usage of others’ sacrifices for me.

          • Jim__L

            “Mrs. Clinton is eminently qualified to not introduce most errant right-wing policies”

            Really? Because I remember her husband’s presidency, and all that Leftists could talk about were the times he “totally caved to the right wing”.

          • FriendlyGoat

            This is true, and I presume you applauded when that happened. If you got some things from Clinton, what’s the beef about him?
            But today, for instance, Hillary is not going to sign a blanket repeal of PPACA without a completely-decent replacement. She is not going to nominate Sam Alito II. She is not going the sign off on Carson’s “Tithe Tax” or Huckabee’s “Fair Tax”. She is not going to repeal Dodd Frank and the CFPB. She is not going to abolish the Department of Education. She probably WILL do SOME compromising with Republicans in SOME areas. We expect her to.

            One of her “qualifications” is now knowing which of her husband’s “cave-ins to the right wing” were catastrophes and which weren’t so bad.

          • Jim__L

            Clinton never did anything that was remotely “right-wing”. The fact that you can’t see that shows just how screwy your calibration is.

            The continual destruction of the Constitution that we have seen under Obama and the Roberts Court has got to stop, or our children will be squatting in the wreckage of America wondering why all the hope changed.

            I don’t think Trump has all the answers, and I don’t trust him as far as I could throw him. But Hillary will destroy this country, and if that’s just fine with the elites — and with you, I guess — I will be cheering when Trump wins.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You gotta be kidding. Clinton participated in welfare reform to GOP liking. He signed trade agreements for the upper business community. He settled for don’t-ask, don’t tell. He participated in repealing Glass-Steagall.
            As for you and Mr. Trump, like many church conservatives, you KNOW better than the invitation to national meanness which you are seeing and hearing——and you’re going to vote for it anyway.

          • Jim__L

            Trump is bad. Hillary is worse.

            This is a distasteful decision, but not a hard one.

          • Jim__L

            Did you read the article here on TAI where another diplomat described her tenure? As Secretary of State, she had a tendency to “rack up second-tier wins”, mostly humanitarian-type small stuff. Nice-to-haves, at best.

            Nice-to-haves are what First Ladies are all about. To be perfectly blunt, that sort of approach to diplomacy means… she’s qualified to be First Lady.

            And that’s it.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Except that the First Lady’s core function is to….be a wife to the President, right? Trust me on this one, she wasn’t….
            I have said it before, if Hillary hadn’t married Bill, she would have ended up as a senior level HR harridan at some mid-range corporation making peoples lives miserable.

          • Jim__L

            Hi FG, could you please give us your take on the following TAI article?


            If you could include what you think Hillary’s qualifications are in your response, that would be great!

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sure, the “Good-enough Secretary” is/was indeed “good enough”.
            She didn’t negotiate a peaceful two-state deal in Israel/Palestine because no one is ever going to. She expressed hope for human rights in election outcomes in post-dictator places like Egypt and Libya—–just as the Bush administration did in Iraq. She kicked the Iran agreement down the road to the next Obama term and the next Secretary. She gave Putin a bucket of room to be better than he has turned out to be.
            It was Obama’s first term—–the “hope” phase, and Hillary did fine as the emissary of exactly that.

          • Jim__L

            Er, no.

            She presided over the global decline of American power and prestige in a time where the dangers of terrorism have become so bad as to be commonplace. She botched not one but many diplomatic situations: Egypt, Libya, Russia — in fact, I can’t really name a country where she didn’t botch the situation.

            Hillary Clinton’s ghastly incompetence as Secretary of State has set back American diplomacy years at least, possibly decades. She squandered all the gains in the Middle East. She was so badly suited to her job as SecState that she not only salvaged nothing from Obama’s dismal strategy (which she was in no position to influence, as her very First Ladylike experience gave her no expertise to do so), when she did act, (as in Libya) she made a bad situation catastrophic.

            There are basically no victories to balance against these defeats.

            Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be President. Hillary Clinton was not qualified to be Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton was not qualified to be Senator. Hillary Clinton is not fit to hold political office, much less the highest office of this land.

            Much as I dislike the idea of a loudmouthed New York businessman as president, the simple fact is that Hillary Clinton is not qualified to shine Donald Trump’s shoes.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You asked for my take. You got it. I already know the GOP take on her. But the shoe shine thing indicates you have turned into a nut. I’m gonna guess talk radio won’t even use that one.

          • Jim__L

            You didn’t actually give me your take. You didn’t actually give f1b your take. You cited zero qualifications for Hillary. I am honestly extremely curious what qualifications the woman has, what positive qualities, that could counteract the ghastly corruption that she and the Clinton Machine represent.

            Basically, you couldn’t do it. If a die-hard Hillaryist like you can’t articulate that, maybe this conversation is over.

            And about Trump — I still don’t like the man. He is very far down the list of people I would want as president. But my take on the relative talents of the two still stands, you have given no rational person any reason to change that view.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The sooner all of my conservations with you are over the better I’m going to like it. Seriously, Jim, shove off and take your objectionable personality and horrific negative witness somewhere else. I’m done with you.

    • adk

      Your exchange with FG, plus a long (as usual) post by WigWag, illustrate the point I made a few times on this site perfectly — neither of them is even remotely qualified for the job they seek. Moreover, Hillary’s drive for Presidency is an attempt, among other things, to stay out of jail as a President Trump’s Attorney General certainly wouldn’t be Loretta Lynch.

      You sound like you are trying to convince yourself that there’s no other choice but to vote for Trump. Perhaps, but having these two candidates who are not only completely unqualified but also, frankly, are quite repelling human beings does not bode well for the future of this country at all. This whole affair is so depressingly idiotic — the Republicans could have had a candidate who’d be now many points ahead of Hillary and would likely win in a landslide in November. As it is, it’s going to be really a “race to the bottom”, totally unpredictable (because each one of them carries so many potential scandals ready to off any moment) and, I suspect, in the end severely damaging to our society.

      • f1b0nacc1

        We don’t disagree for the most part, neither of these individuals is remotely qualified to be president. That isn’t what the argument is about, however. One thing that the Goat and I apparently DO agree on is that this is going to be an election about policy choices, and in that sense there is a clear choice involved. WigWag lays out that choice far better than I have, and I see you have read his post already, so we don’t need to rehash that. Suffice it to say that I am far more comfortable with Trump’s policy choices (if not Trump himself) than I am with Clinton’s and that is what leads me to make my stand. Unlike Goat, I don’t feel the need to rationalize by pretending that Trump is a good candidate or even a good human being.
        As for there being no choice other than these two candidates, that is pretty much exactly the case. Unless you believe that Jill Stein or Gary Johnson (both of whom are also deeply flawed) actually have a chance to win in November (in which case, I have a bridge to sell you cheap), either Clinton or Trump (and more importantly their policies) are going to be taking the oath of office next January. Pretending otherwise isn’t particularly useful, and if you care about policies, dangerous. This situation is regrettable (do you think that I *LIKE* agreeing with the Goat? – grin), but it is the one that we are stuck with.

        • adk

          You say, “this is going to be an election about policy choices” and ” I am far more comfortable with Trump’s policy choices (if not Trump himself)…”

          I’m not so sure about the former. I think both candidates (potential, I should add for now) are flawed beyond repair, and any of them — if not both — could just implode because of who they are and the baggage they carry. For example, I can imagine Putin releasing truly damning materials about Hillary and Clinton Inc some time in the fall. Trump being a true narcissist and a drama queen has gotten accustomed to saying anything and advance, so he might just say something so outrageous that finally kills his candidacy among the general voting population (I remind you and all the wigwagistas that his negative ratings are still higher than Hillary’s.)

          Which brings me to the next point. Whoever wins this election will have done so because the other one was seen as more horrible. The country will be even more polarized (see your exchange with FG as a small example), and the winner will have mandate for nothing. All that after the eight disastrous years of Obama — and both he and our enemies are not done yet — yet another wild card that could alter the results of our elections.

          Lastly, I think it’s useless to talk about policy choices (in case of Trump, “policy impulses” would be more appropriate) without considering the candidates’ character and their history. Trump obviously has no public policy track record (which many consider a plus, just like Obama in 2008 was a “clean slate” to many even in the so-called center), so we must look at his character and ability to learn and adjust for best guesses. And there, the results are just plain discouraging.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Once again, we don’t entirely disagree. I am less than convinced that Trump will ‘do’ very much (good or bad policy choices notwithstanding), but I as a libertarian-leaning individual, I don’t see that as a necessarily bad thing. A paralyzed, static government is less dangerous than an activist one with a mandate, which is what Hillary would claim no matter how narrow or questionable her victory would be.
            Once again, this isn’t about either of these people being desirable, neither of them are. We are stuck with one or the other, and Trump represents the less awful choice, nothing more. Unless you have an alternative to this (and no, simply sitting it out and hoping for the best is not an answer…one or the other WILL win, we have only those two options), then what is the point?

          • adk

            First of all, in my reliably red state, one might pretty much sit out any presidential election because you are either in the winning majority or in inconsequential minority (that said, this election will be interesting to watch even in my state.)

            For the time being, I’m OK with “neither of the above” position because it’s still not November yet and, as I said, stuff might still happen between now and then. But, provided these are the only candidates we get in November,I’d still want to observe Trump (and Hillary, really) in the final stretch. Right now, I can’t imagine a CiC Trump, and that to me is something as important as the “activist” (read socialist) government.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I don’t enjoy your luxury….I live in a swing(ish) state, so my vote actually does make some sort of difference.
            Regarding ‘none of the above’, that is simply not what is going to happen. Either Trump or Clinton will win, there is no other result that is realistic, however undesirable. Do you dispute this? None of the above may indeed represent an aspiration for you if you live (as you do) in a state where your vote does not matter, but this clearly is a result of circumstances, not the nature of the choice itself.
            Regarding Hillary vs Trump, my concern about either of them as CinC isn’t all that great…both of them are bullies with very bad tempers but the institutions that surround them are actually quite good at dealing with that sort (remember LBJ and Nixon were notorious for their bad tempers, and neither were able to translate that into serious mischief as CinC). Trump is likely to be more inward looking than Hillary, thus his danger as CinC is more limited, but even if you disagree, I just don’t see a clear-cut difference between the two. I have watched Hillary’s temper tantrums in person, on the other hand (grin)….
            Regarding their danger as a ‘more activist’ government, I think that you understate the nature of the problem. If this were just a question of some empty-headed twit like the Goat being in power for a few years, we could easily survive that. The problem is that Clinton has made it abundantly clear that she would like to complete the work of the current administration in restructuring the government permanently…i.e. “Fundamental Transformation”. Given the balance on the SCOTUS, this is a real threat, and a clear and present danger. The steady accumulation of power in the executive branch (which to be fair, is a problem created and nurtured by BOTH political parties) has come to a head, and if we permit one party to capture that power and simultaneously capture the courts as well, we are finished.
            I have used this example before…if Trump wins, he will have almost no support to do anything other than be a caretaker. The Dems will monolithically oppose him, and the GOP will splinter and not provide sufficient support to implement any of his major policies, good or bad. On the other hand, if Hillary is elected, the Dems will monolithically support her (doubt this? look at a history of the last 8 years), and that, plus control of the courts, will be sufficient to implement her worst ideas.
            Believe me, I do NOT object to your revulsion at the choices facing us, I simply believe that we must acknowledge them and take steps to limit the damage EVEN AS we take steps to make sure that this ugly situation isn’t repeated. One final advantage (and possibly the only advantage!) of a Trump victory is that it will shatter the grip of the GOP ‘elites’, thus giving us an opportunity (only that, but still…) to rebuild and avoid this situation in the future….

          • adk

            I hear you and understand your position. No, I don’t expect a real revolt at the Republican convention, so yes, it’s going to be the choice between Trump and Hillary barring other major surprises between now and November.

            It is still going to be a very tough choice between hanging and drowning. I do understand the dangers of ever-expanding centralized federal government, but I also have serious doubts about the restraining role of various institutions. In the times of LBJ and Nixon, there was a bipartisan consensus on the major threats and directions in FP; now there is not. And Obama proved that a president (well, a determined Democratic president) could bypass, subvert or neuter just about every institution — the Supeme Court, the Justice Department, the IRS, the FBI, the Pentagon. Not in every instance for sure, but in enough really important cases. The “good news” is that a president Trump wouldn’t be allowed to do that as easily.

            So again, either hanging or drowning. Take your pick.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I almost drowned once, I don’t recommend it. Hanging, on the other hand, is typically quite quick, and painless…

            Thank you for a genuinely civil and reasonable disagreement. I hope that we are both being overly pessimistic…

          • adk

            Thank you too.

    • Jim__L

      Her qualifications for office? She’s the slickest operator since Slick Willy himself.

      • f1b0nacc1

        A successful criminal is not exactly what I could call a resume-builder….

  • Felix Keverich

    America is rotting from within, its global liberal empire on the verge of collapse. Good news for us Russians.

    • Jim__L

      Putin’s still scrounging for nickels in front of a steamroller.

      He plays his hand well, I’ll grant. But it’s a weak hand, and it would only take a better player on the American side to start racking up victories again.

      • Felix Keverich

        LOL Forget about it. There will no Ronald Reagan riding to the rescue this time. He simply won’t get elected in a country, which is increasingly non-white.

        Julian Castro will be your next president.

  • Kevin

    I wonder how much of the recent movement in the polls is due to Black Lives Matter and police shootings. Trump polls best when he comes across as the law and order candidate. Clinton’s shadiness is a known commodity, the FBI didn’t reveal anything new, though perhaps more voters are aware of it. The police violence and associated riots is new information and could be both increasing the salience of law and order as an issue (to Trump’s favor) and moving voters’ opinions.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The Pundits and Pollsters have repeatedly been wildly wrong about Trump, and how the voters feel about him. Given this Fact, I’m predicting a landslide victory for Trump, as huge numbers of the working class, men, and whites, all vote for a return to the American Culture that is responsible for American success.
    None of the Pundits are talking about the record breaking +70% increase in Republican Primary voters, or the demoralized -30% decrease in Democrat Primary voters that saw Crooked Hillary getting fewer votes than she got in 2008. To hear the Pundits and Pollsters talk, the Primary vote is irrelevant, but I bet they would be crowing about it, if it was reversed.
    America has had 2 wave elections 2010 and 2014, and the voters are very angry that despite the promises, they haven’t gotten a thing they were promised. For this reason, I think 2016 will see another wave, with many establishment career politicians getting the boot, and Trump being given a mandate to change things.

    • Jim__L

      If you’re right and Trump gets any kind of “mandate” to change things, we as a country are depending on Trump having a Washington-like (Cincinnatus-like) restraint rather than a Caesar-like ambition.

      I hope he gets an incontrovertible majority, and a Sanders write-in bumps Hillary down below 40.

  • Arkeygeezer

    I will wait for 2 weeks to comment as neither major party has nominated a candidate yet for President. A lot can happen at conventions. In this crazy political year, I would not presume anything about any Presidential Candidate.

    I will say however, that Donald Trump has a magnificent group of out-spoken detractors, the ability to make the most out of cable TV (he will be interviewed on the Golf Channel next Monday). and plays the media like a Stradivarius.

  • vepxistqaosani

    Surely the difference is that one candidate would be fought ferociously at every point, whether or not his policies or behavior threaten to damage the Republic or the rule of law; while the other would be enthusiastically aided and abetted in whatever she might choose to do.

  • solstice

    “Never in American history has a major party nominee been as wildly unqualified for high office as Donald Trump.” Professer Mead, what were Obama’s qualifications for high office? A law degree, a big mouth, an over-inflated ego, two books (about himself), several years in the Illinois state senate, a glib keynote address, and two years (of zero accomplishments) in the US Senate. It also didn’t hurt that he had a media establishment (of which you were/are a part of) that fawned over his every move.

  • Jim__L

    “In that case, voters might think that with two unacceptable candidates
    running, the only way to express their distaste for the process and
    anger at those whose leadership has brought the country to this point is
    to vote for the candidate the establishment most hates. That would
    clearly be Trump.”

    Nailed it.

  • Matt B

    “Never in American history has a major party nominee been as wildly unqualified for high office as Donald Trump”

    I pretty much stop there with Mr. Trump. Barring the miraculous entry of a viable conservative candidate, here is my election day plan:

    1. Have a stiff drink
    2. Fill out my ballot for Hillary and mail it in
    3. Take a shower
    4. Pray for the Republic

    • f1b0nacc1

      Given your choice in step #2, I deeply hope that your prayers in step #4 are not answered…

  • Angel Martin

    “The more they look at him, the less they can endure the thought of him in the highest office at the land, so they look at her—but the more they do, the more they rebel against the idea of her in the Oval Office as well.”

    There is so much more going on in this election than just two unpopular major party nominees. Polling which shows that 65+ percent of Americans believe the country is “on the wrong track” long predates either Clinton or Trump as nominees.

    Just a partial list of problems that are independent of the candidates would include:

    1) an out of touch USA political elite. Both parties, for their own reasons, are not interested in discussing the following problems:
    2) an obsolete alliance system where the costs to the USA are spinning out of control due to military gains by China, North Korea, Russia and (soon to be) Iran.
    3) open borders trade and immigration as well as a multi-year zero interest rate policy which has hurt everyone except the very top and the people on welfare at the very bottom.
    4) a security/counterterrorism system paralyzed by political correctness. After every major attack there is an investigation that finds that the perpetrator(s) had previous contact with the authorities – who decided they were not dangerous and let them go.
    5) USA median family income still lower than the recession after eight years of economic “recovery”.

    Trump was the only candidate in either party talking about these issues at the start of this election cycle. He has driven the issues of debate the entire way. He may not have the solutions, but all the others were scared to even admit to the problems.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service