The 2016 Presidential campaign isn’t about America. It’s about two people. If you zoom out, it is about two people and their victims.
After more than a week of explosive allegations of racism, sexism and even potential criminal activity, Donald Trump says his campaign is “going nuclear” to try to save his diminished chance to win. The final weeks will be far worse than the previous months — which were the worst in any presidential campaign in history.
Many people are making their decisions based on which candidate they hate least. Few people are excited to vote for Hillary Clinton. Most of her supporters say, “But did you hear what Trump said?” or “I would never support Donald Trump because he…” and fill in the blank with the scandal that most shocked their sensibilities.
Trump’s supporters are not likely to say what they like about their candidate either. Their list for why they support Trump is more like, “Emails, Benghazi, stamina, Bill Clinton with women in the 1990s.”
Honestly, I prefer the Trump supporters who hate Clinton to those who love the idea of building a wall across our southern border, banning an entire religion from our country or putting the other candidate in jail.
In 1960, the John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon race came to be decided by television. In 2016, the race may be decided by emails.
Clinton has been under constant pressure since the primaries because of her emails and how she stored — and disposed — of them as Secretary of State and thereafter.
Now, Trump’s campaign head Steve Bannon has been discovered in emails bragging that he was running Trump’s campaign a year before Trump fired Corey Lewendowski and sent him to CNN to be a campaign shill disguised as a journalist.
Even Saturday morning, an email was discovered that seemed to contradict Gloria Allred’s client who accused Trump of sexual misconduct during and after her time on his reality show. In her email, she basically praised Trump’s kindness and asked him to stop by her restaurant to help her out.
After the email portion of the Presidential Pageant, we move on to allegations of wrongdoing for the past four decades.
We focus on 1995 tax returns because Trump won’t release his recent returns.
We focus on decades-old affairs and accusations against the Clinton’s husband before and during his presidency. Our first female candidate is spending a lot of her campaign defending her husband as paying off women without admitting guilt and further defending her role in how those allegations were handled.
I hope the next female candidate can focus more on policy. Heck, I hope the next male candidate can focus more on policy and less on “locker room talk” and denials of acting out that locker room talk.
That 11-year old tape of a lecherous old man claiming to be able to take advantage of women in multiple ways because “he is a star” is a new low in American political discourse. They make the 1884 “Ma, Ma, where’s my pa?” chants yelled at Grover Cleveland seem almost polite.
Political discourse is no longer about tax policy or civil rights.
We are left with the political flotsam and jetsam of personal attacks about lewd behavior and retorts about the other’s husband philandering.
Both sides are focused on the race to disqualify the other to get themselves elected.
One side would say it was criminal. The other would call it deplorable.
It is a shame that the leader of the free world and America’s Commander in Chief would be selected by choosing the candidate who is the least disturbing.
It signals a failure in the system. It defines the problems with our primary process.
It’s too late for 2016. We have to begin now to restore the country’s honor for 2020.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.