American Politics Are The Greatest of Evils

What was a field of 22 presidential candidates (five Democrats and 17 Republicans) has now been narrowed down to just two finalists with one of them in the midst of his party's convention today on July 19th, 2016. (I'm sure he was pleased to see the welcome committee.) However, I'm firmly convinced that the world is going to Hell in a hand basket when I consider how a psychopath like Donald Trump has knocked off 16 other GOP contenders and out-maneuvered scores of other people in his party who sought to stop his advance. He is now set to become his party's official nominee.

Let's face it: Donald Trump is a man who is just chock full of contradictions and conflicts. Two of his three wives including his current wife were born in Communist nations and his own grandparents immigrated to this country from Germany; but, Donald has spoken against Muslim and Mexican immigrants. He lies constantly; but, wants to sue media outlets that tell the ugly truths about him. He knows nothing about making policies; but, is applying for a job that involves much policy-making. He has praised various dictators; but, he wants to become the president of a democracy. He has said that he would instruct the military to use torture methods worse than waterboarding, in spite of the Geneva Convention. He wants to do "the head-chopping thing" that Hercules was told to quit after it didn't work against the Hydra; because, that's what ISIS does. He wants to kill the families of terrorists, though the military brass has said they would disobey such orders. What's more i that they might even stage a successful coup. Evidently, he likes to exact cruel and unusual punishments upon people -- even those who had nothing to do with the wrongs committed by their kin. Maybe his logic is that, if enough people do something often enough, then it's no longer unusual -- though it might still be cruel.

One of the less dramatic contradictions within the Trump camp is the fact that the wife of the official 2016 GOP nominee borrowed heavily from a speech made by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008. Evidently, Melania Trump couldn't find a well-written speech that was done by a Republican first lady; so, she didn't mind reaching across the political aisle like so many politicians said they would do. Maybe Melania should be his chief adviser instead of his adult sons and daughters. She's a neat mixture of European Communism and of American, bipartisan plagiarism. She might even brief her husband on recent events in Turkey while assuring the idiot-in-chief that the attempted coup will not have a negative bearing on this Thanksgiving's feast. (Then again, the bird flu DID hit Turkey first. God's got a sense of humor.)

During her conversation with him, she should point out that Recep Tayyip Erdogan was democratically elected as president of Turkey and that he seems to promote the use of harsh tactics by government only when there is enough public support -- as was the case following the coup attempt. Similar things can be said about Vladimir Putin -- if to a lesser degree. That said, maybe she can convince him to be a bit more tactful by waiting until he's in office -- God forbid -- before unleashing his full fury. At least that would have been a smart move for a presidential candidate if he hadn't already let the cat out of the bag. All of this brings us to yet another seeming contradiction in that Donald Trump knows a lot about and even lauds various dictators; but, doesn't have time to read up on past U.S. presidents. But I must give credit where the credit is due. I have to give it to Donald for realizing that Bush 43 taking us into Iraq was indeed a mistake and that Saddam Hussein was keeping the lid on the pressure cooker -- a lid that has since been blown off and has yet to be replaced. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

In spite of his occasional foray into the realm of the sensible, any reasonable person would have to conclude that Donald Trump should not have gotten as far as he has. This says something terrible about Americans -- voting Americans for checking Trump's name at the ballot box and non-voting people for not voting. Then again, maybe America is willing to give up its freedoms in the name of security -- to reconstitute itself.

Now for the other finalist. In the eyes of many Americans, Hillary Clinton is not a much better choice insomuch as she was sending sensitive information from a personal e-mail account using a private server -- with just over 100 messages having contained classified information. That information might have gotten into the hands of America's enemies -- a group that's growing by the day. Secretary Clinton's failings might have contributed to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Her recklessness pales in comparison to the fact that the Bush administration illegally deleted 5,000,000 e-mails and saw 13 American embassy attacks resulting in 60 deaths. While I, like Bernie Sanders, wish people would "shut up about the e-mails already", I can't give Ms. Clinton a pass on having voted to go to war in Iraq. Even a person who didn't foresee us igniting a powder keg should have known that it doesn't make sense to go to war with a country because you don't like the fact that they have nuclear weapons. War is when those weapons get used (the most anyway). In hindsight we can see that the Iraq War destroyed more lives than it improved and that, as Trump would tell you, it led to the creation of ISIS which gave us another reason for war.

Where does all of this leave us??? Well, if we assume that most people -- even most U.S. presidential candidates -- are good people and we complain that the two worst candidates are left out of 22, that means that one evil person eliminated four and another eliminated 16. I guess that makes evil a more powerful force than good. Maybe it just means that our political system is designed in such a way that evil prevails within it. Either way, this country's got much bigger problems than the fact that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will end up becoming president. We've got a broken system. Even so, if I had to choose from just these two, I'd take Hillary over Trump any day. But, after her inauguration, I'd continue to push for systemic change. In the grand scheme of things, a Republican first lady plagiarizing the words of a Democratic first lady might be the best thing that has happened this campaign season.

(Note: I just learned that an unknown named Lawrence Lessig also ran as a Democratic, making for six Democratic candidates.)

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