By Robert J. Guttman
October 26, 2016
America’s most negative, chaotic and downright weird presidential election in the modern era is, thankfully, drawing to a close.
Most Americans will feel a huge sigh of relief. We will all try to regain our dignity and renew the principles and objectives of our democracy. It won’t be easy as the sleaze and lies and cruel statements against almost every group in America by the GOP presidential candidate will still linger in our minds.
And, the Democratic presidential candidate, who is on track to be our 45th president, may be the most disliked, most distrusted and overall worst campaigner in our modern history, did not run such an admirable campaign.
The third party candidate also turned out to be a dud who couldn’t name a single foreign leader and didn’t know the name of the civil war ravaged city of Aleppo in war torn Syria.
Disgusting would not be too harsh a term for this two year-long presidential campaign. Uplifting would definitely not be the word to describe the 2016 presidential campaign. Issues hardly played a role in the nasty campaign. The character, or lack thereof, of the presidential candidates dominated the slugfest.
The idiotic building of a wall and having our southern neighbor pay for it was the dominant issue for the GOP presidential candidate. The Democratic candidate spent much of her time saying she didn’t lie to the FBI and defending herself against daily Wikileaks disclosures.
The three debates told us very little about either candidate. The GOP candidate seemed to show he could not be sane or rational for more than twenty minutes. And, he seemed to prove he cannot go through a ninety minute debate without being extremely critical of not only his opponent but almost every diverse group in the country.
Luckily, the GOP candidate was inept, incompetent and totally not curious about any of the key issues of the day. Think how truly scary it might have been if a serious, rational, normal candidate was leading this angry group of voters. Think how bad it would be if a candidate leading this so-called revolution against the elites of their party was rational and could present his/her plans in a coherent way to the voters. In 2020, we may not be so lucky and a smoother and more serious candidate may make it over the top and put our democracy in peril.
The popular singer Sheryl Crow has started an on-line petition to shorten our presidential nominating season. She must not realize that our lengthy presidential campaigns have become the ultimate reality shows. Why else would a reality television star become a candidate of one of the two major parties? Principles have been lost to bluster and overall nonsense being spoken by the GOP candidate for president. Republican party leaders should all be hanging their heads in shame.
Only those Republican leaders, like Ohio Governor John Kasich, who not only refused to endorse or support his party’s nominee, and did not even attend the party convention in his own home state, will be able to hold their heads up high.
Governor Mike Pence and Senator Ted Cruz who endorsed their party’s candidate, will be tarred with the sleaze of the 2016 campaign. The Republicans will be searching for a fresh presidential candidate in 2020 who was not involved with their party’s nominee at all.
I attended and spoke at an interesting conference discussing how Europeans see the American election. Ambassadors from EU countries and journalists and academics from across Europe told how many in their home countries were appalled and frightened by our 2016 presidential election.
The conference, hosted by my former colleagues, the Johns Hopkins Center for Transatlantic Relations, and the Institute of Current World Affairs, at the Embassy of Croatia in Washington, DC brought up some interesting perspectives on our election.
Many discussants stated that their Far Right political party leaders actually had a program and a platform and goals they wanted to carry out if elected. Unlike our current GOP presidential candidate, who mainly just rambles and speaks in stream of consciousness in all his speeches, these European extremist parties have definite views. So, in that respect, our know-nothing GOP presidential candidate may not be as scary as his European Far Right counterparts. He doesn’t actually know anything about the issues and does not care to learn anything at all about what is really happening in the world.
History will be made on November 8th as America finally elects its first woman president or elects its first non-political president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.
America deserved better. Any of the other GOP presidential candidates would most likely be far ahead of the Democratic presidential candidate who may go down as one of the worst campaigners in the modern era.
This has been a depressing campaign.
This has been an issue-less campaign.
This has been a downright sleazy, nasty and disgusting campaign.
This campaign has been bizarre and weird.
This campaign has managed to bring out the worst in many of us including the candidates.
The GOP candidate has discovered what Richard Nixon called the Silent Majority in 1968. In 2016 they have not been so silent. There are fears that some of the GOP presidential candidate supporters might resort to anti-democratic demonstrations to express their anger at the election results.
The campaign has turned many off of politics by its ruthless disregard of ethics and plain civil courtesy.
Luckily, we now have an historic World Series to watch and turn on something positive to get rid of this bad taste in our mouth officially known at the 2016 presidential election campaign.
It’s almost over!