Barring any last minute convention battles, here we are. Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump (vs. Gary Johnson).
12 years ago, I was disgruntled over George W. Bush because of the lousy economy but I supported him over the War on Terror. I was also willing to vote for Joe Lieberman because he wanted to fight Islamic terror. But the Democrats chose John Kerry and his terrorism as a law enforcement issue crap and the economy turned around over the course of the 2004 election season.
That same year, Barack Obama won one of the only open Senate seats that didn’t go to a Republican, mostly by a campaign of unsealing divorce records and outing the gay daughter of another opponent. The latter was Alan Keyes, the man I supported in the 2000 Republican presidential primary.
I had no preference between two equally bad candidates in the Democratic primaries of 2008. I was rooting for Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos, where Republicans who could change parties would vote for Clinton to create unrest for an Obama campaign trying to win early. Hillary fought, but did not complain quite as much as Bernie Sanders. Now she has her shot 8 years later.
A little less than 8 years ago, I was energized for a Republican ticket consisting of John McCain (yawn) and Sarah Palin (wow). In hindsight, the story was that McCain actually wanted his pal Joe Lieberman to run as part of a “fusion” ticket, but his handlers wanted a female governor. There were two available and one was a very liberal Republican. Then McCain’s handlers stepped all over Palin and blunted her effectiveness of getting people excited.
Here’s the interesting thing about this history. Almost all of the players have been around the political scene before, although Sarah Palin was only governor for a short time before she was tapped to be a Vice Presidential candidate and was a mayor before that. Even Donald Trump, a supposed breath of fresh air, tried to run for president before. He lost the Reform Party nomination in 1999. Trump’s 2016 campaign has a number of similarities to the eventually Reform Party nominee, Pat Buchanan.
I’ve seen this movie before. I was the guy who would have supported Donald Trump’s positions back in 2000 when companies were moving to China and Illegal immigration was becoming a serious problem. Guess what? Companies moved to China, some have moved back and others have moved on to cheaper countries. Illegal immigration is a way of life. Not knowing Spanish in Florida and California is almost like being illiterate. We lost the first battle of the culture war Pat Buchanan described in 1992 and Donald Trump is trying to re-fight it.
Even as the GOP nominee, I can’t support Donald Trump. It’s pretty obvious that he’s either playing ignorant to placate supporters or really learned nothing in decades of involving himself in politics. Trump supporters aren’t dumb, but he makes them dumb whenever they have to explain how Trump’s dumb luck was calculated all along. I have never seen supporters who can’t accept that their candidate makes mistakes. Well, maybe Obama supporters did, but I tried to ignore Obots. I’m not interested in being a Trumpbot.