Thursday, May 05, 2016

This Time It's Personal

The process to determine who will be the Republican nominee for president in 2016 is all but complete. A few more primaries remain, but Donald Trump place at the top of the GOP ticket is now a done deal. While we’ve been heading toward this outcome for some time, the fact that it has become a reality is a still a bit stunning. People are trying to wrap their minds around what this means for the country and the Republican party in both the near and long term. And there will be no shortage of this sort of soul searching analysis in the days to come.

However, if you step back from the potential political and even historical implications of Trump’s candidacy for a moment and look at the pending Trump-Clinton showdown purely from an entertainment perspective you can’t help but admit that it’s going to a magnificent spectacle. Like everything else that Trump has done up to this point, it will be unlike any political campaign of our lifetimes.

It’s going to be ugly. It’s going to be gory. It’s going to be crazy. And those are just three of the words that Trump will use to describe Hillary in his acceptance speech in Cleveland.

It’s going to be Iran vs Iraq. It’s going to be Nazi Germany vs the Soviet Union. Scorched earth. Take no prisoners. Give no quarter.

On the one side you have the Clinton machine. These are the folks who created and perfected the concept of “the politics of personal destruction.” They have shown no hesitation about doing anything necessary to destroy anyone who stands in the way of their quest for power. Whatever means that are required to ensure the ends of President Hillary will be justified and employed without regard to ethics or morality.

One the other side you have Donald Trump. Trump is the ultimate politician for the reality television era. There is no separation between the public and personal. Everything is public and everything is personal and everything is fair game. He’s mocked his opponents for their energy, their looks, their wife’s looks, their physical stature, and their eating manners. He’s made allusions to his opponents involvement in extramarital affairs, pedophilia, and conspiracies to assassinate JFK (indirectly). At one point or another during the primary campaign, he accused nearly every one of his GOP opponents of lying. He invented insulting nicknames for many of them and labeled them all as losers. You can only imagine him drooling over the prospect of Hillary as a rich target of opportunity for such lines of attack.

The Clinton-Trump presidential campaign will likely not be good for America and could be disastrous for the Republican Party. But it will not be boring. Might as well sit back and enjoy the show.