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Monday, October 17, 2016

Trump: Dead in the Water or Just Stalled?


Ah, The Donald. What can I say that hasn't already been said? I didn't vote for him in the primary election; most Republicans didn't. Still, he won just enough votes to outshine the rest of the candidates individually. Had those with little hope of victory dropped out earlier (I'm talking about you, Bush, Kasich and Christie), Cruz or Carson might be the nominee. Instead, we have a mess of a candidate who subverts his own campaign by saying the most idiotic things imaginable.

Well, some say, he's a celebrity, and people love celebrities. That's wrong, by the way. What Americans love is celebrity itself, not the individuals to whom the label applies. We are fascinated by the foolish antics of the famous. They demonstrate that wealth is no predictor of intelligence or refinement. You may know exactly how to use each of the seven utensils arranged around your plate, but that doesn't make you a classy  person. Celebrities often assure us that our lack of monetary or social affluence has no effect on our value as human beings. So many of them are boorish idiots that we feel better about ourselves as we vouyeristically pry into their lives via our television screens.

While name recognition is useful, it can also be a liability. In Trump's case, he has been exposed to a great deal of media attention. He has too many ill-chosen words on tape. Witness the recorded exchange with Billy Bush. Yes, it was merely immature locker-room talk. However, we expect better from our presidents. A bunch of women claiming sexual harassment doesn't help either. I doubt Donald Trump sexually assaulted anyone in the technical sense. Still, paying a woman unwanted sexual attention is classless and not representative of what we Republicans stand for.

Nevertheless, I believe Donald Trump has a good chance of winning this election, primarily because Hillary Clinton is at least as bad a candidate as he is. She has scandals associated with her that relate directly to how she would run the country. We know that she is dishonest in her government dealings and insincere even with her political peers. We know that she collaborates with the media in a way that betrays their complicity with the Democrat party. We know she is willing to blackmail people in order to get what she wants. These are not personal behaviors only, but things she has done in government or to government officials.

According to Allen Lichtman, who has developed a system to predict the president known as the thirteen keys to the presidency, Donald Trump will win the election. The operating theory to his system is that American voters are ultimately pragmatists. They will vote for their perceived self-interest regardless of polls or other trivial matters. In this case, they will vote for Trump because Obama did not achieve anything of note during his last term in office. The Republicans gained seats in Congress during the last midterm elections, which reveals which way the wind is blowing. Lichtman's system has never failed to predict the winner. It is not subjective, not influenced by the polls, which themselves are a mere snapshot of the mood of the public.

Donald Trump is an ego-maniacal idiot. However, he is less liberal than Hillary Clinton. For this reason, he is the lesser evil. He will appoint strict-constructionist judges to the Supreme Court, which is the most important and longest-lasting thing the next president will do. I'll vote for him while holding my nose and praying for forgiveness. I'd feel guiltier still if I didn't vote and Hillary won.