So here we are in another election year and our choices for president have winnowed down enough that we can reasonably say that only a few people left have a shot at being our next president. As usual, it’s an uninspiring bunch. There are five clowns left in the car; let’s take a look at them.
First and least likely, Ted “Zodiac” Cruz and John “Mitt 2016” Kasich. Let’s talk about Raphael “Ted” Cruz. My wife and I have a dog that none of the other dogs like. She’s a sweetheart and she loves to play but the other dogs just won’t let her into their doggie club. She’s kind of like Ted Cruz, except that she’s a loveable dog and Ted Cruz is perhaps the Zodiac Killer and nobody likes him. I bet even Ted’s wife is not-so-secretly repulsed by him. I used to think that to become president you needed to have at least a smidgen of charisma but Ted (and Hillary) are disproving that theory. The only way Ted gets the nomination from the republicans is if they have a brokered convention and decide to give the election to the democrats, perhaps as payback for when the democrats threw John Kerry out there (see again my faulty theory about potential presidents needing charisma). So, let’s rule him out.
John Kasich is the bona fide republican (see his record on women’s issues if you have any doubts) who is trying to straddle the line of appealing to both the lunatic fringe republican voters and the occasional moderate. He adopts an “aw shucks!” mentality but you know it’s a fake. He may be the republicans’ only hope, though. Ted is unelectable and if Trump doesn’t get the nomination the republican party will shatter like my hopes of the Angels winning another world series do every October since 2002. If he is the nominee then all republican hell has broken loose.
With these two out of the way, let’s focus on the three that have a legitimate chance.
More of the same. AKA Hillary Clinton. She’s like Bill but without the charisma (there’s that word again) and with twice the arrogance. She’s everything that’s wrong with modern politics and if she’s the democratic nominee I still hope she wins only because of the potential to nominate three Supreme Court justices. That’s important. Imagine a republican getting into office and replacing Scalia with another Scalia and then for shits and giggles getting to add two more Scalia’s to the Court. I’d put up with Hillary for that reason and that reason alone.
That said, I loathe her. This election cycle, even more so than 2008, has shown us just how horrible and power-hungry she is. I get that to be president of the United States you have to be something of an egomaniac. It’s a thankless job that ages you rapidly and has you constantly hated by roughly half of the population. I wouldn’t want to be president; I’d be much better suited as a tyrant or dictator. But Hillary, that dame wants to be president so fucking bad. She wants that legacy of being the first female president and she thought it was hers in 2008, and once again in 2015. Then came Obama and leaky nipples (more about him next) and we saw Hillary turn from Dr. Jekyll into Missus Hyde, and it’s ugly. She’s once again cloaked in desperation and that’s the worst thing you can wear.
As an aside: I don’t by into any of the republican-led Hillary scandals du jour. Well, until the email situation, that is. I know a little bit about security clearances and classified information (there’s no such thing, that’s a misnomer, but I digress) and what little I know tells me she should at the very least have her security clearance revoked and at most face charges for what she did. She’s using carefully chosen lawyer-talk to dance around the issue, much like her husband did with “that depends upon what your definition of ‘is’ is.” I hope she gets nailed for it as she deserves to, but I have my doubts, despite what seems like the FBI getting ready to drop the hammer on her. Enough about Hillary, our next president, though. Let’s talk about…
Leaky nipples, AKA Bernie Sanders. Yep, Bernie Sanders is America’s leaky nipples. He appeals to those of us that want to help others, especially if said help is presented as cost-neutral to us and only comes from people who make way more than we ever will. As long as that milk is coming from someone else’s titties, bring it on! I admit to liking Sanders and his message, as well as his apparent exceptional-for-a-politician integrity. I also like that most of his promises won’t appear, at least according to him, to have any effect on me or my money. It’s someone else’s nipples, someone who has much more milk than me.
However, I’ve been around the block a few times. I’m 46, gonna be forty-goddamned-seven in a few months. I’m comfortably middle-class. I know that Bernie’s plans will eventually call for more of my milk and I’m selfish enough that I don’t want to give it up. My milkshake brings Bernie to the yard, but for some reason, he’s gonna charge. I don’t like that. I could afford to lose a few more shekels but lordy, I don’t want to. I like my shekels. Bernie’s got the kids, he’s got the bleeding hearts, and dammit I want him to be true but I just can’t believe it. So, that leaves me with…
The punishment boner, AKA Donald Trump. Somebody else said it best: Trump wants to be called “Mr. President” but he doesn’t actually want to be president. How he got this far is amazing. Four year ago Mitt Romney was doomed by his “47%” comment. Trump can say whatever he wants and he just keeps getting more popular. His popularity is because he’s tapped into America’s punishment boner. Punishment is in our DNA. We want to punish people who have wronged us, people who we think might wrong us, and what the hell, even some innocent people just to keep the others on their toes. Trump feeds into that. Punish the Muslims by bombing the hell out of them, exporting them, and not allowing them into our country. Punish the illegals by building a completely unpossible wall to keep them out. Punish the poor and anybody who disagrees with him by calling them losers and making their lives as difficult as possible, because being poor is such a sweet gig. Punish America itself by making Trump president. Conan (the Barbarian, not the TV host) said it best when asked what is best in life: “crush your enemies, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of their women.” Trump represents that. He’s Conan with the sword and America is Thulsa Doom at the temple, daring him to chop our head off. We’ve made him what he is and he’s ready to destroy us.
Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically. I don’t think a Trump presidency would destroy America any more than a Hillary presidency would, or a Bernie presidency. I think he would be a disaster at foreign policy but surprisingly moderate in other areas, and he’d only do one term. Trump is a bloviating asshole who loves himself more than anything else despite his obvious flaws, and I guess that makes him the best possible avatar for America. We’re the country that knows we have awful fake hair but every day we manage to convince ourselves it looks damn good. He’s the president we deserve, not the president we need.
Trouble is, none of the candidates are the president we need. I don’t know if that person exists. So we’re left with choosing between our punishment boner, our leaky nipples, or more of the same. Or, you can be smug and not vote, or (best option) vote third party.
Is this really what our election has come to? Yes, it has. I for one can’t wait to see how 2020 tops this one. It’s gonna be horrible, because if there’s one thing Americans do, it’s not learning a lesson.