Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Long(-winded) Road of Campaign Season

The 2016 presidential election is still over a year away. Yet, the campaign has been in full swing for months, with rampant infighting happening in both parties to weed out candidates. Leading this charge are the known candidates - Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. If you have never heard of either of these people, please crawl back under your rock and do not vote next year. Yes, I just disenfranchised all rock-dwelling citizens. This is not a hit piece to bash Hillary Clinton though. With her various scandals, she is doing enough damage to her campaign and should be vetted more for prison than the presidency. (Okay, I lied about not bashing her.)

More to the point, Trump is the current leading candidate - both on the left and the right - because of what he is saying on the campaign trail to disgruntled and weary voters. Are the concerns he raises about the various issues facing the country legitimate, and is he being honest in his statements addressing them? On the former, yes; on the latter, only time would tell. The problem is that we have been through all of this before seven years ago, when candidate Barack Obama said what disgruntled voters, awash in Bush backlash, wanted to hear. Without vetting him or his statements, disgruntled and weary voters swept him into office on the promise of “hope and change”; seven years later, many of those same disgruntled and weary voters - again, both on the left and the right - yet again are still searching for it. Although Trump for the most part is a known commodity - unlike Obama in 2008 - the question is do voters want to follow that path again?

Why are voters disgruntled and weary, though? Has the utopia promised by Obama not come to fruition? Quite the opposite, in fact. Oh sure, we now have affordable universal health care (that is not affordable, universal or about health care), same-sex marriage across the nation (which has done nothing to ease debate or presumption) and have rid ourselves of the national scourge that is the Confederate flag (which has only galvanized its supporters). Unfortunately, we also have had over these past seven years a dismal economic outlook that still has not rebounded to pre-recession levels, a weakened global presence that cannot even maintain our unsecured borders and deadly enemies at the gates that threaten our very existence. Meantime, President Obama spends his days touting a climate change, gun control and income inequality agenda as he jets off to his next partisan-celebrity fundraiser or taxpayer-funded vacation while bashing the skeptical law-abiding who support free-market policies.

Why should voters be disgruntled and weary about such a failure of (divisive) leadership?

So while voters should pay attention to Trump, they likewise should be cautious. After all, voters have been down this road before of being told what they want to hear, and we have already seen where that path can lead with the current (worst-)administration(-ever). Voters need to be more skeptical and discerning, making certain not to turn a blind eye yet again to a more suitable and resonate candidate perhaps overshadowed by the bloviating and rhetorical nonsense. Otherwise, like Rome before the invading barbarian hordes, we will witness the continuing downward spiral of this exceptional nation put in motion by false hope and damaging change from an unknown and unvetted president unfit to hold the office.

©2015 Steve Sagarra

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