“I beat sixteen people.” Is anyone else tired of hearing that?
Let us pretend for a moment there were sixteen alternatives to The Donald. How viable a candidate was Bobby Jindal? Once they heard him sleepwalk through a speech, was Ben Carson truly a believable individual? Can anyone identify Jim Gilmore in a group of three or more? Although honorable men, did Rick Santorum or Scott Walker stand a chance? Rand Paul is a man of deep convictions, however they are limited in scope and not as widely held as he would like you to believe. The last time anyone saw George Pataki was on a milk carton. And Rick Perry had already sealed his fate in the last election. Lindsey Graham is a walking punchline. And Mike “But I’m a Christian. You Have To Like Me” Huckabee is the Republican equivalent of a spear carrier in a Wagner opera. If this was a NCAA Basketball tournament, these guys were first round walkovers for top seeds.
That brings us to the main cast of characters. Carly Fiorina was the Cinderella candidate and probably would have been a good Vice President – performing those duties with grace and intelligence. She certainly would be immeasurably better than Joe “What stupid thing can I say today” Biden, or Emperor Palpatine… I mean Dick Cheney. Chris Christie has revealed himself as a self serving (although he seems to do a great job of serving Mr. Trump’s McDonald’s lunches) politicrat. How long did it take him to understand everyone on the Trump train is required to refer to their object of worship as Mr. Trump? Days? Hours? Minutes? The look on his face reveals that he now understands the consequences of making a deal with the devil.
Now we’re down to the Final Four: Jeb (Jeb!) Bush – the establishment’s choice, the severely deluded John Kasich, or new kid on the block Marco Rubio. And finally, the bane of the Washington Elite, Ted Cruz. Each has his own baggage, inspiring support or reluctance in voters. But, (there’s always a big but) any one of them would be preferable to the orange demigod.
Jeb was bullied out of the race, and Marco read the writing on the wall – he couldn’t get amnesty from his Gang of Eight debacle. In my mind, Kasich played a poorly calculated game of being the party savior when the delegates couldn’t come to a clear conclusive choice. He never counted on the establishment’s willingness to sell out, or perhaps their ill-conceived notion that they would be able to control the angry orange narcissist who has succeeded in destroying the GOP.
Progressives are jubilant. They have, like Trump, managed to hang a label on the GOP as the “old, angry, white people.” Check the list; people of African, Indian, or Cuban descent; Catholics, business people, lawyers, the middle class and wealthy. Isn’t this the diversity Liberals want? And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think there’s anybody older, angrier and whiter than Hillary and Bernie.
If the system is rigged, as pronounced by the whining… oops, I mean winning candidate, doesn’t some of it come in the form of early voters who heard “build a wall”, but didn’t hear “who would vote for that face?” If a voter believes every vote is important, wouldn’t they prefer to vote for a candidate who is still in the race at the convention?
So let’s return to the premise. If there were actual debates on issues and substance instead of the TMZ interviews conducted by Fox, CNN, et al., and the voters who supported candidates who were no longer in the race after Florida could re-cast their ballots, would we still be living this nightmare?