For the first time in many presidential elections we have a candidate that I support almost wholeheartedly. The bad news is that he is not going to win the Democratic nomination. As usual, I don't agree with everything anyone who is running wants to do but Bernie Sanders ideas about leveling the playing field and doing away with corporate overreach are exactly what I think this country needs long term. We simply cannot continue to allow corporate interests to control our government and expect that it will benefit anyone but corporate interests. We have almost forty years of proof of the fallacy of this argument but we still don't seem to recognize it as a general truth in this nation.
I don't have a crystal ball but it seems pretty obvious that Bernie Sanders is not going to win the Democratic nomination barring some rather cataclysmic mistake by Hilary Clinton. He has done amazingly well, much better than I thought he would, but I don't think he is going to win the nomination. The eventuality that he will not is what leaves us with what I think is the most depressingly bad choice we have faced in a very long time. Hilary Clinton vs. Donald Trump for President is a nightmare of epic proportions in my view. Trump is an egomaniac. Egomaniacs are not a new phenomenon in election cycles. As a matter of degree however, Trump seems to be an Olympic champion egomaniac. He can't seem to put even the smallest slight aside without responding in an infantile attack mode. This plainly disqualifies him from holding even a minor public office under normal circumstances but he has managed to tap into a core anger with politicians and life itself in general that has so far propelled him to victory after victory in the primaries. People don't seem to notice there is no substance whatsoever to his off the cuff ridiculous solutions that usually contradict something else he just said to someone else but as long as he is kicking someone they despise it doesn't matter.
His total lack of diplomacy or even common manners aside, he is also a businessman of very dubious distinction who has frequently taken advantage of the liberal bankruptcy laws of this nation to swindle large sums of money from people that do not belong to him. Borrowing more money than you can repay and then blackmailing creditors to pay you large sums of money to negotiate a settlement is something that most people find morally repugnant, even if it is legal. It is the height of irony that the party which touts itself as the party of personal responsibility is in the process of nominating someone completely devoid of that particular attribute; both in his personal life and in his business dealings. Romney may have been the Gordon Gecko who bankrupted companies regularly by buying and gutting them, but Trump is the Payday Lender loanshark on the scale of admirable business practices.
The good news is that he should be easy to beat in a general election because he has no real substantive positions on anything and his personal and business histories are a gold mine of embarrassing failures and sleazy practices for those who want to sling mud. The bad news is that he will likely be running against a candidate in Clinton with just as many skeletons in her closet and who may be personally even more unlikeable than Trump. There is an old saying that you should never get in a mud slinging contest with a pig, you just get mud all over you and the pig enjoys it.
My problems with Hilary Clinton have nothing to do with Benghazi, email servers, or even Whitewater. I think she did a serviceable job as Secretary of State under President Obama. My problem with Hilary Clinton is her relationship with Wall Street and Corporate America. Anyone who has read much of what I have posted understands that I believe Wall Street policies, largely de-regulation largely implemented under Bill Clinton, led to the financial debacle of 2008. Business practices centered around the bundling of worthless debts and selling them as assets were made possible by this deregulation and it led directly to the worst world wide depression since the Great Depression which was incidentally caused by much of the same type of reckless gambling on Wall Street.
The truth is that we are still teetering just on the edge of recovery because there is still of ton of that worthless debt on the books of the Federal Reserve and a lot of large banks that we bailed out. It wouldn't take a whole lot of a push to start us right back down that same slope. The only difference is that next time even the Federal Reserve won't be able to bail us out because they are on the verge of being overextended from the last fiasco. Meanwhile, banks deemed to large to fail have combined and become even larger while politicians look the other way and regulators find their voices in protest to fall on deaf ears. It isn't coincidental in my view that both Trump and Clinton are for actively doing away with the few and noticeably incomplete regulations we put in place afterwards to rectify that situation. Make no mistake about it, Hilary Clinton is hopelessly and totally in the pocket of Wall Street and Corporate America who have financed her latest run at the presidency. Within the democratic party, there has never been as complete and total a dividing line as the one we now have between Sanders and Clinton. The fact that Clinton is winning the nomination despite this divide speaks volumes as to the actual state of US politics and Corporate control.
In summation, I am likely to be faced with a choice between two candidates who I detest. I cannot in good conscience see myself pulling the lever for either Trump or Clinton. It is not even a choice between the lesser of two evils in my mind. They both represent the same overweening corporate control that is killing this country be degrees. Neither of them offer much in the way of personally redeeming characteristics such as honesty or principle on even a minor scale. We seem determined to precipitate another larger financial crash by electing people devoid of principle or understanding of the problem. As Will Rogers once said, "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is quit digging". By contrast, the Trump/Clinton corallary seems to be "If you find yourself in a hole, get a bigger shovel."