It’s Not the Campaign; It’s the Candidate

I don’t have my fingertips on the pulse of the public. I couldn’t sell a box of soap, let alone a candidate like he or she was a box of soap. Consequently, I usually avoid horse race discussions, dissecting campaigns and treatises about messaging. Still, I keep seeing article after article about how Secretary Clinton is struggling, so I thought I throw in my two cents.

Several months ago, I said to my mother that I felt Clinton was the only Democrat who could lose. My opinion hasn’t changed.

Just about every talking head out there who’s tried to make sense of Donald Trump’s lead in the GOP primary race had mentioned the dissatisfaction that voters have with the power elite in Washington. Just this morning I read:

Washington isn’t broken. It is a well-oiled machine that works for the well-connected and responds to the well-heeled. This corrupt nexus of favoritism and cronyism tends to leave hardworking Americans behind.

This was immediately followed by what is becoming the ubiquitous reference to Howard Beale, also used at a touchstone the day before by Daniel Henniger in The Wall Street Journal. However the comparison is a poor one. The movie Network, one of my favorites, is not about politics but about television news ceasing to be journalism and becoming entertainment. However, the anchorman’s on air rant which made the movie such a popular reference reminds me how much worse the general state of the country was back in the nineteen seventies.

I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

For all our problems, in the United States of America is far better than 1975. Our most pressing problem is ISIS, and that’s overseas. Sure, there are problems, but they don’t seem as insoluble as they did forty years ago. Still, although the problems don’t look insurmountable, it looks as if no one is going to take them on. A couple of days ago, on the website The Hill, Brent Budowsky wrote:

There is in this consultant industrial complex a Washington-based tier of operatives who move back and forth between working for Obama, profiting from anti-populist corporate business that would normally be associated with Republicans and most recently working for Clinton.

This cronyism is something everyone sees. Perhaps the people in positions of power feel entitled to be there. However, it doesn’t appear to be sustainable. That is the concern. We are not in an especially bad place at the very moment, but people are apprehensive that we are about to head in a very wrong direction.

I am not particularly concerned about whether or not Clinton can win the Democratic Nomination. My concern is that she wins it and loses to someone like Donald Trump.

Clinton has been forced down the throats of rank and file Democrats in the party by the higher-ups with the promise that she can win. For well over twenty years the Democratic Party has neglected its down ticket races. It has no “bench” because it hasn’t cultivated the state level and local level politicians that eventually feed into the national level. The Democratic Party has indeed become a “consultant industrial complex.” We need a change of leadership in the party.

1 comment
  1. Reblogged this on Norbert Haupt and commented:
    “Clinton is the only democrat who could lose.”
    Now the fear is that she wins the nomination, and then loses to a bigot like Trump, who spreads hate, singles out specific religions as villainous, makes vapid statements about questionable realities, and acts like he is going to be elected king. As they said during the second Republican debate a few nights ago: These are dangerous times we live in.

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