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This Is No Way To Elect A President

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

We truly have only ourselves to blame. How the greatest nation in the history of the planet ended up with these two candidates for president will be something for historians to figure out as they sift through the rubble of our civilization. But it is where we find ourselves.

The societal autopsy of this time likely will reveal a series of self-inflicted wounds. It will show the United States didn’t just die; it committed suicide by multiple means.

Neither candidate has a plan, or even a desire, to address the national debt or the coming crush of unfunded liabilities in entitlement programs. The Democrat wants “open borders” and thinks everyone “has the right to immigrate to this country.” When the Republican isn’t going off on tangents, advancing conspiracy theories, defending himself from his latest problem or attacking other politicians he’s not running against, he has some ideas that sound good until he contradicts them.

This election has been about personality from day one on the Republican side. Donald Trump is a type-A personality. Put that with money, an understanding of how the media works no other candidate has demonstrated and a celebrity-obsessed culture, and you have a nominee.

Trump isn’t stupid. He personally may be a pig, but he’s a smart man. He’s just shown himself to be stubborn when it comes to taking advice, undisciplined when it comes to messaging and unprepared (and either oblivious or delusional) for the level of scrutiny he’d face when it comes to running against a Democrat.

It was easy to see coming – a media that portrayed the thoroughly decent Mitt Romney as Hitler’s right-hand man surely could turn a playboy billionaire into anything it wanted. It doesn’t help that Trump manufactures ammunition for them. But that’s the price of running an undisciplined amateur – the excitement is tempered with unforced errors.

I don’t know if the allegations of groping against Trump are true, but I do know stories as flimsy as these would require some verification of the details before they’d even enter the draft stage if the subject were a Democrat.

This woman alleges Trump maybe, might, could have grabbed her butt, or it might’ve been a camera bag. That’s the extent of the charge and the evidence. Any self-respecting editor would’ve laughed it out of the newsroom. But there are no self-respecting editors at newspapers anymore.

The other stories don’t have much more evidence to back them up either. That doesn’t mean they can’t be true; it just means journalism is dead and activists now have media credentials.

In the ultimate display of multitasking, the media managed to play offense against Trump and defense for Clinton.

As hacked emails display unambiguous lies, manipulation, racism, pay-for-play and coordination with the media against Trump and Bernie Sanders, the First Amendment warriors spent much of the week shielding Team Hillary and themselves from their contents.

As much as people who pay attention to politics don’t want to admit it, most people don’t pay attention to politics. In fact, most people know little of how government works, how it’s supposed to work and how, in the name of “helping” or “progress,” it makes things worse and more people dependent upon government. And they don’t care.

Large swaths of Americans vote as they do out of habit, how they’ve always voted, with little to no thought about what the person they’re voting for advocates. Democratic districts in major cities from coast to coast have deteriorated to the point you can barely see the remnants of once-thriving enclaves of opportunity through the burned-out shell of empty promises, yet slavish loyalty to the party that lit the slow-burning match endures.

Thought is hard; educating yourself on what matters isn’t as much fun as drinking beer and playing video games. Residents of depressed areas, rural and urban, are getting by. When your aspiration has been sapped, getting by is pretty good. The vote of an unemployable 30-year-old with neck tattoos who loves marijuana, lives on public assistance and has a bunch of kids he doesn’t see counts the same as people who put in 10-hour days to feed their families and pay for private school so their kids might have a future.

In fact, it counts more because the weed smoker gets a party-sponsored ride to the polls, and maybe a sandwich, along with one of the few promises Democrats keep to people who can’t write 6-figure checks to super PACs – that the gravy train will keep on rolling. Everyone else has to vote when they aren’t at the gravy factory keeping that train on the tracks.

This is no way to pick a president or run a country. Yet it’s less than a month away from coming to fruition. Wouldn’t it be nice if the next “October surprise” were the most shocking thing possible – a serious discussion of the issues facing the country and the honest coverage of both sides by a skeptical media? Don’t hold your breath. Sorry, future.

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