So Here We Are

The odd reality of it all casts a strange light across the land. We fear a tornado of some kind during the general election. Donald has captured the spirit of the Republican white disenfranchised. Hillary already has demonstrated she has the nonwhite disenfranchised. Both angry, populist classes are warming to the confrontation as well as their counterparts, the super wealthy and the old school establishment.

Then there’s Bernie’s army: a mixed bag of volunteers, mostly white, many independents, progressive democrats, and a decent slice of the young professionals, the educated, and the trapped college students. How will Bernie’s army vote in the general election? Will the young liberals move toward Hillary? Will the disenfranchised democrat working class move to Donald?

If the situation weren’t so important and if the wellbeing of so many humans weren’t at stake, the mariner would feel like he’s settling down to watch an enjoyable evening of Summer Olympics. Donald reminds mariner of George Patton’s attitude toward armed conflict: It’s all about winning. Donald was interviewed recently about the bloody trail of insults and accusations: “You do what it takes to win,” he said. Donald apologized to all his former combatants saying they were fine fellows and professionals who will (to some extent) reunite to “win” the general election.

We may be in for some surprises from Donald – character assassination aside. Have no doubt he is a pragmatist to the bone and will be as flexible as an octopus, retuning his persona and policy position at will. If he wins the election, Katy bar the door!

Hillary may have the fight of her life in the general election. As disrespectful of the “establishment” as Donald is, Hillary, by the manner in which she has pushed away Bernie and his army, has embraced status quo governance. What the three populist movements (disenfranchised republicans, democrats and Bernie’s army) have in common is a firm distaste for establishment government. In general, the democrats have not demonstrated party enthusiasm in this election except for Bernie’s army which may be prone to not voting or if angry enough, switching to Donald’s populists.

Hillary demonstrated her fortitude by enduring an eleven hour cross examination by the House committee on Benghazi. It was quite a demonstration of her concentration. There was nothing to fear because the Benghazi issue had no untoward evidence and had dragged on too long. It was like flying trapeze with a net. Donald will force Hillary to take the offense outside the tactic of better documented policy.

The Presidential Election will continue to be a circus. Donald will see to that. As almost always is the case in US elections, neither candidate is perfect.

The mariner has a feeling the undercard may be the more important part of the 2016 election. If there is no shift of majorities in the House or Senate, or if there is no shift of majorities in a State’s legislature or Governorship, not much will change. Two very important historical moments are at play: Who will appoint at least two Justices to the Supreme Court? The next Presidential election in 2020 will be the next chance to change state districting to correct gerrymandering. Only one path will lead to eliminating party access to redistricting: A Supreme Court amenable to the idea.

So here we are. Every elected position in the nation affects how we will govern and how we will prepare ourselves for a truly different future. It will take appropriate victories in all three branches of the Federal Government and a change in conservative/liberal philosophies in all branches of state government.

By all means, we need rational, responsible voters.


 Ancient Mariner