Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Circus

Last night, Texas Senator Ted Cruz refused to endorse Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, causing Trump's supporters to have a meltdown of near-epic proportions.

Some history:

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz squared off in the race to lead the disjointed Republican party against Hillary Clinton, a known liar, or Bernie Sanders, a candidate who was never a going concern anyway.

During the primaries, Trump accused Cruz's father, Rafael, of having been associated with Kennedy-killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, accused Cruz of infidelity and called his wife, Heidi, "ugly".

There's been some friction.

After all of this, Trump emerged as the heir apparent for the run to the White House.

Cruz had been asked to speak during the Republican convention under the assumption that he would be endorsing Trump.  Trump claimed to have seen Cruz's speech and then played it cool by pretending that the lack of endorsement meant nothing.

(Sidebar: well, then, why the brouhaha?)

That was not the scenario last night:

Ted Cruz was booed loudly during the closing stages of his convention speech as it became clear to the audience that he would refuse to endorse his former rival Donald Trump.

As Cruz sought to finish his speech without an endorsement, the crowd erupted in fury in an extraordinary scene on the floor.

I honestly have no idea what Trump or his supporters were thinking. Cruz would have to be a total idiot without any self-respect or love for his family to let Trump's ugliness slide and he would have to firmly believe Trump would be the statesman who would honour the Constitution, which Cruz does not believe Trump will do.

Trump himself was either too thoughtless to think that the past enmity would have been forgotten by now or a vindictive man wanting to see his former opponent squirm.


Call Cruz petty and deal-breaking all one wants but perhaps one would like to refresh one's memory with Trump's insolence, something the "anybody-but-Hillary" crowd have shoved down a memory hole, and Trump's refusal to endorse another candidate himself:

And let's not forget that Cruz, at no time, asked people to stay at home in November but rather asked the crowd to "vote with their conscience" and ditch the criminally-minded Hillary Clinton.

But that is not good enough for some. Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump was a betrayal that might cost him in a future vendetta.

And that is what is wrong with this election and others like it. Indeed, this is what stinks with politics all over.

When one settles, compromises, votes for the tribe or just otherwise doesn't give a sh--, one ends up with the circus one is now witnessing. As Rex Murphy put it, it's a swamp, a fetid stew of guck, sloth, and idiocy with enough glitz and glamour to cover it all that one can forget that one's current leader is more stupid than a box of Kleenex:

I agree Trump is ridiculous — but he is an illustration of a problem and not its cause. Trump is not the swamp: he is the creature emerging from it. For however ridiculous and appalling his candidacy may be, it is no worse and no more ridiculous and appalling than the whole pattern of American politics at this time.

Is his candidacy more lunatic than the idea of a third President Bush or a second President Clinton? More despairing than the idea of an America so bereft of political talent that two families supply the major pool?

Is he more manipulative than President “you can keep you doctor, you can keep you plan” Obama? Is he less venal or arrogant than Hillary “it’s my server and it’s my State Department” Clinton?
With that environment, it's no wonder that the electorate votes for a showman and then gets screwed in the end.

Can one honestly say that someone like Trump is a statesman or that Hillary Clinton shouldn't be in jail?

The rigged game is bad enough but the "Lord of the Flies" mentality makes it worse.

The electorate, sadly, is crammed to the rafters with what is often termed politely as "low-information voters", people so bovine and bereft of any idea of principles that they would choose a candidate so disgusting that one wonders if they even care that anyone else would be wearing an orange jumpsuit. That will still be the case even after Trump is elected. This herd mentality did not just happen. It's been decades in the making. Those who have avoided taking stupid pills can only stand agape like someone watching a train wreck in progress (which is pretty much what is going on in the world).

In return, the opposite side, usually the side who pays the taxes and works for next to no regard or reward, embraces anybody who is the polar opposite of the crook and thief. Even someone like Putin becomes a glorious anti-thesis to Obama and Trudeau despite his iron fist. It's a visceral reaction but still not as excusable as letting the emotionally retarded get away with their melodramatic crap. One should not choose a worse option over a bad one but demand someone or something good.

Perhaps the world has been so far removed from principle and sanity that when one encounters them, they are too shocking to fathom.

So go easy on Ted Cruz, the man whose opinion was sought after and then not after he decided not to suck up a slap in the face.

If nothing else, it makes for a good drama, no?


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