One might get from current commentary that our only choice in the 2016 Presidential primaries is between a fruitcake or an 'establishment' stooge.
Fruitcakes such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Stooges (or lackeys, lickspittles, pawns or puppets if you prefer) such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or John Kasich. (What about Ted Cruz? Philip Bump at the Washington Post thinks that Ted Cruz actually can be the establishment candidate.) Hillary Clinton has been properly nailed as a stooge of Wall Street.
So, two neat little packages. Scary, isn't it?
In this corner: The fruitcakes: Bernie Sanders who dreams of an endlessly benevolent government financed by a bottomless well of money. Donald Trump, who unlike Sanders, promises to "make America great again" without saying how. Kind of like Adolph Hitler promised to make Germany great again. Until everyone found out how (i.e. get rid of Jews).
In the other corner: Those who are allegedly and completely in the pockets of special interests--the ones whose only promises that they will make good are the secret ones that they have made to the banks, hedge fund managers, labor unions and other wolfish lobbies.
In other words, Americans have a Hobson's choice. It's the worst field of presidential candidates ever.
Or so we are to believe. I don't think so.
First let's rule out the looney toons: Trump and Sanders. Trump is a narcissist who would govern just as he has campaigned: An erratic, unstable, self-absorbed nut exhibiting a border-line personality disorder. Sanders champions the half-baked, surreal and utopian urges of the naive, simpleminded and innocent whose only test of a candidate is "someone who cares."
Compared with these choices, establishment minions excel, by a long shot. Except for Hillary Clinton, an established greedy and sexist liar. Beyond a doubt.
So here we get into a debate about whether an "insider" or an "outsider" is better. Let me put it this way: You're working for a company that has just had a management shake-up. They're thinking of bringing someone in to run the company who doesn't know squat about the business. But his main virtue is that he is an "outsider," as if being an outsider is a guarantee that he'll solve all the problems.
I don't think that's logical or persuasive. I'd rather look at the candidates themselves--their character, their policies, their record and make my choice that way. Is that too much to ask?
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