The Democratic and Republican nominating conventions are weeks away but the presidential race is in full swing. A billion dollars and 25 years of Republican attacks have left their mark on Hillary Clinton showing up in her high negatives. When asked why they don’t like or trust her, people respond with everything from Whitewater to Vince Foster to Benghazi. Shown proof Hillary has done nothing wrong after being endlessly investigated, many simply don’t believe the investigations. Add to that the rampant sexism in the country and what is surprising is how well Hillary is doing. In the latest Washington Post and Reuters polls she is leading Trump by double digits.
Trump is helping Hillary by making every effort to sound like a moron. Between his statements on the Orlando massacre and his inability to grasp the global implications of the Brexit vote he is succeeding beyond his wildest dreams. What makes this particularly scary is listening to some Americans say they are more than happy to vote for a moron.
On the Brexit vote the Washington Post reported, “As the value of the pound collapsed in the morning and stock markets around the globe plummeted, Trump attended a surreal ribbon-cutting at his luxury golf resort in this seacoast village (in Scotland) and barely mentioned the global news until reporters pressed him to do so.” When he did comment he said, “I think it’s a great thing that happened. People are angry, all over the world. People, they’re angry.” He added, “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly. For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be a positive.” The Post went on to report, “When asked if he was traveling with his foreign policy advisers or consulting them, Trump said he had been in contact with them but ‘there’s nothing to talk about.’” Guess he thinks the loss of trillions of dollars in the world’s economy in one day, the drop of billions in Americans’ 401K accounts, the uncertainty for American business and the potential loss of millions of jobs isn’t worth his time to think about.
This all came a week after his remarks on the massacre in Orlando. He began those remarks with surprising comments, at least from a Republican, on the need to respect the LGBT community. Then quickly went off the rails in a rambling attack on Clinton and Obama claiming the killer was born in Afghanistan when it had already been established he was born in New York. He doubled down on his attacks on Muslims saying he would ban all from entering the U.S. and suspend immigration from most of the world. He kept ranting about radical Islam as if just saying that would make Americans and the world safer. He then said if everyone in the Pulse nightclub had one or more guns strapped to their body things would have been different and claimed falsely Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment.
I predict this campaign will get more bizarre as we near November. We will hear the ‘Bernie or Bust’ crowd continue to say they want Bernie to be the nominee of the Democratic Party and will never vote for Clinton even after their hero Bernie finally admitted he won’t be the nominee and will vote for Clinton.
The Republican establishment, which has totally lost control of their party, will either stay home or some like Brent Scowcroft and Hank Paulson will vote for Clinton. We have seen the unusual with the United Auto Workers and the former CEO of GM both endorsing Clinton but the union saying some of their members in Michigan are still considering voting for Trump.
The Brexit vote should lead some of those workers to carefully consider their vote. It is one thing to take out your anger at the economic situation and vent your feelings about immigration at the polls. This seems to be what the people in the UK did yet many are now regretting the hangover resulting from that vote. The precipitous drop in the value of their currency is just the first repercussion of venting their anger. Democrats, independents and rational Republicans must unite to make sure Trump gets nowhere near the White House.
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.