My life would probably be easier if I simply disregarded Presidential politics. Even though I’ve come to believe that Democrats are mostly useless, I haven’t changed my party registration, so my choices in the upcoming primary are Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I don’t like either of them, but pressed to a choice, I’d vote for Sanders: Clinton has demonstrated such disdain for the American people that she has disqualified herself. But I suspect that’s a lost cause.
And New York has traditionally been a Democratic state, to the point where Presidential candidates haven’t bothered visiting in years, except to attend fund-raisers. Then again, Trump is a New Yorker. So unless Trump is the Republican candidate, New York will almost certainly go to Clinton. And nothing I could do, even if I had ten thousand like-minded friends, would change that.
So if I put this all out of my mind, I can make my life much easier. I’ll worry about it in November. And even then, what I think about the candidates won’t matter.
Alas, the temptation to talk about politics is irresistible. Some brief observations:
- My opinion of Trump has gone down in the past weeks. It isn’t so much his past (which I’ve known about) as his attitude. He’s petulant, and a sore loser. He also gets demerits for referring to one of his opponents as ‘little Marco.’
- If Trump becomes President, I’m not sure how he would be able to satisfy people’s expectations that he would ‘make America great again.’ The government cannot create prosperity: the best it can do is create an environment in which people can be prosperous for themselves.
- Nevertheless, I’d rather have Trump than Clinton.
- And on the subject of Clinton, many support her on the grounds that she will continue the policy directions of President Obama. That, in itself, makes sense. What’s strange is that President Obama has been the worst President that I can ever remember, and his policy directions have been, on average, breathtakingly bad.
- I don’t take seriously this month’s polls about ‘Republican candidate X vs. Democratic candidate Y.’ We’re still learning about the candidates, particularly the Republicans.
- For all we hear about Rubio’s modest upbringing, he has become curiously rich, not through his own productive effort, but through miraculous real estate transactions.
- I want to like Cruz and Rubio: it’s encouraging to see young talent. But both are supporters of more war (why, oh why, did we feel the need to get involved with Syria to begin with?) and enthusiastic supporters of the surveillance state.
- John Kasich gave the best performance in last Thursday’s debate: he came across as the only adult among the candidates. But he needs to make a more compelling presentation of himself in order to have a chance.
The essential problem is that all of the candidates are frauds. Some are more fraudulent than others, but they’re all pretty much useless.
- The United States is not an exceptional nation because like to think of ourselves as exceptional, or because we were somehow blessed by God. We are an exceptional nation because we were founded on exceptional ideas. We have strayed from those ideas, and are suffering the consequences.
- We were able to field the world’s most powerful military because we had the most powerful productive economy at home to support it. A productive economy includes things like manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation. It does not include trading in third-hand, second-rate mortgages, health care as an industry, or consultancies to establish and maintain regulatory compliance.
- To return to our core values will be difficult and painful. As we’ve moved away from genuinely productive activities, we’ve filled in the void with non-productive activities that nevertheless transact trillions of dollars and hire millions of people.
The last President to level with us was Jimmy Carter. He failed, not because he picked bad policy directions, but because he was politically inept. Every President since then has tried to blow up the American people with happy talk, while the underlying rot continues.
And none of the current candidates are any different.