Stick a Fork in This Election

I have been tracking polls since the beginning of the year state by state, day by day using a variety of sources.  After the first presidential debate, I reached a false WTF moment.  Trump obviously lost that debate not because Clinton won it but because Trump was Trump after the first 20 minutes or so.  So looking at those polls and seeing no movement and Trump improvement in some instances, I came to the erroneous conclusion that this clown was immune.  Maybe he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and people would vote for him.  That, unfortunately, led me to believe that perhaps Trump could win the presidency despite all his shortcomings.

But then there came the October surprises.  Although the Trump campaign insisted that Wikileaks would release damaging information on Clinton, those assertions fell by the wayside amid a storm of false hype.  Instead, we got a New York Times peek into Trump’s taxes where he allegedly shows a $912 million business loss in one year.  This was spun into his inherent business acumen and genius for trumping tax laws.

Every bad piece of news about Clinton was surpassed by even worse news about Trump.  The most recent is the Washington Post audio of Trump ten years ago bragging about his ability to grope and kiss women.  This was explained away as “locker room banter” from a decade ago.  Trump is guilty of bragging about the very behaviors for which he criticizes Bill Clinton.  If we don’t want Bill Clinton back in the White House, we definitely should not want Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

These two revelations prove what most suspected all along: Trump is hiding something in his taxes, he’s not really worth what he claims, he is not the great businessman he portrays himself to be, and he’s a misogynist of the highest order.  That caricature is sadly accurate and his response to Megyn Kelly in the first GOP debate proved her question hit home.  Although criticized by some at the time, did anyone honestly believe the Clinton campaign would not bring up those very instances and accusations?

In many respects, the media is responsible for Trump being where he is today.  They are complicit in the rise of Donald Trump.  But, as many of us has noted, once the general election campaign began, they would turn on him with a vengeance.  Donald Trump carried way too much baggage from his past into this election.  If it was not highlighted by the media, then it would be media malpractice.

Sadly, Hillary Clinton also had her fair share of negative baggage.  From her destruction of lives of people in defense of her husband’s infidelities, to her do-nothing tenure in the Senate, her disastrous State Department performance, her private e-mail server, Benghazi, Clinton Foundation donors, refusal to release Wall Street speech transcripts, etc., there was more than enough to bury her political aspirations in the ground and drive a stake through the heart of her political life.  But every criticism or revelation against Clinton is drowned out by Trump and his past.

Those of us who were opposed to Trump could sit back and adopt a “We told you so” attitude, but the stakes are too high for this country.  We have reached a point in this campaign where it is basically over.  Frankly, whatever Trump says or does from here on out will make little difference.  The second debate will not move the needle one iota in Trump’s favor even if he knocks it out of the park and Clinton were to leave the stage in tears.

The most unfortunate aspect of this is that not only will Trump cost the GOP the White House, but quite possibly control of the Senate and eventually the Supreme Court will be transformed.  The practice of ticket-splitting, many political scientists have noted, has decreased as politics has become more polarized.  Face it: Trump is not going to win New Hampshire, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin.  Along the way, he may likely take Kelly Ayotte, Pat Toomey and Ron Johnson down with him.  When you throw Richard Burr, Roy Blunt and Mark Kirk and open seat in Indiana in that mix of vulnerable incumbent Republican Senators, it adds up to a Republican debacle.

One can only dream of what could have been had it been anyone other than Donald Trump.  But one thing is certain: despite the alleged shortcomings of a Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John Kasich or Jeb Bush, the situation would be pessimistic for Hillary Clinton right now.

Not to gloat, but to the Trump supporters we should thank them for insuring at least four years of Hillary Clinton and an extension of the Obama years.