Occasionally I wonder at how the United States of America has survived almost Two Hundred and Forty Years. For the most part we now seem to be a stupid, self-centered people lacking the ability to think objectively about anything long-term...and from time to time even having trouble concentrating on anything for more that twenty-four seconds unless it is ourselves.
While this seems quite clear in general, it is in the political arena where the proof seems written in neon, bold face, italics and underlined within quotes. Reason has apparently left the building and we are left with mob rule governed by the lowest common denominator.
First, the American Public is angry. It is angry at our politicians, particularly at the national level, for not getting things done, being "unable to play well with others" and just generally being dismissive of the wishes of the electorate. The "public" is turning on those that are of the establishment, both on the political Left and Right.
On the political Left, we have two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. One is an avowed Socialist (recently self-amending his description to Democratic Socialist), promising "free stuff" to all, to be paid for by taking money from the rich and redistributing it to virtually everyone not categorized as "rich." Recently he has had to admit that he will have to take "some" money from the Middle Class to cover the cost of his promised benefits. He manages to ignore that even then, the funds that would theoretically be available would be inadequate...even if he took 100% of everyone's earnings. Yet this candidate is actually winning primaries around the country. His opponent is a previous First Lady who has served as Secretary of State for the United States of America. She and her husband have been very successful in creating and obtaining funding for a Charitable Foundation they have formed. Remarkable sums of money have been donated by all sorts of people around the world to both the foundation and as "speaking fees" to this ex-Secretary of State and her husband...including during her period of service as Sec/State. Even her most stalwart supporters admit that the coincidence of such payment with requests granted do not look good, but they don't care. Add to that the fact that during her term as Sec/State, our Ambassador to Lybia was killed and under oath she admitted that she told her daughter and others that the attack was a result of terrorism, but sent out State Department representatives to claim that the attack was the result of a movie trailer critical of Islam. The families of those killed indicate she made the same false claim to them when greeting them when the bodies of the fallen arrived in the U.S.
Even now, there is a continuing investigation of her choice to set up a non-governmental, non-government sanctioned, email server for herself and her inner circle during her sojourn as Sec/State. The investigation holds the possibility that she will be indicted for violation of the Espionage Act. At the very least, she has shown a total lack of concern for protecting the secrets of the United States of America.
These are the best and brightest that the political Left can put forth as potential Presidents of the United States of America.
Ah...but let us not neglect the political Right! The American Public that defines themselves as the political Right have declared that the "professional" politicians and the establishment that serves and represents them have consistently lied to the public for the purposes of gaining office and, once having won an election gone, on to act in only their own personal interests and ignoring the wishes of the people. So the people of the Right want an outsider; one they perceive as being more likely to actually act on behalf of the people.
The Establishment and the professionals did not, at first, take this sentiment seriously. After all, in the past such anger dissipated sufficiently by election time to allow the continuation of business as usual. Apparently they were wrong.
Out of more than a dozen initial candidates, the political Right is, as of now, down to four. There had been three candidates who had not held public office previously; now there is just one...and he is winning delegates. The professionals and the establishment is panicking! They could end up losing their "insider" status along with their inside influence...and in government power and influence is far more important than money.
There is no doubt that politicians on both sides of the political aisle deserve the anger of the populace. They have worked long and hard for it and now they are suffering the consequences.
But...mobs are not good judges of character, ability, right or wrong. They actually are not good judges of anything...and that is being proven in this election season. Think about who remains in the running? We have an experienced administrator currently serving as a Governor of an important state. He has a track record of getting his state government to function effectively. Yet he has the fewest delegates. There are two first term Senators, one with a strong Conservative record garnered at the expense of "not getting along" with other Republican Senators and the other seen as young and too easy on illegal immigration. But these two are second and third in the struggle for delegates. So...who is the current leader? A successful businessman who has grown his fathers substantial stake into a truly impressive fortune of business interests and who has a track record of making deals and getting things done in the business world. Largely ignored, however, is that his background of political donations and political thought has been largely to the left. Additionally, he has switched positions on many fronts often, to the point that, if elected, any action taken or attempted would be in line with one of his promises or positions during the campaign. A proven vulgarian, he also exhibits certain megalomaniac tendencies and a temper...not entirely unlike the current Office holder. But...many are supporting him just to punish the establishment types.
Not a pleasant situation to ponder, regardless of who "wins." It is very likely that regardless of the outcome, the American Public will lose.
But for me, the icing on the cake is that the American Public had said they wanted someone who: 1) was truthful; 2)was intelligent; 3)had proven character; 4)was not "full of himself;" 5)was not "tainted" by public service; 6) humble enough to listen to and learn from others; 7) "played well with others" while holding onto authority; and 8) would hold the will of the people foremost in his or her mind.
They had such a candidate and rejected him: Dr. Benjamin Carson. Dr. Carson is a man of proven intelligence, raised in a single parent household and rising to the top educationally and in a profession that mandates first that one "do no harm" and with a track record of honesty, accomplishment, administration and truthfulness. As a neurosurgeon he has dealt with advancing the horizon of the known by studying and learning new things under pressure and under control, earning the respect and cooperation of those around him. In other words, Dr. Carson was exactly what the mob said they wanted. He did not insult others, he did not denigrate others, he offered his character and background to the American people...and the American People declined the offer.
Well...it is not the first time. After all, the mob in Jerusalem chose Barabbas over Jesus!