The election won’t be rigged but anyone with common sense knows the presidential campaign is …
Benghazi Disappears from Hillary’s State Dept. Calendar
Mislabeled dates in Clinton’s schedule around the Sept. 11, 2012, attack raise questions
At this late stage, it is worth stating bluntly: When it comes to the issues any American president would face, Trump is a shockingly ignorant man. He can state a position on the Second Amendment or Obamacare, but he is unprepared to make actual arguments. He bluffs through questions on campaign finance or foreign policy (“Mosul is so sad”) as though the dog really did eat his homework.
The dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency are more familiar than Trump’s authoritarian unknowns, because we live with them in our politics already. They’re the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They’re the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn’t recognize itself as either, because it’s convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly.
Almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years has its roots in this establishmentarian type of folly. The Iraq War, which liberals prefer to remember as a conflict conjured by a neoconservative cabal, was actually the work of a bipartisan interventionist consensus, pushed hard by George W. Bush but embraced as well by a large slice of center-left opinion that included Tony Blair and more than half of Senate Democrats.
Likewise the financial crisis: Whether you blame financial-services deregulation or happy-go-lucky housing policy (or both), the policies that helped inflate and pop the bubble were embraced by both wings of the political establishment. Likewise with the euro, the European common currency, a terrible idea that only cranks and Little Englanders dared oppose until the Great Recession exposed it as a potentially economy-sinking folly. Likewise with Angela Merkel’s grand and reckless open-borders gesture just last year: She was the heroine of a thousand profiles even as she delivered her continent to polarization and violence.
This record of elite folly — which doesn’t even include lesser case studies like our splendid little war in Libya — is a big part of why the United States has a “let’s try crazy” candidate in this election, and why there are so many Trumpian parties thriving on European soil.
One can look at Trump himself and see too much danger of still-deeper disaster, too much temperamental risk and moral turpitude, to be an acceptable alternative to this blunder-ridden status quo … while also looking at Hillary Clinton and seeing a woman whose record embodies the tendencies that gave rise to Trumpism in the first place.
Indeed what is distinctive about Clinton, more even than Bush or Obama, is how few examples there are of her ever breaking with the elite consensus on matters of statecraft.
She was for the Iraq War when everyone was for it, against the surge when everyone had given up on Iraq, and then an unchastened liberal hawk again in Libya just a few short years later.