Some time back I posted an opinion that this year's presidential election may turn into something like 1964's blowout for Lyndon Johnson. The 1964 election was bizarre in part because of the circumstances -- coming off the assassination of President Kennedy only a year before, perhaps the most traumatic single event in the nation's 20th century history; and the selection of arch-conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater as the Republican standard-bearer.
LBJ was roundly criticized and despised in the aftermath of the assassination (some suspected him of having a role in it.) He was satirized unrelentingly, demonized, and held in wide contempt by Democrats and Republicans alike. His election to the presidency was by no means foregone. He had "acquired" the Presidency by misfortune, and it was not his office by electoral incumbency.
The near-certainty that LBJ would be elected president in 1964 came after the Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater. By today's standards, Goldwater was a "moderate" but in those days he was seen as a radical, borderline crazy, and deeply, fundamentally dangerous to the future the nation and the world.
The nation wasn't ready for anyone like Goldwater in the White House with his finger on The Button.
LBJ has a mixed legacy: Civil Rights for the disincluded, Medicare and other Great Society programs are to his credit; the appalling war in Vietnam which he expanded exponentially, and the uprisings in the inner cities and on college campuses nationwide, not so much.
Ultimately, LBJ chose not to run for a second term and Nixon was elected in 1968 (after several more traumatic assassinations and a police riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago) only to be forced out of office in turn in 1973 upon discovery and disclosure of his many high crimes and misdemeanors that would have led to his impeachment if he hadn't resigned.
Presidential politics has been a roller coaster ride ever since.
More and ever more, the Presidency has become the public face of a shadowy Neolibcon control apparatus, keeping the masses entertained and tame while wrack and ruin, plunder and destruction, rape and rapine are loosed around the world.
More and more the public's say in who shall sit in the Big Chair is reduced to irrelevance.
Comes now a likely contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the prize -- the Big Chair, the Throne, the White House -- in November. Neither has been officially nominated yet, but the signs and portents strongly suggest that they will ultimately be the contenders.
If so, Hillary wins in a landslide, no? Of course, many are trying to make it not so, through various stratagems to Stop Trump. But they seem to be failing monumentally. On the other hand, a suspicion has arisen that the Trump candidacy is a ratfuck.
Oh. My. Goodness. Could it be? Yes, it could.
Whether it is, I don't know. But the signs are interesting.
Who actually is behind this ratfuck, if it is a ratfuck, is something of a mystery, but supposedly, the Clintons and the Trumps are best buds, and supposedly, Trump is doing this to enhance Hillary's likelihood of electoral success -- also to cripple the Republican Party for a good long time, a "revenge ratfuck" you might say.
Perhaps those who control the world are simply fed up with the Republicans and their chronic tomfoolery. Who knows.
Trouble is, there are at least some signs that Trump could beat Hillary in a head-to-head (though I doubt it.)
Now that would be something. If it were to happen somehow, I suspect the election results would be invalidated by strategy (one that's being tested now through voter suppression and other means), and who can say where that would lead.
Uncharted waters yet again.
Ain't politics grand?