To the extent I watched — I do have what’s known as a “life” after all — I thought the thing was less surreal than, say, Chuck Todd declared it to be.
As long as you could cut through the posturing and bullshit, it was easy enough to see that Trump’s criticisms of Hillary’s policies were mostly on point as were her criticisms of his practices (just “business”). From that perspective, it was all very polite and genteel. After all, these people travel in some of the same circles, know and admire many of the same people, and work for similar political and economic objectives. Their “debate” is more about mechanics and process than it is about goals.
Trump clearly is out of his political league, but that’s hardly news. That’s a known quantity that some consider to be to his advantage. If the polls are correct, something is obviously working in his favor — and would be, I think, even if the Clinton Hate weren’t so strong.
The closest comparison I can think of is the Reagan phenomenon of 1966 when it was axiomatic that this actor/spokesmodel for GE didn’t have a chance against seasoned pro/master politician Pat Brown, incumbent Governor of California.
The shock waves that ran through the state the morning after the election and tsunami that overwhelmed the political establishment in California is hard to grasp today. Nearly sixty years of Progressive rule in California was set to be dismantled, beginning with public education and not stopping to this day.
The shock was that Reagan was elected at all. It was widely considered to be impossible. Yet it happened in part because of the rise of the hippies, the riots in the ghettos, and the nascent student rebellion against the war and so much else that had gone wrong in the country.
The election of Reagan was seen by the voters as a slap in the face to a failed (Progressive) status quo, and it didn’t matter who was harmed as voters lashed out at their rulers.
Much the same dynamic took place in the 1980 election for president which Reagan won handily — but not so shockingly. The antipathy toward Carter’s failures was enhanced by media such as nightly “America Held Hostage” reports on the teevee.
Will a similar dynamic lead to a Trump election this year? I don’t know, but I’ll say this: the dissatisfaction with the establishment is almost as strong today as it was in 1966 in California and 1980 nationally. The reasons for it are different, but the dynamic can’t be denied.
Trump would be a disaster on many levels for many Americans, and his stable of neoLibCon warmongers and looters would be let loose to spread their misery and destruction far and wide.
Clinton’s ascension, however, would mean no improvement in the lives of most Americans, and her stable of neoLibCon warmongers and looters would have a festival of misery and leave their own trail of destruction in their wake.
How voters choose between them, I have no idea. They are both ultimately monstrous. And that is emblematic of the government they seek to oversee.
Strap in, it’s gonna be a rough ride…