Today is Super Tuesday Eve. Twelve states and American Samoa will have their primaries to select candidates for the presidency tomorrow. This has been a weird ride as far as elections go, and has all the elements of a hit reality TV show.
There’s a conniving bad girl (Hillary Clinton) who always seems to get her way (and stays out of jail), even as she’s being challenged by a guy with a funny accent (Bernie Sanders) who tells all the kids that if they just pick him—everything will be free (except them). But on the Democrat side, a contest between two aging hippies—one a self-proclaimed socialist, and the other a secret socialist— is not that compelling of a plot for this reality producer. The real dramatics are on the Republican side.
As all reality shows do, it started with a large cast of characters that unlike the Democrats, was really pretty diverse. As time goes on and the stories develop around each person, they rise and fall in popularity…then one by one, they drop out. Amid all the twists and turns of the story, an occasional cameo appearance is made by former reality stars (Sarah Palin), who show up to support veterans of the genre (Trump).
So the primaries are sort of like elimination episodes. After each primary, one or two candidates realize they have no chance to win the nomination, and they bow out. Now, we’re left with these five:
*Dr. Ben Carson– The kind-hearted Brainiac; Will he keep pressing on after tomorrow, even if he doesn’t win anywhere? Or will he leave the race and support one of the winners of previous primaries?
* Ted Cruz– The Underdog Constitutionalist/ Resident Geek; the only candidate with a Super Power (audio-graphic memory). Is he really the biggest liar that Donald Trump has ever met? Trump claims he is (until he later decided Marco Rubio is also the biggest liar), but given that source, it’s highly unlikely. Can he continue to take the fiery darts thrown at him by the other top candidates, and will voters respond in kind?
*John Kasich– The Guy from Ohio; He’s the fly-under-the-radar sort of reality show character who most people forgot about early on but he somehow ends up in the finale of the show. He may win his home state, but does anyone know why he’s still in the race? Does he know?
*Marco Rubio– The “Nice Guy, But…”; Will his tainted past on immigration (Gang of Eight) and status as the Establishment Guy doom him to hoping for a cabinet spot in the Trump administration, or—worse yet—vice president? Is he, as Trump claims, too sweaty to be president? Will he keep reading Trump’s Twitter rantings out loud on the campaign trail? Will he team up with Ted Cruz to form the ultimate Non-Trump ticket?
*Donald Trump– The Flamboyant, Colorful Cast Member; The man currently at the top of the heap, he claims to be an outsider, a non-politician—but is he really? He’s admitted to supporting left-wingers–like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi–that should make any Tea Partier cringe, and says he wants to “make deals”. I thought people were sick of all these kinds of back room deals that gave us disasters like Obamacare. Will this name-calling, misogynistic, billionaire philandering philanthropist continue to court Evangelical Christians and make them believe he’s one of them, in spite of his admission that he’s never needed to ask God for forgiveness? Does it bother him that an infamous KKK member (David Duke) is supporting him? Could he really commit murder and not lose a vote?
* Evangelical Christians/ Religious Folks– Will they show up at the polls, or will they be so disgusted that they sit out like they did in 2008 and 2012, giving us Barack Obama? Will they vote their principles, or —like the “Obamatons” of previous elections that they once criticized—will they just want change without caring about character?
I’ve heard there once was a time when no one knew who the nominees were from each party until they actually held their conventions in the summer. It seems ridiculous that on Wednesday, we should already know who the nominees are when most voters haven’t even gotten an opportunity to vote…eight months before Election Day.
Whatever happens tomorrow, other primaries still remain and the saga will continue to unfold as two eventual nominees face off. Then comes the reality show sequel: “Election 2016: The Media Takedown of [insert Republican nominee here].”