Earlier this year, I posted here about how the presidential primaries were much like a reality show. That seems like a lifetime ago, and now that the race is down to the two main parties and a few others that may get more votes this time around than ever before, the 2016 presidential election is much more like a soap opera than a reality show.
Like all good soap operas—if there really is such a thing—certain characters and story lines always show up. Two adversaries who used to be friends (apparently) are battling it out for the highest office in the nation. On the one hand, is Hillary Clinton. From the media’s point of view and her own, she’s the eternal victim. A poor struggling female who, as a young woman, attached herself to a slick but charismatic hillbilly from Arkansas that ended up being the President of the United States.
As she is portrayed in the daily series given by the mainstream media, Hillary is much put-upon and deserves to be president. The Democrat party owes this to her for sticking by her lecherous husband while he was the Arkansas governor, and then after that when he was the philandering president caught having an improper relationship with a White House intern not much older than his own daughter. Hillary, always calculating her own political future, blamed her husband’s troubles on a “vast right-wing conspiracy”, and stuck around, enabling him in his philandering and even being the one to personally denigrate the women he used for his personal playgrounds. In all of this, Hillary championed herself as a defender of women.
After leaving the White House, she and her husband set up residence in New York City in order for her to run for a senate seat there. She chose New York for its ultra-liberal constituents (the city, not the state), and she knew she would need those electoral votes to win the presidency someday.
The soap opera took an unexpected turn as they so often do back in 2008, when Hillary, poised to be the first woman president, lost her opportunity when a young whippersnapper named Obama swooped in and legions of voters who were supposed to vote for her made him the first African-American president. In Obama’s early years as president, he made Hillary his Secretary of State, at least for a time. That was all she agreed to do, knowing that she would need time to run for president again once 2016 rolled around.
When it finally did, the soap opera continued as Hillary battled it out for her party’s nomination with a full-out admitted socialist played by Bernie Sanders (as opposed to a closet socialist like herself). In spite of many years of scandals that were more than just tabloid rumors—her mediocre record as a senator, her many severe lapses in judgement as Secretary of State, and her frivolous lack of care of classified emails—she became the Democrat nominee for president.
Her worst fear was to be running against a Republican from a different generation than herself. Fresh faces with new ideas and more Millennial appeal such as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio had her campaign shaking in its shoes, as was proven by more October surprises from the now-ever-present WikiLeaks.
Right on cue, however, the Republicans relieved her fears by nominating the candidate she most wanted to go up against: the boisterous real estate mogul-turned-reality show star named Donald Trump. Once a strong supporter of Hillary’s previous political campaigns, Trump appealed to those Republican voters in the primaries who have felt ignored by everyone in Washington for years. Portraying himself as the Every Man Candidate who “tells it like it is”, and helped along by an over-zealous media anxious to see a Clinton-Trump race—millions flocked to his rallies.
The voters, in their understandable anger, turned out in droves for the primaries to vote for the orange guy with weird hair. Others, such as Cruz and Rubio, put up a good fight but were unable—even with some of the most conservative voters—to overcome the adolescent name-calling (“Lyin’ Ted”, “Little Marco”), the media that pushed hard for Trump, and the voters who saw them as Washington insiders and therefore part of the problem.
As was written in that post from months ago, I said that whoever won the Republican nomination would then be taken down by the media when it came to the race against Hillary. The mainstream media is a major character in this drama because they are like the “bad girl” who does whatever she has to in order to get a man, only to drop him for the man (or in this case, woman) she really wants at the first opportunity. The guy who got dumped never seems to realize that she never wanted him all along.
Added to the chaos of the story have been Hillary’s health problems (even some rumors of a Healthy Hillary twin–an interesting twist to the soap opera staple of the Evil Twin); and more October surprises for Trump in the form of his alleged bawdy shenanigans with several women who just happened to come forward at this time to talk about his mistreatment of them. (This is where a good soap opera writer would throw ominous background music into the script and leave the audience hanging).
Much of the audience—the American voters—are hanging. With less than two weeks until Election Day, millions of people have already cast their ballots, and others are just putting off the inevitability of “picking our poison” for as long as possible. They’re scratching their heads wondering where all those women and convenient videotapes of Trump were during the primary, wondering why Hillary isn’t in jail…wondering how we ended up here. Out of more than 300 million people, is this the best we could do?
The thing is, whether you pick the poisonous berry over the poisonous mushroom, you’re still going to get very, very sick.
Hillary Clinton has been out plugging her new book for the past couple of weeks. It doesn’t seem to be helping much, as she is continually appearing to have a serious case of foot-in-mouth-disease. Sales for her book are not what was expected, and at one point, a book about a green smoothie cleanse was beating it on Amazon.
Clearly, American book lovers prefer regularity to more Clinton…stuff.
The interviews Clinton has been giving are an exercise in futility for anyone expecting to get to the truth about such pesky business as the terrorist attack in Benghazi or what exactly she did accomplish as a senator or the Secretary of State that makes her ready for the presidency. But they haven’t been without their belly-laughs either. She told ABC’s Diane Sawyer: “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education.”
Cue the world’s smallest violin. It must be really hard to “piece together” your life after living for 8 years, rent free, in a mansion owned by millions of people who will never get to live there. The truth is, the Clintons left office having to scrape by on Hillary’s $8 million advance for one of her other books, and both her husband and she make 6-figure speaking fees. They own an apartment in New York City, as well upscale homes in upstate New York and Washington, D.C. An article in the UK’s Daily Mail says that makes the Clintons the wealthiest former first family in American history.
But she kept up this “Working Everywoman” façade and stepped in it again over the weekend during an interview with The Guardian. In another awkward attempt to connect to the average American (who makes about $40,000 a year), she defends herself as not being “truly well off”. When asked if her previous comments about being broke will hurt her with most Americans—because most Americans (even her fans) know she’s not had money problems for quite some time—she responded: “But they don’t see me as part of the problem. We pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work.”
I wonder whose names she would be naming if she did name names? Mitt Romney? Perhaps Harry Reid’s favorite obsession, the “nefarious” Koch Brothers? During the 2012 Presidential Election, Reid did, in fact accuse Romney of not paying his taxes with no proof whatsoever to make such a claim. Hillary also infers that she and Bill worked so hard for their money- as if those who are “truly well off” don’t come by their money through hard work. She and other prominent democrats—most of whom are millionaires—are constantly trying to make us believe that rich folks (but not them) get rich by lying, cheating and oppressing everyone else…and taking “loopholes” in tax laws of course.
Proving that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, Chelsea Clinton did an interview with another UK paper, The Telegraph. She talks about why she made so many career transitions before finally deciding to take a position with her parents’ foundation. She claims she tried to do something separate from her parents, but she just had to go where her passions led her, even pulling her own “poor girl from Arkansas” spiel: “I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t.”
Of course it’s very easy not to care about money when you’ve always had plenty of it. Her words would carry more weight if she didn’t live in a $10.5 million New York apartment, and took a train to work in Manhattan every day. Or even if she had continued working apart from her parents. But she knows what side her bread is buttered on. She’s seen her parents’ skills in becoming a fundraising political machine, and she wants to go into the family business. Even now, people are talking about Chelsea running for the senate, and one day, just maybe…
The Clintons will always claim to “feel your pain”, but all they really feel is entitled.