2016 has been rough in many ways, and the current presidential election rotation is prime among the unpleasantries this year has afforded. Trying to decide which reprobate to reward with the U.S. Executive Branch is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.
If I were a campaign strategist for a presidential candidate, I'd select the four or five worst bits of little-known dirt I could find on the opponent. I would study the first debate meticulously, analyzing the opponent's performance from every angle. Then, about a month before election and a couple of days prior to the second debate, I'd release one of the bits of dirt, preferably salacious detail that did not include real data related to policy-- one wouldn't want to bog down on details related to actual job performance. This bit of dirt would need to push the buttons I've already had in overdrive for the entire campaign. A well-primed public then would erupt with rancor over sexism or racism or whatever detail on which the dirt centered.
Thus unbalanced by the undeniable embarrassment of the situation, the opposing candidate would face my candidate in the debate at a distinct disadvantage. My candidate would enter the second debate well-poised to deliver a
death of a thousand cuts with verbal barbs engineered to prod at tender
fresh wounds. The opponent may recover, but the seed of doubt has been planted in many of his supporters. I would then use the coming weeks to deploy the remaining bits of dirt, releasing them to throw the opponent off-balance every time they seem to be regaining their equilibrium. I would time the most devastating bit of dirt to release the Friday before the election, when it would be hardest to recover, and when the voting public will have the entire weekend to seethe and marinate over the new outrage.
I would rely on the short memory of the voting public. I would bank on the fact that most of the voting public is not politically astute, doesn't pay attention, and has a short memory, anyway. I would rely on the fact that the voting public has no recollection of my candidate's spouse doing the very thing for which the opponent is being vilified. I would rely on the public not remembering that my candidate's husband grabbed women by the pudenda in the Oval Office, and that this predator will be the first Mr. First Lady. I would also rely on the pat option of claiming gender- or race- biases against my candidate. Use all the tools in the shed, yes?
If you are a Trump supporter, you really should brace yourself for much worse to come in the next month. This is not over by a long shot, but I also think the release of the secret taping of Donald Trump may have been a strategic mis-fire on the part of the Clinton campaign: they have unleashed a can of worms wherein secret recordings will be taken as gospel, and what do you think are the odds of either Clinton having been secretly recorded saying outrageous things? (Funny note: I just typed in "bill clinton" on Google, and the first search term auto-filled "bill clinton cigar." I wonder what that's about???) Particularly given Bill's friendship with the problematic Jeffrey Epstein. *shudder*
More to come, folks. It's all ugly, all the time, in this campaign. I expect both sides to play dirty, and to come out swinging. And the sad thing is the net effect is that we will have difficulty respecting whoever wins the contest, because the whole problem was that we were already sick of politics as usual, and the policies they beget.
I haven't written much about politics in years, here, because what is the point? I may not write any more about politics, particularly this election cycle, because what's the point? At least it will be over, soon, except that this election has actually made time seem to slow down. Heaven help us.