Didn’t You Realize He Was The Snake?

Not always, but occasionally, there was some kid in the locker room who regaled others with his sexual conquests. Some were fascinated by it. Most thought he was full of shit. Guys lie about such things to make themselves appear more manly. Feminists call this “toxic masculinity.” Men call this bullshit. The guy was a joke, a goofball, pretending to be some sort of stud he wasn’t. He wasn’t funny. He was just a pig, going beyond what was tolerable even in the locker room where it was just us guys.

Was Donald Trump talking smack? Beats me. Never having been rich or famous, there is little about his world that conforms to mine. There is plenty of smoke, and even some fire, to suggest that he was the cartoon character engaged in sexual assault and rape. Adding the word “violence” to speech is nonsense. Grabbing women’s crotches is sexual violence. It’s physical. It’s criminal. This is the real thing.

Trump is an archetype of the male who believes himself entitled to women’s bodies. Bill Clinton was too. Clinton is only relevant to make a point, that men who seek and attain power have a tendency toward the belief they can get away with anything.* They can indulge their worst nature with impunity. Not all of them, I assume. I can’t say for sure since I’m not in the locker room (or on the golf course) with them, but obviously some. Then again, given what is demanded of people who seek such power, what sort of twisted mentality puts themselves through such scrutiny? You have to be nuts to run for president, so we get nuts.

Trump served a purpose in this presidential campaign. He was never a viable candidate to anyone with knowledge of civics, government or law. He was a dolt on those issues. Whether he was a brilliant builder of gaudy buildings is another story, but he was running for president. He had no capacity to serve in that role. Of the things he needed to know, he was flagrantly ignorant. That was obvious from the start.

What Trump’s candidacy did was serve as a foil to Hillary Clinton, in particular, and politics in general. He wasn’t judged by the same standards applied to any candidate before him because he was so far out of the box that there were no equivalences. Hillary was inside the box, and within that paradigm, a deeply flawed candidate on almost every level. But at least she wasn’t stupid. You can’t fix stupid. Trump was stupid, as least as to the things he needed to know to be elected to office.

There were the flaming nutjobs who supported Trump because they saw in him the closest thing to validation of overt racism, sexism, and whatever other -isms one can name. These were Hillary’s deplorables, one of her poorest choices of words. Then there was a swathe of people who wanted the system to change and saw Trump as the agent, not because they believed that “I have a plan and it’s gonna be great” would help them, but because they knew, with certainty, that Hillary wouldn’t.

My working assumption is that Hillary’s social and economic polices are mere pandering to the base who would support her despite her flaws. Being smart, she knew it wasn’t feasible, would never make it through Congress and would never happen, so it cost her nothing to say such things. The big money knew it wasn’t real, but the sort of fluff that politicians tell the groundlings to make them believe a candidate is on their side.

The problem was that most of America didn’t support the ideas she was selling. Her strongest basis of support was Trump, that people would vote for her because they couldn’t possibly vote for her opponent. So both candidates counted on the same vote, the one that hated the other candidate.  The election was supposed to be based on whom America despised the most.

In his stump speech, Trump would tell the story of the woman who took in a sick snake, nursed it back to health, only to be bitten by it. The punch line, that she knew it was a snake when she took it in, is familiar. Trump is the snake. So there’s a video of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Nobody saw this coming? Word is now spreading that there is plenty more where that came from, but whoever has it (Access Hollywood? Apprentice?) hadn’t thought it worthwhile to make it public before?

There is a stream of things Trump has said that told us that he was unfit, but it didn’t change the equation that many Americans would rather take their chances with an ignorant lunatic than Hillary Clinton. Clinton should have been up by 80% given Trump’s failings. That it remained a race is the part that should smack her supporters in the face.

They wonder how it’s possible that anyone, any American with half a brain, could possibly support Trump? They didn’t. They hated Clinton. They distrusted Clinton. They despised her policies. They would rather risk a moronic megalomaniac than risk America becoming your politically correct social justice Utopia, then forsake their jobs and families for $15 per hour minimum wage and debt-free college for all. They were disgusted at being told they were privileged when they couldn’t put food on the table. They were unwilling to ship their tax dollars to the suffering in Syria when the poisoned residents of Flint were forgotten.

Trump was intended to blow up the system. He was the nuclear option. He got away with his incredibly foolish talk because no one expected better of him. So what if he didn’t have a clue. Neither do most Americans, and they don’t think of themselves as deplorables. And, aside from the flagrant haters, they’re not. They’re just not SJWs, which makes them deplorable to the SJWs, who feel that everyone but them is deplorable.

The question that can’t be easily answered is why we’re in this position. People have lost faith in government for good reasons and bad reasons, but it doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong. The only thing that’s real is that faith is gone. It gave us this godforsaken shithole of an election.

This is where someone usually asks, “so what do we do about it?” This is how we got here, expecting simple answers to intractable problems.  That’s what we demanded of our politicians, and that’s what they gave us. This is where we ended up. What we are looking at in this absurd and disgraceful campaign isn’t the product of our questions, but the product of our solutions.

*No one is as pure as we would want them to be, especially when viewed through the irrational prism of judging conduct in present context rather than by the norms when it occurred. The question is whether they were so bad, in the reality of the context of their times, that they deserve to be deemed unfit. Remember, President Obama smoked dope, conduct for which people are still imprisoned today.

34 thoughts on “Didn’t You Realize He Was The Snake?

  1. PDB

    Case in point: Hillary (or someone at her campaign) took the time to write a letter praising a SJW for her work on “herpes awareness activism,” because that’s apparently a thing now. And of course, someone at the Washington Post praised this.

  2. DGM

    I disagree with the lesser-evil argument and the statement that “Clinton should have been up by 80% given Trump’s failings. That it remained a race is the part that should smack her supporters in the face.” The lesser-evil line is a farce because, while Hillary is flawed in some material ways, it is not even close. Not remotely close.

    Jesus Christ could have ran instead of Hillary and this race would have been as tight as this one. Trump lowered the conversation to extreme levels of vapidness, and the media ran with it. It’s actually quite easy to imagine with the Christ example; conspiracies theories about Mary Magdalene, Jewish heritage, “oh father, why have you forsaken me?”. To argue that anyone else could have dominated this election is simply not supported by any evidence. Remember, every other republican in the primaries was totally buried. Trump was going to talk about whatever dirt was out there, even if it was tin-foil nonsense, because it was darn good TV and people loved him for it.

    This election is about a reality TV personality and the media going for the lowest, most-ridiculous morsel that they can find for that day and running it into the ground. Forget conversations about policies and issues. One candidate didn’t even have policies. It’s all a distraction, frankly. One campaign was about preying on the fears of the meek and racist, and it was working. That Clinton is the last woman standing speaks volumes.

      1. DGM

        Assuming the polls your reference are credible, it still does not explain the primaries. Some of those Republican candidates seemed at least sane and competent. What happened?

        1. Adam

          Oh please. Do you really think Cruz would have stood a chance against months of concerted smears? Rubio? Yeb? Paul? Kasich? Carson? Dems pick a sucker candidate every election cycle and grandstand “oh, if only they picked the sensible one, then I really would have crossed parties for the first time in 40 years!” All the GOP would get by picking one of those milquetoast losers would be voter apathy and 4 years of democrat rule.

          In for a penny, in for a pound. Trump was the nuclear option, and he has already succeeded. The GOP is dead, and the power vaccuum left by its smoldering corpse should be enough to bring the Democrats down with it (Hillary won’t have an uncontested primary in 2020 unless she actually is Jesus, and even then, I heard her opponent compared himself to the old JC once or twice). Hopefully with partisan politics disintegrating (or at least drastically reshaping) we’ll see some actual change, by one box (ballot, soap, et al) or another.

          I just hope the generals can keep her from starting world war 3 in the process. Foreign policy is one of the few things I think she’s likely to be able to fuck up beyond repair.

      2. Jonathan Edelstein

        Yup, Hillary’s negatives are high. On the other hand, she also regularly wins “most admired woman” polls. She’s a polarizing figure and a lot of people can’t stand her, but she also has a large fan club.

        Politics in this country have become very tribal – there are about 40 percent of us who’d vote for Satan (R) over God (D) and another 40 percent vice versa. There are your hardcore Trump and Clinton voters. It’s the 20 percent in the middle who’ll decide this.

        1. SHG Post author

          Winning a “most admired woman” poll with a 13% total against a bunch of dead women isn’t exactly the equivalent of 60% negatives when actually running for office. As for 20% in the middle, try 80%. If Hillary wasn’t despised, she would be up 80-20% against Trump without doing a thing.

    1. Patrick Maupin

      Jesus Christ could have ran instead of Hillary and this race would have been as tight as this one.

      Well, duh. Christ’s negatives were yuge. Even bigger than the negatives of that murderer Barabbas. Rumor is, his negatives were so big they executed him.

      1. Jim Tyre

        Christ could never overcome two negatives. First, he’s dead. Second, unlike Obama, he really wasn’t born a U.S. citizen.

        1. Mike

          Actually, if you’re a believer, Christ isn’t dead, but risen to sit at the right hand of God the Father…that is if you’re a believer.

          If not, then he’s dead.

    2. Nick Lidakis

      “I disagree with the lesser-evil argument and the statement…”

      The author did not make that argument.

      Your choices for President of the United States in this election are either Ren or Stimpy. And a great deal are keeping it to themselves that they are making the best tactical decision they can considering what is at stake.

      He’s talking about voters who hope for a 4 year reprieve from the 20 ton Uncle Sam steam roller with a Medusa at the wheel and her snake wig being every Fed agency.

  3. TheHaywardFault

    I have the growing sense that Karma has taken me and my kind (generally liberal democrat-voting types) to the woodshed for not taking Trump (and more importantly, Trump’s supporters) seriously during the Republican primaries. The non-republican media never considered him a serious candidate and he was never held to the same standard as the rest of them, and as we all know a train wreck in motion continues to be in motion. It should have been up to us to keep the conversation as civil as possible and not lower ourselves to Mr. Trumps bombastic nature. The bar for Mr. Trump seems to have been set to “won’t strip naked and fling feces at the crowd” and that is entirely the fault of the rest of us.

    I use the “woodshed” metaphor because it has connotations of “and now it’s over” and believe me I fervently wish it were so.

    1. SHG Post author

      I doubt you and your kind (which may include me or may not, since political words no longer mean much) had anything to say about it. The only thing you could have done to take the wind out of Trump’s sail was to offer a more palatable candidate than Hillary as an alternative. Even that was beyond your control.

      Even your description of the problem belies your impotence. You didn’t “lower the bar.” It wasn’t about you at all. Not everything is about you. But then again, to the extent the past brought us to where we are now, consider that Obama came into office with a Dem Congress, lost it with a progressive agenda and gave us 6 years of paralysis and an unlawful regulatory nightmare.

      You are no more nor less culpable than everyone else for our being in this shithole.

      1. TheHaywardFault

        I may not be directly culpable for the current shitshow-masquerading-as-an-election (I voted for Mr. Sanders in the Primary and Mr. Obama four years ago) but that doesn’t mean that many thousands of people who think just like me didn’t collectively contribute. In the same way that one vote is insignificant but many make an electorate, my individual failure to take Mr. Trump’s campaign and Mr. Trumps supporters seriously was a failure duplicated across a too-large swathe of liberally-minded media and government persons. Even if ultimately whether the Trump campaign was taken seriously or not wouldn’t have mattered, it still could have, should have been handled better. Take the high road and all that.

        Maybe I’m longing for a time (before mine of course) of polite discourse and across-the-aisle compromise that will never return. But I hope it does, if only so that nothing like the current Republican candidate happens again. Civility to the other side is a duty, not a privilege.

        I should probably stop bemoaning things on the internet now. I have letters to my representative and my senator to draft. Just because I’m not elected to office doesn’t mean my duties as a citizen end at the ballot box. As Mr. Schultz said, “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

  4. john Neff

    I normally vote early and I have never seen such a large early vote at this stage of the election. My guess is a lot of the voters in my county are non-trump voters who are not happy with Clinton. OTOH I know people who know that Trump is not qualified who say they will vote for him anyway.

    This is my 16th presidential election and the primary was the worst one I have seen. The GOP would have done better if they had recruited candidates from death row.

  5. B. McLeod

    Trump’s viability as a candidate is inversely correlated to his fitness. If elected, he will be a one-term president who has no support from any of the D.C. insiders in either party. He will be able to do nothing, and then he will be gone. By contrast, Clinton is supported by a massive political machine, and the Democrats are likely to have the Senate majority. If Clinton is elected, she will be able to plunder at will, and will probably eliminate enough of her opponents to continue for a second term. Comparing the nation’s prospects with each of them, Trump is simply the candidate likely to do less serious and permanent damage.

    1. SHG Post author

      Since presidents can now rule by bureaucratic fiat via guidance letters, they don’t need any help to do damage anymore.

  6. Derek Ramsey

    I come from a completely different perspective. For at least two presidential cycles I’ve told anyone who will listen that both parties are more harmful than good. The solution is elsewhere, starting with refusing to vote for anyone corrupt (all of them). I’ve never convinced anyone. I’ve been called everything from stupid to unpatriotic by both sides. I was completely crazy, of course.

    Then something changed: Trump and Hillary were nominated. All of the sudden almost everyone I know, liberal and conservative, are either not voting for either or are voting only grudgingly.

    The presidential race is representative of the system as a whole. Most people still think that the problems are limited to the presidential race or the other party. But it was obvious a decade ago that neither Hillary or Trump were fit to be president, and somehow no one noticed? Of course someone has to win and I’m sure in four years everyone will be back to the partisanship with their own favorite candidate who will save the children by giving them increasing numbers of tummy rubs. In the meantime it is interesting seeing people flounder.

  7. KP

    I don’t know why you Americans are complaining. This is democracy in action, and all I ever hear from America is how they invented it, its the best system ever, and the rest of the world need it. forced upon them..

    Bluntly, it doesn’t matter who wins, anyone outside the country can see that the President is a figurehead for the powers that push him, it doesn’t matter who sits in the chair. At least with Trump you will get an entertaining time, something you will never get from Hillary. I’d consider him more transparent and probably more honest than her, and isn’t that what you want in a leader?

    I figure who you go to war with, what happens to the economy, and how many worthwhile jobs are created will all remain the same.

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