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Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in 2016 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Breaking News, Economy, Government, Immigration, Politics, Polls | 58 comments

The 2016 Presidential Election Question Is

shutterstock_128345045The question is, how could the two major political parties in America, the world’s oldest continuously functioning democracy, have chosen the candidates they nominated for the presidency, given their past actions and current behavior. Does this reflect a failure of democracy in general, of the American political process, of the two political parties that selected them? In a nation with so many bright, talented people, it seems incredible that American voters have been given Trump and Clinton as choices for the highest office. Admittedly, Clinton is by far the superior candidate, but that is only when she is compared to Trump, whose temperament, judgement, and conduct make him unfit to be dogcatcher, much less president. And the two minor parties, the Libertarians and the Greens have not put forth candidates who generate much confidence in their abilities, their platforms also raising misgivings.

Though Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate for the Democrats, it defies belief that Donald Trump became the Republican nominee. Admittedly, none of his opponents in the Republican primary were powerful figures and none offered significant resistance to his insults and demeaning remarks. His greatest support appears to be among uneducated older white males, many of them unemployed or underemployed, who feel that society has left them behind. In this group there is great animosity towards immigrants with the feeling they have taken many of the available jobs. (However, most of their jobs Americans view as beneath their dignity.) Trump’s nativist, xenophobic rants and promises to make America great again plays to his base, along with pledges to build a wall along the border with Mexico that it will pay for. And he says he’ll bring manufacturing jobs back from China. None of this is going to happen and his acolytes’ belief in his guarantees merely reveals their political ignorance. Trump has also shown a fondness for dictators and a willingness to step back from America’s long standing alliances, making other nations wonder about America’s reliability.

Hillary Clinton’s problem is that she has a long history of actions that have eroded public trust. She is also arrogant in some ways and obfuscates when caught in a contradiction or lie. The FBI has labeled her handling of emails careless when she was Secretary of State and there are questions of conflict of interest regarding donors to the Clinton Foundation and the access they were given. There are also her connections to Wall Street possibly cemented by the large fees she received for speeches she gave to financial firms. And way back there was possible insider trading and her blaming the women for her husband’s series of affairs. Though smart, knowledgeable and with a reasonable temperament, Clinton is far from an ideal candidate. And if her opponent were different she probably would not be ahead in the polls.

Gary Johnson and the Libertarians have been garnering 9-11 percent in most polls, much of that the result of the public’s dislike and distrust of the candidates of the two major parties. Johnson was formerly Governor of New Mexico, and picked William Weld, the former Governor of Massachusetts as his vice president. The Libertarians are strong believers in small and limited government, and consider individual rights as the most important issue for which they are fighting. The Party denies the government’s ability to do anything that violates individual rights and the choices people make. The market should also be free, and redistribution of wealth and regulation of trade are deemed improper. In fact, rules and regulations by the government that impact individuals or businesses should be eliminated. Similarly, environmental protection should be left to the individuals who are responsible for their properties.

While Johnson and the Libertarians might have prospered in an earlier agrarian age, their design for living today makes no sense in an interconnected global economy, where pollution in China affects us in the United States. Complete freedom for the individual is incomprehensible. Rules and regulations enforced by government is the only way people can exist in the present world. Without rules, there would be utter chaos. The government must also provide a safety net for citizens unable to save enough to live when they are older. And a system of medical care backed by the government is required as well.

Jill Stein of the Green Party is a former Harvard trained physician, who ignores scientific evidence in raising questions about the safety of vaccines. Though she doesn’t come out against their use, she says that the approval process has been tainted. She also doesn’t trust the FDA and the CDC, two of the nation’s most respected agencies, saying that corporate interference has made their work suspect. She infers that members of medical regulatory boards have vested interests in the treatments and medications they approve, having been corrupted by corporations. Stein is also against GMOs in food though they have been shown to be safe by repeated scientific testing. Nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases or climate change, but Stein opposes their use, though she knows it will take years to develop enough renewable energy to meet the nation’s needs. The Green Party and Stein also have utopian ideas about education reform and participatory democracy, showing that she is not pragmatic enough to be president.

The question is, who should be elected president in November. Holding one’s nose and with the choices we have, Hillary Clinton must be the answer.

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  • Bob Munck

    Hillary Clinton’s problem is that she has a long history of actions that have eroded public trust.

    Her problem is actually that the extremist right wing has been attacking her like rabid weasels for a quarter of a century, and far too many of us have come to accept some of their accusations. We’ve taken her reaction to the attacks as evidence of guilt.

    • JSpencer

      Exactly right Bob, say something loud enough and long enough and it starts seeping into the gray matter independent of relevance. Needless to say, the GOP is all over this dynamic like ducks on a Junebugs. Examples abound…

      • Sal Monela

        Actually some of both. The attack Clinton machine has been an industry for so long, that if it were suddenly dismantled there would be thousands of layoffs of long term employees. At the same time, Hillary’s past actions haven’t done anything to build credibility. Plenty of blame to go around here.

        • JSpencer

          Sure, plenty of blame, but not equal blame.

        • Bob Munck

          Hillary’s past actions haven’t done anything to build credibility. Plenty of blame to go around here.

          I occasionally go weeks at a time, even months, without doing anything that builds credibility. So what? What does that even mean? Are you saying she has accrued blame from her failure to build credibility?

  • dduck

    Ahem, so Collin Powell is the latest rabid weasel to falsely attack her?
    The FBI, OK, they found a 14,900 more emails that didn’t meet the “I turned over all my work related emails” meme. Well, I’m sure that some of those are duplicates, triplicates, octicates, whatever, but some are also work related, so they are weasels.
    But, the guy who endorsed Obama? Come on.

    • JSpencer

      And don’t forget the Clinton Foundation!!! The devils work I tell ya!!! ; )

      • dduck
        • Bob Munck

          Notice all the posts on that here on TMV. Hmmm.

          I know several people who work at the Clinton Foundation. They are, uniformly, bright, motivated, generous, painfully honest people. Quite a few people from my university and era went off to work for non-profits (or joined the Peace Corps), and I have tremendous respect for them.

          • dduck

            Glad to hear there are good people at the Foundation. That helps.

          • Bob Munck

            Remember back when we had a Senate Majority Leader who was a candidate for President and was married to a former US Senator who was the head of a major charity? I don’t recall a lot of people demanding that the Red Cross be dismantled. Of course, IOKIYAR.

            How many of you who are railing against the Clinton Foundation have even the vaguest idea what they do? Or does your willingness to believe what the right wing has been telling you override any such considerations?

          • SteveK

            thanks Bob but there’s no calling back the hounds once they get the scent of a scandal even when if a phony, planted scent.

            And speaking of the American Red Cross Charity Watch gives The Clinton Foundation HIGHER marks than The American Red Cross.

            CharityWatch rates ‘The Clinton Foundation’ (A) higher than ‘The American Red Cross’ (A -) source:

        • The Ohioan

          dd The Clinton Foundation story seems to be based on AP’s poorly researched information. AP, of all news organizations, seems to have dropped the ball on this one. They may or may not have found (probably not or they would have printed it by now) what they purported to have found. So far it looks like someone screwed up royally.

          • dduck

            Yes, in general foundations can have some “issues”, I have said that in the past. If I were to win a really big lottery, the first thing I would do is set up the DDuck Foundation And Nepotism Alliance. Plenty of good, but done my way.

    • dduck

      I know, how boring, another innuendo. Collin who?

  • RL

    You and I should get together some time. You would need to travel to MA (my disability pretty much precludes my traveling anywhere). We seem to have very, very similar outlooks on things.

  • JSpencer

    “Hillary Clinton’s problem is that she has a long history of actions that have eroded public trust. She is also arrogant in some ways and obfuscates when caught in a contradiction or lie.”

    Partly true. Her “long history of actions” is in many ways overshadowed by a reputation that has been fabricated by her enemies, and that is the larger contributor to said erosion of trust. As for her “arrogance”, it goes with the territory; you could say the same about most prominent political figures. One of the reasons her’s appears more “evident” is because she is a woman, and women aren’t traditionally admired for the trait, whereas it is often overlooked in men.

    “Clinton is far from an ideal candidate. And if her opponent were different she probably would not be ahead in the polls.”

    I suppose “ideal” is relative, and while someone like Joe Biden (for example) may have seemed more ideal, this doesn’t mean he would be anymore competent in the job. As for the other side of the aisle, there was John Kasich who was roundly rejected. Republicans have been speaking for quite awhile now about how little they care for people of moderation and integrity, and now they have the candidate they admire most. This was no accident.

    • KP

      I need slow down when reading.

      The first time through I read Democrats have been speaking for quite awhile now about how little they care for moderates and look what they got: a moderate with no integrity 😉

      • Bob Munck

        I need slow down when reading.

        You need slow down when writing, too.

        • KP

          I should slow down when writing.

          As well, I understand your OC behavior.

          Grammar mistakes give you a little itch, don’t they?

          • Bob Munck

            Grammar mistakes give you a little itch

            Are you familiar with the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis? It says that the structure of the language(s) you speak has a considerable influence on your ability to think. A strong corollary is that imprecision in the grasp of grammar and syntax is accompanied by imprecision in thought processes.

            I spent a couple of years of my spare time trying to learn an artificial language that was intended to test that hypothesis, Loglan. I spent a couple of years of my professional time developing and teaching a written language that is considerably more powerful than English, SADT.

          • KP

            Thanks for the back story.

            Years ago I recall you saying “I once considered hacking into a website that had an opening brace on its main page — { — without the corresponding closing brace. All I wanted to do was add one little character at the bottom.”


            Makes sense.

            I would settle for an edit function.

          • dduck

            I would settle for a Reply that actually is for the comment above and doesn’t wander off, KP: August 25, 2016 at 4:22 pm.

  • The Ohioan

    It seems that, like Trump supporters (“I don’t go along with EVERYTHING he says”), Hillary supporters (“Her faults aren’t nearly as many as the right-wing has portrayed, so we should simply ignore most of them”) are willing to ignore what they don’t like about their candidate.

    Any attempt to promote caution about either candidate’s future actions as president is seen as irresponsible nit-picking brought on by too much credulity in the opposition’s charges rather than an opinion informed by looking at facts.

    This tendency is not only imprudent, it can be dangerous if the next president is not kept to the highest standards the public can impose. Hillary Clinton is the best candidate in this election. She would probably be the best candidate compared to any of the other Republican candidates, also.

    Neither situation means she is the best candidate the Democrats could have chosen, and because of her previous actions (not ridiculous false accusations), she should be held to standards that will try to ensure that she will rise above her constant tendency to equivocate. If she does not, it will be her fault, not the right-wing’s mendacity.

    • dduck

      Interesting, I overlooked all of Kasich’s faults, and I think he was the best candidate (maybe not the most electable, though) and as long as we are guessing, he would have been the best president.
      Funny thing about the top person in any country and time, once in a while you get lucky and get a “good” one, mostly they are mediocre or bad depending on the circumstances, which could make a enormous difference in the perception of “good”.
      Meantime we hope we get someone of good character (?) as the winner.

      • Slamfu

        I think he was the best candidate (maybe not the most electable, though) and as long as we are guessing, he would have been the best president.

        While I can agree with the first part, I can’t with the second. The first part is true mostly because the GOP ran the biggest batch of losers in their primary I can recall. As for the second part, Kasich is a total supply sider. Just wants to income lower taxes, mostly for the rich, which is such a spectacularly failed concept to grow the economy as soon as someone mentions it I know they are clueless. He wants to “Balance the Budget” which means austerity and slashing safety nets, both of which have historically only shown to hamper growth. He wants to deregulate across the board, another policy choice which seems to lead to nothing but govt bailouts and more spending as the taxpayers inevitably have to pick up the tab for whatever mess gets created by the short sighted industry execs that just got deregulated. He wants to take the national highway system, take it apart, and hand it to state control. Again, something that was tried way back when and the states screw it up so bad we didn’t have a proper system until the Feds took it over to build and manage it, and the benefit was huge. He also wants to reduce all federal education spending to 4 block grants and give those to the states as well, yet ANOTHER idea that doesn’t work and never has. I’d like someone to show me one case where Block Grants have done what they were supposed to do and not made the problems they were meant to resolve even worse. Good luck with that.

        But I gotta say my personal favorite is that he actually wanted to start a govt agency to proselytize Christianity around the world. That just takes the cake. Screw the separation of Church and State. So we have a pile of economic and infrastructure ideas with proven track records of failure, and a big step towards Theocracy in his platform.

        Yes he was the best GOP primary candidate, but he would make a miserable President if he got to actually implement is many crappy ideas.

        • dduck

          Well, I can overlook all that. Sorry, I will stick with my guess, you can have yours or see what HC brings in reality.

          • Slamfu

            Really Duck, it doesn’t bother you that his entire economic platform is based on ideas that don’t work? It’s not like they are new concepts that have never been put into practice so what the heck, let’s give it a shot. They’ve been tried and they suck. Why would want to support things that don’t work? This is one of the mysteries to me about those who support the GOP, not that you’re a card carrying member or anything, that the GOP has gotten to try it’s plans, and they fail, but people still seem to think they are a good idea. I really don’t care about party loyalty, I care what works and what doesn’t. To me the GOP’s track record has not only been terrible on just about every front, they seem pathologically incapable of taking that data into account when coming up with their platform, and simply double down on those things that don’t work.

            Running the country is a big deal, it serious business that affects us all. We can’t afford to have people in charge that keep driving off the cliff every time we hand them the keys.

          • dduck

            Really? Yes, really.

          • JSpencer

            Nice try Slam. You can bring a horse to water, but…

          • dduck

            How about a donkey to this:
            “The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did,” Powell added.
            The truth, you can’t handle the truth.
            To try and hide behind a man both Reps and Dems highly respect, is reprehensible, but I’m sure she will do worse as president.
            That donkey don’t drink. 🙂

          • JSpencer

            I expect you and a lot of other folks will continue working yourselves into a lather about it (if it wasn’t this it would be something else) but it’s small potatoes in the larger scheme of things. I think she is going to make a fine president.

          • KP

            Who do you think she would be most like from these choices in the last sixty years ==>

            LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama.

            My choice(s) would be a hybrid of LBJ and Nixon.

          • dduck

            KP, Definitely Nixon. A complicated administration, that tried to do some good, maybe, but tried harder to get reelected and to cover up.

          • Bob Munck

            To try and hide behind a man both Reps and Dems highly respect

            Clinton didn’t try to hide behind Powell. Her statement — that he told her what he had done about email — was given only to the FBI and was, according to him, true. The FBI was forced to pass it on to Congress and someone there leaked it to the media. The media, and you, have warped and taken it out of that context to make it appear that she offered the Powell interaction to the public as an excuse.

          • The Ohioan

            In one of the debates, when asked about her private server, she said it had been a mistake to use one, but her predecessors (and many others) had done the same thing. That debate was watched by millions of people i.e. the public. It sounded like an excuse then, and it still sounds like one – one offered to the public.

            Our old friend (sometimes) said:


            It turns out that there’s only one presidential candidate (that we know of so far) who also used a private server and that was Jeb Bush while governor of FL. Nobody has investigated that, that I know of. Maybe if he had gained the nomination….

            I think Hillary will make a fine president; she won’t be making that “mistake” (her words) again. Besides, we know what to watch for, now, and so will all the proper authorities.

          • dduck

            BM, correction, HC did not “try” to hide, she did hide behind CP.
            Ironic that CP, who will probably vote for her, called her out.

          • Bob Munck

            HC did not “try” to hide, she did hide behind CP.

            She did not make that statement in public, but rather to the FBI in a private interview that she had no reason to believe would become public. How is that an attempt to hide?

            Also, Clinton didn’t tell the FBI that Powell told her she should use a non-government server, but only that he himself had done so. That’s not an attempt to blame him. (I have a feeling that you didn’t read my comment very carefully before replying to it.)

            It’s amusing that Powell’s email server was AOL, notorious in the industry for being hackable and very frequently hacked. Clinton’s server was Apache and MySQL running on on a Linux base, the most secure setup in widespread use. It beats the pants off AOL and government email servers for security.

          • dduck

            As Ohio pointed out: “In one of the debates, when asked about her private server, she said it had been a mistake to use one, but her predecessors (and many others) had done the same thing. That debate was watched by millions of people i.e. the public. It sounded like an excuse then, and it still sounds like one – one offered to the public.”
            Maybe we could all read a little more carefully through our partisan prisms.

          • Bob Munck

            but her predecessors (and many others) had done the same thing. … It sounded like an excuse then,

            You realize that that’s entirely different, right? That you’ve changed the subject?

          • dduck

            [email protected] 11:34, I assume you are referencing Ohio’s quote. Very difficult to follow along in a long thread, BTW.
            The subject is the 2016 election, so Hillary’s ethics or lack thereof are a subject, or did I just change the subject.

          • Bob Munck

            I assume you are referencing Ohio’s quote.

            No, your comment. That’s why I quoted your words.

            The subject of this thread was the misconception that Clinton had told people that Powell had advised her to use a non-government email server and was using that as an excuse.

          • dduck

            The subject is in the title: The 2016 Presidential Election Question Is
            To keep the record accurate: Ohio, 4:38, said: “but her predecessors (and many others) had done the same thing. That debate was watched by millions of people i.e. the public. It sounded like an excuse then, and it still sounds like one – one offered to the public.”

          • Bob Munck

            “but her predecessors (and many others) had done the same thing.

            I answered that point, but now you’ve just repeated it. If you’re not going to read my comments, but just write whatever pops into your head as a response to them, I see no reason I should continue to read your comments.

          • dduck

            Read this last one, and if you keep to your promise there should be no reply: You never admit you are wrong and are insulting to boot.; a bad combination.

          • Davebo

            “To try and hide behind a man both Reps and Dems highly respect”

            Surely you aren’t talking about Colin Powell? Because people who highly respect him are ignoring a ton of flaws and failures.

            M? Lai whitewash
            Iran Contra
            UN Speech on Iraq

            No, I wouldn’t call him highly respected.

          • dduck

            Ok, w leave you out.

          • JSpencer

            Highly respected in part because the media told them he was. People listen to that stuff and after awhile manage to convince themselves they’ve formed the opinion on their own. So it goes..

          • KP

            How are you doing, mate?

            These first two to three weeks are so important. Be sure to remain an advocate for yourself. Don’t fall through the cracks.

          • JSpencer

            Coming along Kevin (day 18) slower progress this time than the first, but I was warned the second surgery wouldn’t be as dramatic. On my feet an hour at a time, then have to get horizontal again, so it’s up and down, up and down. Walking several times a day (short walks) and have driven into town and back a couple times, which is only a 5 mile round trip. As you know, nerves can take a l-o-n-g time to heal, so patience will be my friend. Also trying to be sure and not do anything stupid. Thanks for asking. 🙂

          • I probably should have known — if I read comments more regularly — that you were having surgery.

            Nevertheless, wish you a full and quick recovery from whatever surgery you had, J.S.

          • JSpencer

            Thanks Dorian. : – ) It was a discectomy, hoping it’s going to be the last.

          • Had to look it up. Wow! Wish you well.

          • The Ohioan

            JS Hope you are healing quickly. I’d bring you some chicken soup from Kzoo, if I knew where you lived. 🙂

            I dropped the TV portion of my internet bundle and must say I’m sleeping much better. Maybe you could try that.

            Be well. T.O.

          • JSpencer

            Thanks Ohio. My “nurse” is back in FL now, but I have my cats, books, Sudoku, the internet, and great views out my windows. Patience is the hard part, but I’m (finally) getting better at that. 🙂

          • KP

            “Patience is the hard part …”


          • dduck

            OK, I get it now. If you hide behind someone like Powell it’s OK, but hiding behind Mother Theresa would be bad.

      • The Ohioan

        Yes, our political system is not geared to get good (not to mention excellent) candidates very often. But the mediocre and bad candidates can only do as much damage as the public and the permanent institutions allow them to do. It’s a matter of taking your responsibilities seriously whether a DOJ attorney, an FBI investigator or a private citizen.

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