The Truth behind the Bluster
What if truth in advertising laws applied to political campaigns? Let’s imagine what that would look like for the seven remaining contenders and let’s give each a sound bite grounded in reality.
Donald Trump: A second-rate mind for a nation with third-rate values.
Trump is the very symbol of American decline, a bloviating snollygoster who appeals to all that is selfish, gauche, and mean-spirited in Americans. The fact that he hasn’t been laughed out of the race is its own statement about American stupidity. His actual business record is as thin as his hair, and his major achievement that he hasn’t yet managed to lose a $200 million inheritance. Look it up—it’s one failure after another with a wave of human wreckage left in Trump's wake. I’m surprised he hasn’t lobbied for the release of Bernie Madoff—that would make a great ticket. The Donald could claim that he wants a man at his side who understands the real workings of American business and one who shares his values. I think this Bernie will be tied up for a bit, so Trump ought to check out the availability of Ronald MacDonald. Theme song: “Send in the Clowns.”
Ted Cruz: I’m so mean my own mama don’t like me.
If this were the 1930s, Cruz would be a Father Coughlin Brown Shirt. Cruz is proof that Canadian niceness isn’t in the DNA. What does it tell you when no one in the Republican Party can stand this SOB? He’s meaner than a snake and more dangerous than a coiled cotton mouth. I don’t use the term “fascist” lightly, but he might well be one. And he’s so damn stupid he doesn’t even realize that the old-style rightwing would have seen him as brown-skinned, not brown-shirted. Perfect running mate: Rand Paul. Theme song: “Must Wanna Get Nasty.”
Marco Rubio: Don’t I look good in my empty suit?
Rubio looks the most presidential looking of them all, but don’t be fooled: Donald Trump is way more liberal than Rubio. Rubio is Rick Santorum with a human face. He is pro-gun and anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-tax, and anti-New Deal/Great Society. His foreign policy is an ill-conceived bundle of nonsense packaged in rhetoric straight out of the Cold War. If you thought Obama was inexperienced and naïve, check out this dude. Running mate: Sarah Palin—she doesn’t understand nuance either. Theme song: “The Asshole Song.”
Ben Carson: Don’t be fooled, I really am crazy.
Ahh, the good doctor—black, affable, amusing, and did I mention that he’s black? A black Republican? Who does he think he is: Clarence Thomas? If you need further proof he’s nuts, ask him about dinosaurs. He’s comic relief for the GOP and the poor man is too far gone to realize it. Running mate: Simon Legree from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Theme song: “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-ha.”
John Kasich: Do you know me?
He smiles, he doesn’t drool, and not many people know a damn thing about him. Perfect! He ought to be the clear-cut front runner, but isn’t--proof that the GOP suffers from a mental malady known as Bencarsonitis. He’s the only Republican whose record is so obscure that he could actually win. Think of it—he’d be competitive in every state in the Union except Ohio, where they actually do know him. Running mate: Caspar the Friendly Ghost—no one sees him either. Theme Song: “Would You Like to be My Neighbor.”
Hillary Clinton: I’m (Kinda ) Like Bill: All of the smarm, but without the charm
Some of us in Massachusetts see Hillary as Martha Coakley times 50, but that’s unfair; Coakley was merely an inept candidate, not one with more baggage than Samsonite. Hillary is packaging herself as the “realistic” candidate, a much nicer term than “status quo.” I keep waiting, but it seems that all she has going for her is name recognition, sanity, and an extra X chromosome. Democratic voters need to be very careful, because only one candidate has more negatives than she: Ted Cruz. It’s not true that she’s more electable than Bernie Sanders—she’s the one Democrat who Trump stands a very good chance of defeating, especially if tons of disgusted voters stay home. Clinton has the Democratic Machine working to anoint her if the delegate count is close, but her campaign reeks of a desperation and an antiquarianism analogous to supporters such as Gloria “Jurassic” Steinem. Running mate: Too bad old faithfuls like Humphrey and Mondale are dead. Maybe Joe Biden would give it another whirl. Harry Reid? Theme song: “Yesterday”
Bernie Sanders: What you see is what you get
This election boils down to whether you want a charlatan or a honest person and here are only two candidates who actually say what they mean: Cruz and Sanders. It’s not hard for me to choose Rumpled Bernie over Nasty Ted. I keep hearing about how “unrealistic” it is to think a democratic socialist could get anything done. So what, exactly, is getting done now? If we must have stasis—and for the record, I think Sanders would be a much stronger leader than Obama—let’s at least elect someone with decent values who won’t lie to us. Running Mate: Yvette Clarke would be perfect—a liberal, African American, Republican member of Congress. Theme Song: “All I Have to Do is Dream.”