When I was a kid, I used to do a lot of thinking about alternate universes, time machines, changing the past…that sort of thing. I’d speculate on things, along the lines of “I wonder what would have happened if “X” had been different, with “X” being some event, phrase, action et cetera. I’ve revisited that speculative line of thought today, because of something I saw online, posted as a reply to a post I made on Facebook. It caused me to wonder what those on the Left would be saying about the election right now, if Trump had not won the nomination. And I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing would be different. Not. One. Damn. Thing. Allow me to explain..
Every good speculative scenario begins with a premise – a framework we can use as a jumping off place. Mine began as “I wonder what would have happened had Trump not been the nominee.” So let’s set the WABAC Machine™ for the Spring/Summer of 2016 and make one change to the timeline. Let’s say that Cruz wins Indiana, and goes on to gather enough momentum to earn a unquestionable, solid lead over Trump. Trump fights to the end, but then bows out, goes home and licks his wounds. Cruz takes a victory lap, and the Cruz/Fiorina ticket gets poised, rested and ready to take on the Clinton Machine.
Clinton bulldozes her way to a victory on the Left, leaving Bernie and his supporters no sunshine and no real hope of having any lasting influence over the general election. So we’ve got Clinton v. Cruz instead of Crook v. Crazy. That’s the a priori proposition. Now let’s speculate as to what would have happened…
There’s a couple of things we can count on – the news media would have gone full-goose Bozo crazy over the prospect of a Cruz Presidency. They would have been foaming at their collective mouths and used their bully pulpits to attempt to bully Cruz into backing down off his position of Constitutional clarity über alles. The GOP, realizing that Cruz is every bit as big a danger to their hegemony as Trump is, would have thrown their lot in with the media, railing against how Cruz “gamed the system” and “stole the nomination” from the rightful candidate (Jeb!). The Bush clan would have come out, sotto voce, and backed Clinton, because of the animus between a true warrior for the Right (Cruz) and a bunch of RINOs (the Bushes). Taking their cue from the media bigwigs – NYT/WaPo/HuffPo/CBS/NBC/ABC/NPR/MSLSD – the Clintonistas, Progs, Libs, and Socialists would have gone crazy over the prospect of a Cruz White House. Gone would be any pretense of neutrality or unbiased coverage from the media. Gone too, would be any pretext of civility from the Left. They’d be hitting four ways of bad: hard, low, deep and often. Not a day – nay, even an hour would go by without some breathless report over some new, imagined, sensationalistic offense by Team Cruz, each and every one accompanied by the rhetorical (and wishful thinking) question: “Is This the End of the Cruz Campaign?”
Of course, Cruz, being Cruz and a masterful logician, debater, and Constitutional scholar would have blunted virtually every attack. Now don’t get me wrong – Cruz has some negatives. He tends to come off as that annoying kid you had in your first grade class, that ALWAYS knew every answer, and was eager to screw up the grade curve for the rest of the class in order to show off for everyone. (In that same vein, Trump is the kid held back a grade, standing at the side of the playground, playing ‘tough guy’ who bullies the smaller kids for their lunch money. Hillary, on the other hand, is Tracy Flick.)
So where would we be today, if Cruz were the GOP nominee? Exactly where we are right now, I’d expect. Which is weird, because Cruz isn’t crazy. He doesn’t lie. And he’s actually been very consistent in everything he’s done as a public servant. Given that, why would the Left have the same reaction to him as they do to Cruz? Simple: they’d have the same reaction to ANYBODY running on the Right.
Think about it. All you hear about is how “crazy” Trump is, and how much “experience” Clinton has. Hell, even Barack Obama recently claimed that Hillary has more experience and is more qualified for the job than either Bill or Obama himself. (!) [I’m sure that came as quite a surprise to the ObamaNation, since he said just the opposite when she ran against him in 2008. But that’s politics, folks.]
The only thing that MIGHT change is those of us on the right that will be voting for Trump because we realize that Clinton is exponentially worse would have someone to vote FOR in Cruz. That would be a refreshing change, because the last two cycles, I’ve voted AGAINST the Democrat, not FOR the Republican. But the result would be largely the same.
Here’s the thing. I’m gonna go out on a limb and make a prediction. Trump is gonna win. And it’s not gonna be close. I don’t know if a “landslide” is even possible any more, given the Electoral College makeup of the country (California and New York, et all) for anybody on the right. But I’m convinced it’s not gonna be close. There are a LOT of people on both sides that are completely fed up with the status quo, business as usual, and career politicians. Trump may be crazy as the day is long, but he is NOT a politician, and that’s good enough for the “Mad as Hell” crowd.
The real question (for me, anyway) is “Why is the left so eager to elect a bad candidate?” When Bernie Sanders was in the race, all his followers called Clinton a crook, a career politician, a failed leader, and too corrupt for the job. What is it that made them get in lockstep with the Clinton Crime Family? I think it’s the media, frankly. The media can’t afford to let a Trump or a Cruz in the White House. Either man would wrest control of the narrative away from them, and they just can’t allow that to happen. They know Clinton is corrupt. They don’t care. Therefore, it’s come to this. We have a choice to make, between two tragically, fatally-flawed candidates: the Crook and the Crazy. As for me, I’m going with the devil I DON’T know, instead of the devil I do. If we’re limited to just two choices (and we are…don’t get me started on Gary “Aleppo moment” Johnson), I cannot in good conscience do anything that would allow Clinton to see the inside of the White House again as anything other than a tourist.
Playing “what if” can be fun, or a study in frustration. In a way, it’s comforting to know that nothing would be different in this election cycle with a different candidate in the saddle. But now, it’s time to sit back, grab some popcorn, and bring on the crazy. Sigh…