The other day, I was flipping through TV channels and noticed that CSPAN was showing the 1992 presidential debates between George Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton and third-party candidate Ross Perot in their entirety.
It was remarkable to see so much focus on actual policy, so little interrupting and a sense that the competition for leader of the Western world should be respectful. Oh, how things have changed.
This election season has been many things: silly, embarrassing, disgraceful. I think, most importantly, it is tragic.
The tragedy is that our country has become increasingly polarized and people in general have lost faith that the establishment will do its job.
Trump and his allies have already delegitimized the possibility of a Clinton presidency with claims that the election will be stolen and that Hillary should not be eligible to run.
If she secures victory, it will not be valid in the eyes of the millions of people who voted for Trump.
Were Clinton to lose, this would also cause long-lasting damage to the people’s faith in the system. Many are convinced that the Republicans have been on some sort of witch hunt against Hillary.
If you add to that FBI Director James Comey’s reopening of the Clinton investigation days before the election and the GOP’s collaboration with Russian hackers to take down the Clinton campaign, many Democrats would be similarly convinced that democracy is mortally injured.
I think that Clinton is going to win. The race has gotten much tighter at the time of this writing.
According to Real Clear Politics, Clinton has 216 electoral votes out of 270 locked down, compared with Trump’s 164 (with 158 toss up votes).
Keep in mind, Trump could certainly still win this election, but Clinton is favored by polls.
Regardless of who wins, something big was set in motion this election.
I think we are going to continue to see political and social turmoil and the deterioration of the rules and norms of our government.