Blog Correction 4/15/16: In the published blog below, “the late Dr. Seuss” is incorrect, and it should have read “Judith Viorst.” We apologize for the error.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in the lead for, respectively, the Republican and Democratic nominations in New York’s presidential primary, which is coming up on April 19.
They are both, in my humble opinion, and in the words of the late Dr. Seuss, “Terrible, Horrible, No Good” candidates.
That doesn’t mean I feel the same way about their supporters. Trump, for example, is not wrong about everything, especially when he points out the dark side of American politics, with the leadership of both parties getting rich while selling out the people, and leading the country into interminable unsuccessful wars. And Clinton, like Bernie Sanders, is much better on tax policy than her Republican opponents. She and Sanders are also right to oppose Trump’s plan to expel all illegal immigrants.
But even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and these modest plusses for Clinton and Trump cannot make up for their disastrous shortcomings.
Trump is a mean-spirited vulgarian, who has taken positions such as supporting torture that are impossible to defend. (We are, you know, supposed to be the good guys, not following ISIS down the pathways of atrocity.) His repeated displays of boorish ignorance are increasingly hard to ignore.
Clinton has had a long public life devoid of any meaningful accomplishment, and is implicated in every foreign-policy screw-up of the 21st century, including (but not limited to) Iraq, Libya and Syria. On Syria, she advocated policies such as a no-fly-zone that were more hawkish than those of President Obama. Ironically, it is Trump, who said he would make a deal with Vladimir Putin, who has been closer on this issue to the Obama administration, which earlier this year backed away from its disastrous two-front war policy and reached a cease-fire deal with Russia and the Syrian government.
Clinton claims to have been devoted to public service, but is joined at the hip to Wall Street and has somehow managed to make herself a multi-millionaire. Trump is richer still, yet apparently greedy enough to keep coming up with scams like his “university”. You can’t believe a word either of them says. And while the conspiracy theory that Trump is a Clinton agent is probably untrue, there is photographic evidence that they are buddies, fellow members of the bloodsuckers club.
And what of the alternatives, i.e. Sanders, and the Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich? Kasich can’t catch up to Trump nationally, and should drop out to endorse Cruz. He was ahead of Cruz in New York, but no longer is according to the Quinnipiac poll. That means Cruz is the only alternative to Trump, as Sanders is to Clinton.
Cruz is a bit too right-wing for my taste, but I mostly agree with him on social issues, and would be happy to see him pick a successor to the great Antonin Scalia. Despite some overly hawkish comments, his Syria policy, like Trump’s, has been closer to Obama’s than Clinton’s (or Kasich’s). And as this video shows, he is both less extreme and less crass than Trump. Sanders, similarly, is a bit too leftist for me, but is an honest man with a far superior foreign-policy record to Clinton. Cruz would be a much better president than Trump, as would Sanders be much better than Clinton.
For the first time in many years, the New York primary matters. Both Republican and Democratic voters have a chance to upset the front-runners, thus immeasurably benefiting their country.
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