Now that the Republican debates are mercifully behind us, the media has their work cut out for them. They’re going to have to work doubly hard at their specialty — creating news out of thin air. There’s no question that they are very good at their craft, but it’s going to be an increasingly difficult job for them.
One of the things that dragged out the suspense and excitement of the debates so long was the fact that there were originally seventeen candidates in the Republican field. One wonders if it was arrogance or simply ignorance (Or perhaps arrogance of the ignorant?) that prompted guys like Ron Pataki, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Santorum to have the chutzpah to throw their hats in the ring in the first place. And, to boot, they also did their best to pretend as though they seriously believed they could win.
Yep, every one of these characters staunchly stated, right up to the moment they dropped out of the race, that everywhere they went, people were excited about their candidacies, that they were going to surprise the world in whatever primary was next on the docket, and that they felt confident they would end up being the nominee. Self-delusion is such a blissful state of mind, is it not?
As time went on, the same routine was followed by the likes of Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, and Jeb Bush, to name but a few of the more high-profile casualties along the way. Bush was the second most embarrassing dropout case, insisting, after yet another last-place finish, that “we like where we’re sitting.” Sure, Jeb. It was one of the great comedic lines of the campaign, especially when Bush shortly thereafter dropped out of the race.
I said Bush was the second most embarrassing example of self-delusion, because first prize has to go to the biggest fraud in the Republican field, Robo Rubio. Robo is perhaps the nastiest chameleon to be groomed by the establishment in decades. His boast — no more than a couple of hours before the polls closed in Florida — that he was going to win the state, that he was going to go on to Utah the next day, and that he was going all the way to the convention was beyond embarrassing.
Why would Robo choose to embarrass himself again after his failed attempt at standup comedy against the Trump Train failed so miserably? Perhaps he believed that the big-money guys would not dare to take away his credit card. Oops! Sorry about that Robo. But, hey — when your donor masters tell you to jump, the only question is how high. Unfortunately for Robo, it turned out to be a fall in the toilet instead of a jump.
Hmm … now that I think about it, and with all due respect to Robo and his mentor, Jeb, John Kasich’s victory speech after winning his first and only state — the state in which he is governor — might have been the most embarrassing speech of all. His self-aggrandizing, self-righteous tone almost made me lose my dinner.
The self-professed “adult in the room” has been mouthing off about its being a whole new ball game ever since his victory in Ohio. What he really means, of course, is that he’s going to go the convention in August, regardless of how badly he does, in the hopes of sneaking in as the establishment choice for either the presidential or vice presidential slot. Of course, immediately after boasting about being “the adult in the room” and droning on endlessly about taking the high road, he began running vicious attack ads against Trump.
All this by way of saying that because of the way our political system operates, it makes it a certainty that the scum will always rise to the top. And why not? Getting into politics is the easiest and quickest way known to mankind to become rich and powerful. How can a larcenous person resist such an opportunity?
As early as the mid-nineteenth century, the great individual anarchist Lysander Spooner put it simply when he explained that when someone says that a certain type of government is best, that does not mean it’s a good government. It simply means that it’s the least bad of all other forms of government.
The challenge, then, is to find a way to educate the public so it understands that government, by its very nature, is inherently evil. Generations from now, if the United States starts to rise from the ashes of its criminally controlled bread-and-circus existence, perhaps some social genius who is a firm believer in liberty can come up with a much better system of government than a “republic” or democracy.
Whenever some slick-tongued politician says something “patriotic” like, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” it takes an enlightened mind to understand the truth in Samuel Johnson’s observation, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” Which means that virtually all presidential candidates, this year or any other, are scoundrels.
No system will ever be perfect (even the Founding Fathers failed at that), but the only hope for a morally based society is one that is rooted in Thomas Jefferson’s words that “That government is best which governs least.”
If ever a majority of citizens come to believe this, we may finally find a way to invent a government that governs so little that it becomes almost invisible. The fact is that criminal politicians have no qualifications to govern you. As you labor through the next seven-plus months of political theater, always keep that in mind and remember that the person who is best qualified to govern you is you.