Hillary Clinton was on a path to become the most widely and deeply disliked major party candidate in recent U.S. history. Then Donald Trump came along and beat her to it.
I'm glad they are unpopular. Their names read together are a verdict on American society. They are a reflection of our self-hatred. The Clinton-Trump election is like history dragging our country across the carpet and putting our nose in our own filth. Breathe deep.
Clinton is a maximally corrupt figure. Her great fortune in this election is that hers is a conventional sort of corruption that does not seem to directly threaten law and order in the United States, or destabilize the world order. She is loose about the security of her private email server on which she conducts the business of state, but just try to get the transcript of the speech she delivered to Goldman Sachs for a hefty fee.
Although she's happy to take six-figure paychecks from American public colleges for her speeches, Clinton's main business has been the globalist do-gooding grifter circuit. The outlines of it are simple enough. Give to the Clinton global outfits and get favorable treatment in return. The Clintons get to travel around the world for more networking and buck-raking opportunities, and keep their staff of flunkeys and friends well-paid. It's a family business. Try to imagine Clinton being tough on financial services, when its firms have paid her husband nearly $20 million to speak to them since his presidency ended.
Clinton is a political coward. See her perfectly calibrated zero-courage shift on same-sex marriage over the last two decades. She embodies the sick American culture of exaggerated victimhood. See her response to every political criticism, or her active imagination about being shot at by snipers in Bosnia.
And she is fantastically incompetent. Obama defeated her by asking, "Who got the single most important foreign policy decision since the end of the Cold War right, and who got it wrong?" Then he inexplicably made her secretary of state and she made the worst foreign policy decision since Iraq, knocking over Libya's government and making another safe harbor for ISIS.
Trump's corruption is more exotic and destabilizing. His life has been built on breaking his promises to everyone: other property developers, creditors, even his own wives. He brags about this. He makes fun of his own supporters when he says that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still receive their support. He has also used the government to beat up small competitors and bully property owners who stand in his way.
His corruption is worse than Clinton's in that it makes a normal person squeamish. He outwardly relishes the opportunity to command American troops to commit war crimes and to torture our enemies, or suspected enemies. He injects conspiracy theories into our politics — whether they are about Obama's birth certificate, vaccines, or the JFK assassination. He openly admires governments, like those of China and Russia, that crush internal dissent. He praises a fictive story about desecrating Muslim bodies as a foreign policy strategy.
He benefits from corruption. Donald Trump has gotten hundreds of hours of uninterrupted and free media coverage from a ratings-chasing cable news business. He has gotten bathroom-tissue soft coverage from some in the conservative-entertainment complex. The tumor-like growth on the body politic, Sean Hannity, has a deep conflict of interest: He benefits when his audience is handed political defeats and humiliations. Nothing is better for opinion journalism than opposition, and this counts even more for talk radio and prime-time Fox News.
The case against either candidate becoming president is so strong that it is nearly impossible to blame anyone for voting any which way in this election. More than 100 million Americans will cast a ballot for Clinton or Trump in November.
But these days American self-government is indistinguishable from self-incrimination. Our domestic policy is a nest of rent-seeking corruption, our social insurance system is an act of theft against posterity. And our foreign policy, described fairly, resembles the last weeks of a bloodthirsty crime family, led to its bitter end by demented octogenarians. Clinton or Trump 2016: a just punishment.