Sunday, May 8, 2016

Trump vs. Hillary: Wake Me Up When It's Over.

Finally it's come to pass—Trump vs. Clinton—estúpido hombre vs mujer acostada.

Are you ready? If not, that's fine, because we've got a solid six months ahead of us to watch a muck-huckin' donnybrook not witnessed since Geraldo took a neo-Nazi chair to the face. We'll have a nice long exposure to this toxic spectacle, so let's just pace ourselves, okay?

And by ourselves, I mean me.

Four years ago, little intrigue marked the 2012 presidential primary season. As with every incumbent president over the past thirty years, Barack Obama sailed through spring and summer unopposed by anyone from his party. In fact, the last time that happened was 1980, when a cranky Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter ("We cahn't bayah fah mah yeeahs of wicked pissing failyah!").

On the right was Mitt Romney: tanned, rested and crisply mom-jeaned. After biding his time in the well-choreographed dancing order of Republican establishment candidates, he'd placed considerable distance between himself and the field by May, anti-climactically creaming Santorum in the final delegate count 1575 to 245.

That Obama-Romney matchup, while packing some considerable wallop due to the men's stark ideological and cultural differences (car elevators, magic underwear and Stanford vs. single moms, magic cigarettes and Harvard), seems nearly flavorless compared to this year's eminent insane.

Currently, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are polling historic numbers in the category of "strongly unfavorable." It seems that we don't just despise Trump, we want to take that orange mull-hawk and hurl it around the freaking room like Bam Bam with a granite easy chair. As for Hillary, she doesn't just lightly chafe our sensibilities, she fracks into our souls with her venomous guile and heaves around more baggage than Mr. and Mrs. Howell.

So yeah, this one's a little different, and there's no way to know how a contest between two such remarkably unappealing candidates will affect voter turnout. On the one hand, this November could experience record participation from non-white and young voters. Specifically Latinos, with their 48% turnout lagging behind African-African (67%) and white voters (65%) during the 2012 election, may go big on November 8. Why? A little refresher:

They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting. -Donald Trump, July, 2015

By the same token, over the past year both Trump and Bernie Sanders have risen to symbolize America's immense dissatisfaction with traditional insider politics. Not all who backed Sanders can be considered rubber stamps for Hillary, and certainly not for Trump, whose splintered his own party like the delicious inside of a Butterfinger.

This war of attrition will end in six months. Pissed off honkies who can't find it in their consciences to vote for either candidate will recycle their ballots and set their iTimers for 2020. Pissed off Latinos and African-Americans will vote in record numbers, but more as a referendum against Trump than an "atta girl" for Hillary. She'll win the presidency decisively.

Remember, though, there's still a long way to go, so you need to calm the hell down.

And by you, I mean me.

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