It’s been cold, overcast and raining all week in Philadelphia. The weather has been a perfect reflection of my mood since Ted Cruz’ decision to suspend his presidential campaign. I don’t believe Cruz would have been a great president (certainly better than Clinton), but it represented that last glimmer of hope that Donald Trump might not be the Republican nominee. I have been open and clear about my distaste for Trump (and will continue to be), but feel totally at a loss: how do I ever cast a vote in good conscience for Hillary Clinton? I can’t.
We’ve become too democratic
And not in the capital D sense. The framers of the Constitution very intentionally set up a system with very little direction representation. The senate and the electoral college were specifically designed to insulate the federal government from mob rule or the fleeting passions of the public. The pushes to directly elect senators or remove the electoral college have been well-intentioned, but the continual expansion of direct democracy undermines what the framers intended — and what has made us stable for longer than any other government in the world. These changes didn’t create Trump, but they’ve certainly enabled it.
Norm Onstein saw it coming.
Norm Onstein was one of the first political scientists to take Trump seriously. Vox has an excellent interview on why we shouldn’t sell Trump’s candidacy short, and how exactly something like this happened. Three more related thoughts in my head this week:
1) I do not understand the RNC through this process, at all. If I were the RNC, it would strike me that there are two options. One is to support Trump. In that scenario, we likely lose the Presidency, get murdered down ballot and lose the Senate and other offices. We redefine the ideology of our party in a way that is offensive to a majority of Americans, and embrace a number of things that conservatives do not stand for. Option two is to throw the nomination to someone else, like Ben Sasse. We alienate a portion of our base, probably lose this election, but maintain our principles. We then have four years to sort it all back out. Both of those options are crappy. But it seems like option two is significantly less crappy than the first.
2) The media’s place in our society needs to be evaluated. We afford a number of (important!) protections and rights to the press, but I believe those are extended under the pretense of a fair media intent on informing the public and holding those in power to accountability. Trump has moved much of the media from news into entertainment. Organizations need to decided if they want to be journalists or entertainers. If they’re journalists, there are standards and protections that come with that. If they’re entertainers, they should be treated as such. The press has been a farce this cycle.
3) I am terrified that something is going to happen in America this October. ISIS, or a foreign government not friendly to America (China, Russia, Iran, etc.), must see a Trump presidency as the best possible scenario they could invent. It scares me to no end that a terrorist attack could happen close to the election, resulting not only in Trump’s election, but in a rash of awful, un-American policies after his taking office that would make the PATRIOT Act appear tame.
The story of the modern-day Boston Red Sox begins on two back to back nights in October 2004. Without David Ortiz, the Red Sox — from the 2004 ALCS to “this is our fucking city” — are a fraction of what they became. This awesome oral history of Big Papi’s career captures everything that has made him such an icon: his performance, his personality, his vulnerability and the good nature that has made him a beloved a Red Sox as anyone, ever.
Apple stole my music
I still carry around an old iPod classic with all my music on it. I’ve never tried Apple Music, but this horrifying story about forcibly losing your media to Apple as part of that process is a reminder to everyone that we need to maintain strict barriers between all of our data and the outside world.