I think I have heard and seen the word “unprecedented” more times in the last few days than I have since 9/11. But here we are, back in uncharted waters. And I am not in the mood for a remake of “The River Wild”…even if Meryl could play it again (which she can’t) and even if Kim Kardashian played the rubber raft. (OK, that was a cheap shot, but unloading on her with any real style would be a waste, don’t you think?)
It’s just that I’ve seen enough unprecedented moments of the not-so-good variety. The resignation of a vice president, followed by the resignation of a president. The impeachment of another president, which wasn’t completely unprecedented, but close enough. The disputed presidential election of 2000. All high level political drama. And we got through all of them.
Enter Donald Trump. It’s not that he’s the first presidential candidate to be labelled a demagogue, although it has been a long time since we’ve seen that. Trump may be the first to gloat openly after having taken control of (some would say high-jacked) a political party, but that’s not the really unprecedented thing about him. Google “Donald Trump crazy” and you will find there’s an honest to God dialogue among respectable news outlets about whether or not the man is, you know, crazy. (Under normal circumstances, the political correctness that Trump so abhors would not allow the use of the term “crazy,” but I suppose the PC crowd doesn’t have much of a problem with its being applied to Trump.)
Next, google “Hillary Clinton crazy” and you’ll find her crazy hot nephew (go ahead, I’ll wait here). You’ll find five—just five?—ways that Trump is driving her crazy and an article about the crazy Clinton conspiracies of the ‘90s. On the other hand, googling “Hillary Clinton devil” will generate a list of virtually every reputable media outlet in the country with a headline of “Donald Trump Calls Hillary Clinton ‘the Devil’.” The headlines are so similar one would think Melania Trump wrote all of them—except the first one. And calling someone the devil when that person isn’t Dick Cheney is, well, kind of crazy.
We have had a couple of presidents who’ve been called sex addicts (which is the politically correct term for horned dog which conveniently removes all responsibility for the errant behavior). And we had a presidential candidate who choose to run with Sarah “and you all thought I was crazy” Palin. But crazy at the top of the ticket? Even talking about the possibility of crazy at the top of the ticket? Well, that’s unprecedented and kind of, you know, crazy.
But there’s the other unprecedented thing about this election which is, of course, a woman at the top of the ticket. And that’s a good thing, regardless of your politics. But I do hear all those voices in my head, from years and years ago, both male and female. Folks who said, “Nominate a woman for president, and you’ll see someone who is too emotional, too impulsive, too petty, too vindictive. Someone who might just ‘snap’ at any minute.” And, unfortunately, they were right. The Democrats nominated a woman for president, and that’s just who we’re seeing.
And his name is Donald Trump.