John Nichols at The Nation offers up gloomy predictions for how the 2016 election will play out. The gloom is not about the outcome. The gloom is about the process of getting there. Donald Trump's entrance as the latest GOP clown is just one more scene in the coming theatre of the absurd. More from Nichols - the short version:
- The presumed front-runners for the nominations of both major parties are the wife of one former president and the son and brother of two former presidents.
- It is quite likely that the eventual nominees of both major parties—and the various and sundry political operations and "independent" political enterprises associated with their candidacies—will each end up spending well in excess of $2 billion.
- Because of the money and the manipulation of the process, neither party is likely to nominate the candidate who speaks the values and the ideals of its base.
- The debates that both parties are organizing will constrict and constrain serious political discourse rather than encourage it—and, in the case of the Republicans, very possibly create a two-tiered system that effectively stamps some candidates as unworthy of serious consideration. Worse yet, the expectation is that the winners of the Democratic and Republican nominations will then appear in a handful of overly scripted fall debates that exclude third-party candidates and all sorts of issues and ideas.
- The overwhelming majority of the messaging from both parties and from the myriad Super PACs and "charitable organizations" that seek to influence our politics will be negative. We will literally have a national campaign of enormous consequence in which the essential message will be "Don't Vote."
And Donald Trump is playing a role in this theatrical production called an election.