How did we get to a slate of candidates who buy their candidacy, say anything no matter how silly, and just flat out lie? And all that without doing any damage at all to their standing. And we might actually elect one of these clowns President? Here are snippets from Reich's blog.
The next president of the United States will confront a virulent jihadist threat, mounting effects of climate change, and an economy becoming ever more unequal.
We’re going to need an especially wise and able leader.
Yet our process for choosing that person is a circus, and several leading candidates are clowns.
How have we come to this?
First, anyone with enough ego and money can now run for president. [Political parties are now widely disdained.]
Second, candidates can now get away with saying just about anything about their qualifications or personal history, even if it’s a boldface lie. [Many Americans now consider the "mainstream media" biased.]
Third and finally, candidates can now use hatred and bigotry to gain support. [And no opinion leader any longer commands enough broad-based respect to influence a majority of the public.]
Why? Americans have stopped trusting the mediating institutions that used to filter and scrutinize potential leaders on behalf of the rest of us.
A growing number of Americans have become convinced the entire system is rigged – including the major parties, the media, and anyone honored by the establishment.
So now it’s just the candidates and the public, without anything in between.
Which means electoral success depends mainly on showmanship and self-promotion.
Such circus politics may be fun to watch, but it’s profoundly dangerous for America and the world.
We might, after all, elect one of the clowns.