Sure, we have Trump. And we'll have Hillary! or Comrade Sanders (depending on the FBI primary).
My basic flaw in defending our system was assuming a press corps interested in honestly examining the candidates; and in assuming the electorate had enough confidence in our system to choose the best person to work within it.
I'm wrong on both counts.
Sure, I've long known that the media is largely staffed by Democrats with bylines, as the Instapundit has put it so well.
So naturally Hillary Clinton gets good treatment. Even when they report on Hillary!'s problems, they tend to focus on the Republican reaction to them rather than the underlying sleaze and crimes ("Hillary Stabs Maid: Republicans See Potential Electoral Advantage").
And Bernie is a cute elderly communist, so he gets a pass on his Hugo Chavez-levels of stupid. Feel the burn, indeed.
But then add in the huge attention that Trump got from the media that intensely enjoyed seeing a clown lead the Republican pack (and Fox News has seen their ratings drop tremendously as many of their opinion hosts rode the Trump train) and you have both parties giving the nod to people who shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of a mid-sized city's bus system.
Yet still I defend our system.
My basic belief is that we need to allow a path for outsiders to enter the system. It at least keeps the insiders honest and forces them to adapt.
Although not this case in the matter of Trump, who voters preferred rather than insiders who were in theory pulled closer to his positions.
But after the voters who gave the Congress to Republicans in 2010 and 2014 yet saw the insiders appear to betray conservative ideas (as exaggerated as that impression is, I think), it is useful to see that the voters don't trust the insiders to do the right thing.
Democrats have the same problem, but enjoyed the benefit of a small primary contingent that allowed Clinton to outpace Sanders despite the fact that Sanders draws a larger segment of Democrats than Trump drew in the fragmented Republican field.
So we have seen the canary in the coal mine croak, warning us that our system has lost the trust of the people who have the nerve to believe that government should be by, of, and for the people.
I hope our system learns from this. A healthy system trusted by the voters wouldn't allow a clown, a crook, or a communist to get as far as they have.
Or have allowed a cipher, upon whom people imprinted their own hopes without regard to the candidate himself, to be president as the system elevated in 2008 and 2012, thus establishing the precedent for Trump, which the Democrats are now horrified might be used by Trump rather than their side:
There may be reasons to vote against Trump, but at least spare us the outrage that he is somehow uniquely demagogic, crude, or ill-informed in a manner that we have not seen over the last eight years from Trump’s greatest enabler.
A healthy enough system can endure four years of any of them and adapt to regain trust to recover from whatever damage these contemptible creatures will do to our country and the long peace that has resulted from the dominance of the West since World War II.
And the solution of closing the system to outsiders would just leave us no ability to correct insiders who lose sight of why they are given the privilege of leading us.
We shall see if we are healthy enough to regain our footing and lead another American century, after 12 years of underwhelming choices. That's the worst part. If only we only had to endure four years.