Eric Filipkowski for President.
By Eric Filipkowski, October 18, 2016
This election is the level 8 hurricane of shit storms. I mean, politics are always shitty, but this has raised (or lowered) the bar in every single way. Sometimes it is so easy to take a side and get swept up in all the craziness, that we miss things.
I don’t like Trump. At all. But people do. People you know. People you went to high school with. Maybe even people you are related to. Those people are becoming fewer in number, but they still exist.
“Trump supporters are idiots!” was the common thread on Facebook for a while. This has been replaced by, “Don’t call Trump supporters idiots, listen and explain your side to them!” as of late. Probably because the people who used to call Trump supporters idiots now want to rewrite history to make themselves seem more magnanimous in the face of their inevitable victory. I do’t know. Theory.
So let’s run with this second one. They’re not idiots. “But he’s racist! He gropes women!”
OK, you have a point. But let’s go back. Back before Trump. To the idea of Trump.
Here’s an outsider. Independently wealthy. Common sense ideas on how to fix Washington. Unfiltered and unrehearsed.
Now what if he wasn’t Trump? What if he was someone whose politics you agree with? What if Trump was Oprah? Mark Zuckerberg? What if we could bring Steve Jobs back to life?
You get my point; the idea of Trump is not so bad. It’s just the actual Trump is such a douche.
There was a point in his campaign where he was admitting that he had donated large amounts of money to get candidates to give him special favors. He was willing to pull back the curtain and say this was a specific way in which Washington was broken and he made a pretty valid point why he was singularly impervious to it. Unfortunately, this was after he said Mexico was sending us rapists and murderers, so it was hard to get on board.
It’s not stupid to look at Washington and say, “Well the career politicians have had their turn, let’s give an outsider a try!” But I have to believe in that outsider. I do think it’s stupid to believe in Donald Trump.
That said, I don’t know if any outsiders would want to put themselves through this process.
I vaguely recall learning something like the Founding Fathers envisioned regular citizens stepping forward to serve as politicians from a sense of duty, rather than career politicians out for themselves, but who the hell would want to do this?
What rich person would want to drop millions of their own dollars just to have every past impropriety dragged up b the media?
No matter how beloved you are, there’s going to be half a country that hates you. At least half.
And who has gotten rich who hasn’t pissed off some segment of the population? Made powerful enemies? Had shadowy S&M sex parties like in Eyes Wide Shut?
I mean, at the least, they are gonna have 3 or 4 ex-wives or husbands at this point.
I am not forgiving what Trump did and I am certainly not saying everybody has multiple (alleged) sexual assaults in their past, but everybody’s got something. Nobody’s a saint. Certainly nobody worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
So in a way, I think we blew it. We stopped Trump but this scorched earth strategy is going to put an end to the “D.C. Outsider” for a while. And that’s a shame.
You might be reading this and thinking I have left out another option, but I am getting to that, because I wanted to end on a hopeful note.
There exists a politician who is genuinely interested in the health and well-being of the Republic. A man who walks the walk and talks the talk. Of course, he lost, due in no small part to the efforts of his own party. But just the fact that he exists and could come this close gives me hope in the whole system.
I am a pretty cynical person, but Bernie Sanders has inspired me and many others of my generation. Hopefully somewhere in that crowd is somebody who would want o follow in his footsteps, because I sure as hell don’t.
Originally published at ericfilipkowski.com on October 18, 2016.