As we head to the intermission of this farce …

WestWordsWEBKarl Marx wrote in 1852, “History repeats … first as tragedy, then as farce.”

For the sake of history, somebody should have been writing down everything that has happened or is about to happen in the 2016 presidential race. Something similar must have occurred somewhere in the past.

One hundred years ago, President Woodrow Wilson ran on the slogan, “He kept us out of war,” won, and then had us embroiled in World War I six months later, in which 110,000 U.S. soldiers and sailors lost their lives.

It is safe to say, the 2016 campaign has reached the farcical stage. However, it feels different than 1916, so it’s still a good bet that somehow it will end in tragedy.

On the one side, we have women regularly going topless, either because they “feel the Bern” of Bernie Sanders or else to protest Donald Trump because, as one said, “He has, like, done nothing to help with gender equality or women’s rights or reproductive rights or anything.”

That kind of demonstration didn’t happen in Minnesota in early March, I assume, because of insufficient global warming. But when the scene shifted to Arizona and southern California a few days later, the “Free the Nipple” campaign burst forth in all its glory. On March 22, two Sanders’ supporters were arrested for indecent exposure in Arizona.

Feeling that it was being left behind, a few weeks later the National Inquirer reported that the Bible-thumping Ted Cruz had enjoyed five extramarital affairs, and then Trump, on his third marriage, suggested that Heidi Cruz was no saint either.

This drew Americans’ attention for about 24 hours, during which not one Monica Lewinsky-, Donna Rice- or  Rielle Hunter-type Cruz bimbo came forth to announce a new tell-all book deal.

Then on March 30 in Janesville, Wis., a white, Black Lives Matter protester argued with an elderly Trump supporter. After shrieking several f-bombs at the old guy, she sucker punched him in the jaw, and was instantaneously pepper-sprayed in her face in response.

A brief lull occurred while the stage crews re-set the scenery to New England and the mid-Atlantic states, but on April 27, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, allegedly sober at the time, weighed in with his opinion that Cruz is “Lucifer in the flesh.”

Then, in case anyone didn’t understand the metaphor, he added,  “I’ve never worked with a more miserable (bleep) in my life.”

Cruz responded that he had barely met the man, and hadn’t said more than 50 words to him.

So far, no one has alleged that they were the same 50 words that the Wisconsin Blacks Live Matter protester said to the old guy,  but it does make a person wonder.
Then two days after that, Trump had to sneak over a wall and into the backdoor of a hotel to speak at his own rally because anti-Trump protesters had blocked the front entrance.

After the rally, a Trump supporter in his car had his face bloodied by a protester and a police car had its front and rear windows smashed and its top dented. The Associated Press reported, “Dozens of cars — including those of Trump supporters trying to leave — were stuck in the street as several hundred demonstrators blocked the road, waved Mexican flags and posed for selfies.” (Emphasis mine.)

About a dozen years ago, I first noticed when guest speakers arrived at colleges that it took longer for the questioners to ask their questions than for the alleged expert to answer. First, the questioner needed to make obvious how much he or she knew about the issue.

Since taxation, the national debt, defense, Social Security, immigration and health care are no longer important issues, it’s clear that the number one issue of this campaign is self-expression.

In that respect, it came as no surprise when Brown University announced that students were objecting that their classes and studying were taking too much of their time, when they really needed to be out protesting the world’s ills.

In a democracy, everyone has the right to express their opinion, but this year, even the politically correct crowd has been cowed by all the bullying.

It is either that or, because we have been busily scrubbing our history of the likes of Andrew Jackson, J. Edgar Hoover and John Wayne, that everyone has forgotten that the nation was founded as a republic, whereby we elect leaders who can allegedly cut through the cacophony to utter comprehensible sound bites.

And just before the curtain went down on the first act, Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar”  and a “narcissist,” and Trump responded that Cruz’ father was involved in the JFK assassination.

As the audience, bruised from repeated forehead slapping, made for the lobby, Cruz walked off the stage like he wasn’t coming back.

When the curtain rises on Act II, is it outlandish to expect Hillary Clinton will be doing a perp walk with the FBI or Trump with the IRS? That their supporters will show up in various stages of undress to make sexual gestures toward one another? That most of the campaign rhetoric will be limited to four letters?

To ask one final question: Is this a great country or what?

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