(Fred Weinberg) – Every election year, I am told by someone significantly younger than I am with significantly less real world experience that this election is the single most important election in history and that the future of our republic depends on the outcome.
And every election year, I am forced to write that only one thing is certain.
And that is that come February 26, 2017, at the Daytona International Speedway, the National Anthem will be sung, 40 cars will start their engines and the 58th Great American Race will begin.
We will have already sworn in our 45th President and he (or she) will be busy fixing the wreckage left over from the Obama administration.
But with all of our problems, no matter who wins, the republic will endure, just like the Daytona 500.
Now before you run, howling, to your keyboards to tell me how dare I trivialize the most important election in our times, let me continue a few paragraphs with what I have to say.
Every election cycle, about this time, someone tells me that the end of the Republic is nigh if so and so wins, and I have to sit them down and tell them that the American political system has something in common with the Daytona International Speedway — self-cleaning banks.
For those of you who are not even casual NASCAR fans, Daytona — and, by the way, big Bill France DID build that without any help from the government — is banked so sharply that when there is a wreck, the cars tend to slide down into the infield; hence, the term “self-cleaning banks.”
America declared its independence on July 4, 1776. We were the product of a revolution fomented by 56 angry white guys, one of whom signed his name so big that the British King could see it without his glasses. We have never been a perfect nation, and we struggled for a fairly long time after the revolution to find a formula that worked for the long haul.
Our founding fathers found that formula in a form of gridlock.
Much of the genius in the Constitution is that our founding fathers came up with a three-pronged solution that does not allow anybody to drive the nation too far, too quickly.
That formula has allowed an otherwise imperfect nation, filled with the likes of, well, us, and our ancestors, to survive as the longest-lived experiment in self-government.
In short, our political system has developed self-cleaning banks.
Push us too far in one direction, get us into a wreck, and the system itself has the capacity to right itself.
It’s not a perfect system.
That three-pronged solution has calcified to the point where there is way too much self-interest amongst the players and this Presidential election has become so ugly because of that. The parties deserve much of the blame. They have become something of a wannabe shadow government and are no longer well received by the average voter.
The success of Donald Trump and the almost success of Bernie Sanders should not be taken lightly by anyone.
Trump—despite the delusional stylings of Ted Cruz—at least is qualified to do the job on day 1. Hillary Clinton has huge moral failings and, while she has the experience, is simply not trustworthy.
Yet, to destroy the republic, whoever wins would have to be worse than Obama and they would actually have to work at it. Neither of the presumptive nominees is quite that bad.
If there is one thing which this campaign has done, it is to make the average voter very aware of what is at risk. Armed with that knowledge, it will be very difficult for whoever wins to be worse than Barack Obama.
Every election is the most important election on the day it is held. But it will take a whole lot more than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to destroy the republic. Barack Obama proved that.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.