The candidates may be unconventional, but their political agendas fall along a conventional divide.
By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
At first glance, 2016 sizes up as no other election year in American history.
For more than 30 years, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been high-profile and controversial celebrities. Both have been plagued by scandals and are viewed negatively by millions of voters. Clinton is facing possible federal indictment; Trump is being sued over Trump University.
If elected, Clinton would be first female president in U.S. history. If Trump prevails, he would be the first president to assume office without having held a political or cabinet office or a high military rank.
Yet the race still could prove more conventional than unorthodox.
Trump is considered uniquely crude. But take some of our most iconic political figures and one can find comparable extremist rhetoric.
As California governor, Ronald Reagan once said of University of California at Berkeley protesters, “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement.” When the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst and forced her family to distribute food to the poor, Reagan quipped, “It’s just too bad we can’t have an epidemic of botulism.”
Barack Obama has scoffed this his own grandmother was a “typical white person,” called on his supporters to “get in their face” of his opponents, invoked a variation of the phrase “bring a gun to a knife fight” in an attempt to fire up supporters during his first presidential campaign, and compared his own bad bowling to the supposed competition level of the Special Olympics.
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