A Catastrophic Existential Failure Of Ethics And Institutions

Now what, Ben?

Now what, Ben?

I woke up this morning nauseous, after a restless night. It could have been dinner, but I’m pretty sure that it was Indiana.

Not that seeing Ted Cruz suspend his quest to be President was upsetting in and of itself. He’s a terrible candidate and a dangerous man, and almost certainly unelectable, which in his case is a good thing. As it did with Chris Christie, who was exposed as a character-free fraud; as it did with Jeb Bush, who demonstrated an inability to think; as it did with Ben Carson, who proved why his theory that leaders need no relevant experience at all was nonsense; as it did with Marco Rubio, who provided the definitive definition of “empty suit,” the primary system worked, and eliminated aspiring nominees who were unqualified and unfit in various ways.

It has not worked, however, with Donald Trump. This was not a failure of the primary system or the political system (Hillary Clinton’s impending nomination will be a failure of the political system) but something far more ominous. We are faced with the threat of an unstable, incoherent, ethics-free and irrational man becoming our President because of a catastrophic breakdown in the ethics of our cultural, societal and political institutions, over a long period of time. As a result, our democracy, ideals and way of life are imperiled as never before.

It didn’t have to be this way. It’s just how things broke, that’s all. The United States has sewn the seeds of its own destruction many times before and lucked out, smelling like a rose after mistakes, miscalculations and stupid actions that easily could have ended Mr. Jefferson’s experiment in tragedy and chaos. We might get lucky again, I suppose. Trump might get squished by a falling piece of space junk. Hillary Clinton might get possessed by the spirit of Julia Sand. I wouldn’t bet on it though. Continue reading