What kind of country do I live in? It’s not the same one that I thought as recently as a year ago, but I’m forced to face — and accept — a new reality.
For more than a year, I thought Donald Trump was playing out a joke. Surely he couldn’t be taken seriously during the Republican primaries. After all, he referenced his own genitals, insinuated that Fox News host Megyn Kelly was menstruating during a debate (she had “blood coming out of her wherever”) and complained about Carly Fiorina’s face. All of this live on stage. On national television! He must be crazy, I thought. He won’t win any primary with language like that. He insulted John McCain, Rosie O’Donnell, Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese, President Obama, handicapped people. All of this several months before the open mic on the Access Hollywood bus.
He slung his scariest insults at the media. RightWingWatch.org reported in April that he said, “I think the press really, really misrepresents and it’s extremely dishonest. I think that’s the biggest problem with the campaign, is the dishonesty of the press, honestly.”
He and I disagree on policies about climate change, immigration and energy, but I confess that I agree with our new president-elect about one thing — the system is broken. Our two-party system is broken. A dysfunctional Republican Party featured veteran leaders who wouldn’t endorse Trump but put him on the ballot for the rest of us to consider as a finalist. A disillusioned and probably corrupt Democratic Party weaseled its way around Bernie Sanders to make sure Hillary Clinton landed on the ballot. We’re a country of more than 300 million people, and we were left to decide between two people who each had higher than 50% dissatisfaction ratings. We faced a lose-lose situation on this historic election day.
Thanks to a two-party system that’s fueled by a human growth hormone known as Citizens United, we may never again see two final candidates that can be respected by the majority of our country.
Trump doesn’t much believe in the two-party system either. According to The Washington Times, he changed political party affiliations at least five times. He started as a Republican in 1987, switched to the Independence Party in 1999, became a Democrat in 2001, went back to the GOP in 2009, then marked the “I do not wish to enroll in a party.” box in 2011. He ultimately flipped to Republican for a third time in April 2012. Of course, in New York state, that was too late to vote in the 2012 primary but not too late to complain on Twitter.
Trump and his supporters are spot-on about one thing — we need to change our system.