Jeb Bush’s departure from the race for the White House was, in its own way, a significant moment for the American political process. I wasn’t one of his supporters, but the suspension of his campaign marks the end of an era, if not a political dynasty. The era that is ending is the era of common sense, good judgment, respect, and honesty. The bullies, the name callers, the deal makers are running things now. It’s all a media show from now on. The networks, the cable news channels are making our minds up for us.
At best, Bush seemed not so much somebody coveting the highest office in the land, but rather someone trying to further his family’s legacy whether he wanted to or not. His lackluster campaign lacked any real fire. His speeches conveyed no real enthusiasm. In the debates he seemed like a shy kid being bullied by the tougher kids in the schoolyard. His heart didn’t really seem to be in it. Perhaps his primary ambition was to “measure up” to his father and brother. Just as W may have waged a war in Iraq to “one up” his dad, Jeb tried to be the man his father and brother were. But in the end he probably didn’t think any of that was worth the effort.
The truth is his campaign really ended when he brought his brother out to help him. W with his smirking grin in South Carolina, rather than a campaign booster, turned out to be the last hurrah for the Bush Dynasty. Even having his mother, Barbara, on hand didn’t help. Everytime she was on camera you couldn’t help remember her saying she didn’t think America needed another Bush in the White House. With a family like that backing you up, it seems hopeless from the start.
And it’s too bad, in a way, because of all the candidates on the Republican debate stage, Bush was the most civil and respectful of his opponents. He tried to avoid extremist positions on immigration and right to life. He tried to run his campaign by the rules of another era, but it all worked against him. At the same time, as the last link in a dying political dynasty, he was forced to reap the harvest that had been sown.
Now, Republicans are left with a front runner most of them despise. Their only hope is that Rubio or Cruz can bring Donald Trump down. Given the mood of Republican voters, with their hatred of the establishment and their gullible acceptance of everything (no matter how outlandish) Trump says, it’s unlikely anyone can stop Trump now. What will Republican voters do in November when their choice is either Trump or Clinton? And in the end what will any of that matter?
Cinton or Trump, either one, will find once they take office, talking the talk is one thing. Walking the walk, something else altogether. The system, with all the special interests with their fingers in the pie, keeps any meaningful change from happening. The dreams of revolution and making government serve its people get lost in the political games that powerful people play in the hallowed halls of Washington. The only one who really know that already is Clinton. She’ll face as much opposition in Congress as Obama did. And Trump’s plan to make America Great Again won’t go over too well with all the politicians on Capitol Hill too deep in China’s pocket.
Change? I’ll believe it when I see it. The old saying, “The more things change, the more they remain the same,” seems to sum it up best.