What could possibly go wrong?

Political predictions from the ones who lost

By Sarah Sidlow

Is this really happening? Am I stuck in a nightmare? Is it still Halloween (or maybe April Fool’s Day)?

No doubt, those questions entered your mind more than once during the historic—and interminable—2016 presidential election. But imagine for a moment that on Jan. 20, 2017, you’re uttering those questions again… as you watch your worst political nightmare put his or her hand on the Bible and swear to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and, among other things, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Let it sink in for a moment… your candidate lost. What happens now?

Well, if we look at both candidates’ campaign policies, we may choose to believe that whoever takes the Oath of Office will fix our economy, create new jobs, and handle that ISIS problem. Or we could be too busy putting our heads in the sand and kissing our bums goodbye to watch what materializes in those crucial first hundred days in office.
Luckily, Dayton City Paper’s extensive rolodex of expert sources happens to contain both a “left” and “right” clairvoyant. Here’s what they had to say:

In a Donald Trump World, as told by a Hillary Clinton supporter: the U.S. is kicked out of the United Nations after sending a big bill, followed by an eviction notice for not paying up. In the South, Trump Wall is being erected by foreign slave laborers (probably very small children) who won’t be paid, ever. Women seeking healthcare services from STD screens to pregnancy tests to abortions will have nowhere to turn, and will likely be stoned in the streets. In fact, this may be the last election they were ever allowed to vote in, as the Trump supporters are in negotiation to revoke their right to suffrage out of “respect for a woman’s already full schedule of cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing.”

The 11 women who reported being sexually assaulted by Trump have never been heard from again. Both Putin and Julian Assange are eyeing the vacant spot on the Supreme
Court Bench.

In a Hillary Clinton World, as told by a Donald Trump supporter: hopefully, you stocked up on guns and ammo on Black Friday, because all gun sales are now illegal.

Planned Parenthood is literally burning money because it doesn’t know what to do with it all now that pregnant women are lining up out the door to have their babies aborted on the last possible day of pregnancy.

In addition to more Hillary emails, reports of Hillary’s deleted Google search history have surfaced. Of note: “How to delete classified information stored on a private server,” “How to appear human when you’re actually a robot,” and “Is Donald Trump’s hair real?”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is planning a boosted campaign effort in Ohio, because the entire election was rigged and isn’t technically over yet.

Reach Dayton City Paper forum moderator Sarah Sidlow at SarahSidlow@DaytonCityPaper.com

One nation, under Donald

By Tim Walker

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

That is George Orwell’s line, of course, straight out of his novel “1984,” and it makes me pause as I set down my paperback and look at the clock. I was 19-years-old back in the year 1984, the first time I read Orwell, and my head was full of dreams. Ronald Reagan was in office, a Republican, I recall, an actor and a man so many were afraid of. What a joke. Of course, it isn’t 1984 anymore—today’s date is April 30, 2017, and it is Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. Ronnie wouldn’t recognize his beloved country anymore, and those idiots back then didn’t know the first thing about fear.

President Trump himself hasn’t made any public appearances in over a month, of course, not since that third assassination attempt, the one that almost got him. He blamed it on ISIS, but everyone knows it was really homegrown terrorists, probably members of The Faction or Los Hermanos: both groups swore revenge on him after the railroad cars filled with “Undesirables” began rolling south toward Mexico (I’ll never forget those images of pleading, grasping hands reaching out for some sort of human contact as the trains began to roll away). Several of the rebels were captured by Trump’s Patriotic Guard when they claimed responsibility for that last bomb—their bodies still hang from the lampposts on Pennsylvania Avenue, right down the street from the White House.

Congress was locked up first, almost immediately after Trump took the Oath. I almost laughed—almost—at the looks on the faces of the top GOP members as they were dragged down the steps of the Capitol in leg irons. Paul Ryan was crying. “Treason” and “Crimes Against America” were the charges, and they’re all guilty, of course. We’re all guilty, in fact, every American citizen, for allowing this to happen in the first place.

Trump’s ego just could not accept a balance of power. He had to feel like The Man in charge, and so two of the three branches of government were silenced; they were “Stonewalling me and standing in the way of this country becoming great again,” as he said. So, once he had Congress in chains, Trump dismantled the Supreme Court. Surprisingly, they were treated with more respect—they were simply “retired from the bench.” With the Constitution suspended indefinitely and the Patriotic Guard in control, what good would a Supreme Court be anyway?

What we didn’t know during the campaign was that Donald Trump had powerful people backing him, people who controlled the secret power corridors of Washington, D.C. Angry generals, Black Ops agents—the people who had bristled under Obama’s directives, who had always hated being told what NOT to do, and who had been waiting for a weak, egotistical, stupid man who needed their support and who would agree to do their bidding in order to get into the Oval Office. They were waiting for Trump, so they could enact a military coup of our government and make that orange-faced buffoon their figurehead.

Trump’s tweets and video appearances continue on a daily basis, of course—not even IED’s could stop those—and executive orders have flowed from the bunker beneath the White House in an unending stream ever since Inauguration Day, a torrent of angry directives and twisted hate that it has been nearly impossible to keep up with. Constitutional scholars—those who haven’t been arrested—have long since stopped criticizing the President for violating his oath of office. Silence, it appears, is the best course of action for academia these days.

Hillary and Bill fled the country almost immediately after Election Day, once Clinton conceded and Trump began calling for their arrests—rumor has it they’re being protected by friends in the Saudi royal family, but who knows? The Obamas simply disappeared when it became clear that our country had elected a madman who was willing to stop at nothing in his quest to Make America Hate Again.

Skirmishes between the rebels and the Patriotic Guard don’t take place as often now, but it’s hard to tell with all of the newspapers gone. The Star-Spangled Banner, our so-called national newspaper, is nothing more than cheap propaganda, not even fit to line the birdcage. I’m sure people read it—hell, people will read anything, remember USA Today? But only an idiot would think that the endlessly happy stories and tightly controlled feel-good pieces reflect reality.

This was once America, the land of the free, as it was said so often—a nation under God. The Great Satan, our enemies once called us. Look at us now—look at what we’ve become. Thinking back, it all seems so clear…  how is it that the voters back in November couldn’t see what was coming? The crowds who showed up for his rallies, all of them fell right into line as he whipped them into a frenzy of xenophobia.

I don’t know. It is what it is, and none of it matters anymore. The dream that was once the United States has become a nightmare, but I’ll have to finish this journal entry later. I have to leave now—I don’t want to be late for the Public Tortures.

 Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com.

Remember, remember that night in November

 By Patrick Bittner

When I heard the news that night in November, my heart stopped. How could the thing that no one, not even the supporters, could believe have happened? How could he have won? We had fought and fundraised, called and canvassed, we had registered countless people, and the polls had all said it was in the bag, that all of our hard work had paid off. At the very least, we had some faith in the Electoral College. How could this man, this insulting, high school bully with a misogynistic and overly masculine personality have been voted in by both the public and the safety net the Founding Fathers devised?  Simply put, we don’t know. No one on either side of the line, experts from Carville to Axelrod, from Luntz to Morris, from Supreme Court justices to political commentators, could explain the worst political disaster in modern memory. And that was just in the first week after the election.

The two months, between the disaster of Election Day and the day that fluorescent-orange-forgery of a man stood up on the steps of the Capitol to take the oath, on were fraught with what can only be described as fascist ramblings, which while unimaginable in content proved to be truly frightening, as the unbelievable election shook the American Public to its core. Daily speeches from either the president-elect or his surrogates, most notably the head of his transition team and his former adversary Governor Christie, reminded the public of the hate, the terrifying and otherwise unrealistic tendencies of the man they had chosen for the highest office in the land. And while promises of “camps for Muslim terrorists” and “a wall to keep us safe” sounded impossible on Nov. 7, by the time we all woke up on the 9th, it seemed like a certainty. When reports surfaced on Dec. 1 that he had released his first 50 executive orders, the ones he would be signing at 5 p.m., Jan. 20, the world held its breath.

And while Speaker Ryan had pulled out his support of the then-candidate 29 days before the election, he was not out of the spotlight. Between the election and the inauguration, the once-most-powerful Republican in the country was destroyed in a flame of populist allegiance in the lower house of Congress.  A vote was held and the lame duck members took out their frustrations on the former speaker, replacing him with a much more volatile member, Steve Scalise. And while representative Scalise served as the majority whip, he had not been selected because of his leadership credentials, but rather because he could be a force through which the president-elect could manipulate and strong-arm members into friendly action. To add insult to injury, the first action the president-elect pushed the new speaker to take was to abolish a certain delegation, the Tea Party.

And so yesterday, Jan. 20 came, and in his victory speech, the president outlined his first program as Commander-in-Chief, FIRST. And while the name was clever, the content was anything but. FIRST, or the Federal Initiative to Remove Suspected Terrorists, was an omnibus bill with the purpose of establishing a state-sponsored program of fear and so-called justice to anyone who was not a white, straight, male, and Christian citizen of this country. Costing an estimated $400 billion over five years, the proposed bill was all-inclusive, spending money that the American People really didn’t have. It would create a new cabinet-level agency responsible for “policing the American public and providing a safe and secure tomorrow.” On the surface, the mission is innocent enough, but in practice, the secretary of American continuity will, in effect, be an unchecked fear monger who could use propaganda not seen since the days of Goebbels to imprison, torture, and even execute American citizens suspected of carrying out or aiding terrorism in the United States, effectively creating a state of national paranoia that has not existed for nearly 100 years. The would-be bill establishes a private federal police force which only answers to the new secretary and the president and has the authority to circumvent the Bill of Rights and racially profile American citizens. FIRST also includes the initial funding for the wall with Mexico and, upon passage, would begin its construction, although the cost to maintain the wall after its first decade in existence would be another president’s problem.

In short, the idea that Donald Trump would be an honorable, and, at the very least, effective leader of this great country is a total farce. This country is built on the ideas of progress and equality, freedom and justice, and above all, love for our fellow citizen. Through divisiveness and fear of one another, our society has not accomplished all the great things we pride ourselves on. We must work together to ensure a better tomorrow, which we offered ourselves this election. And it is the responsibility of each and every citizen to vote and remind us that the very loud and vulgar few do not govern the respectful and sane few.

 Reach DCP freelance writer Patrick Bittner at PatrickBittner@DaytonCityPaper.com.

Waking up to a Hillary Clinton presidency

 By David H. Landon

It’s 6 a.m. on January 20, 2017, and the alarm clock goes off like every other morning. But on this day, I’m already awake. The reality of what is about to take place in Washington D.C. has weighed heavily on me during a fitful night. Today, Hillary Clinton will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Today, the rule of law is a thing of the past. Perhaps not totally. The rule of law will still apply to the vast majority of Americans who go to work every day, provide for their families, pay their bills, and support their communities. But it apparently does not apply to the elites among us who seem immune from following the law. It does not apply to Hillary or Bill Clinton.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton kept classified documents on a minimally protected server in her basement. In doing so, she exposed classified information of the United States government to foreign governments. That calculated act violated federal law. When confronted with her illegal action, Hillary Clinton lied to the American people.  When pressed by the FBI to explain the server, she claimed the after effects of a concussion fogged her memory, and as a result she couldn’t remember dozens of details about the server, the top secret emails sent on the server, or what happened to the thousands of government emails that she failed to turn over to the FBI. During the course of the investigation and while under a federal subpoena her aides destroyed evidence by BleachBit and hammers. The final example of Clinton privilege was when her husband, the former president, met secretly on an airport tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch for about a half-hour, only days before the decision by the Justice Department to accept the recommendation of the FBI and not prosecute Mrs. Clinton for an apparent violation of law. Why the secret server by Team Hillary? It turns out it had little to do with convenience for the former Secretary of State, but rather was installed so she could shield the pay-for-play and ongoing influence peddling associated with the non-profit Clinton Foundation and the for-profit Bill and Hillary Incorporated. In the years since Bill Clinton left office, the Clintons have amassed a sizeable fortune of over $250,000,000. They produced nothing; they manufactured nothing; they had only one stock in trade. They had the ability to cash in on Bill’s star power and sell influence. The reason for the secret-in-the-basement-server was to keep the criminal enterprise out of the light of day—because the rule of law doesn’t apply to the Clintons.

So as I look toward the next four years of a Hillary Administration, I expect more of the same. Scandal after scandal, because that’s how the Clintons roll. During the eight years of Bill’s presidency, we were treated to Travelgate, Filegate, and Whitewater. We watched special prosecutors and grand juries. Hillary avoided indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice during the Starr investigation by repeating, “I do not recall,” “I have no recollection,” and “I don’t know” a total of 56 times while under oath. A pattern is definitely emerging.

Looking past the scandals, fully expecting more to happen, (come on … it’s the Clintons!), I’m not expecting policy out of her administration that will protect personal freedoms and create an opportunity for all Americans to succeed.  Domestically, I expect her to come after the First and Second Amendments, as she packs the Supreme Court with left-leaning, nanny-state justices. Her policies will do nothing to really advance the plight of the inner cities, as it is to her advantage to keep people needing government. She will follow a policy of tax and spend that will continue the growth of government and further burden the ability of businesses to survive. As a result, the anemic GNP growth of the Obama years will continue.  She will save money on border agents when she puts her true desire of open borders into effect, there will be no need to fund ICE. Both coal miners and police will be on her endangered species list, as she believes coal is the greatest enemy facing man, and police officers are bullies with guns and a badge who serve no useful purpose.

Our foreign policy will be a continuation of the unmitigated disaster marked by her tenure as Secretary of State. Everything can be summed up by her pride in the unbelievably bad Iranian deal, which not only guarantees a nuclear weapon for the largest sponsor of world terrorism, but pays Iran billions of dollars as part of the deal.

Many Hollywood types threatened to leave the country if Donald Trump were to be elected president. Most average Americans can never make that threat. They don’t have the financial ability to move to another country to ride out the Hillary years. So expect them to stick around and challenge Washington’s insider practices. They will continue to challenge political correctness. They will not accept as a fait accompli that America’s best days are behind her.

The snooze alarm goes off as a shrill reminder of the pending inauguration. I dread this day, but we will somehow endure four years of Hillary Clinton.

 David H. Landon is the former Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party Central Committee. He can be reached at DaveLandon@DaytonCityPaper.com.

As usual

 By Ron Kozar

If Hillary wins, many things that need to change won’t.

Politicians will just keep reading from teleprompters instead of saying what they think.  After a brief, crazy season of yes-or-no answers to yes-or-no questions and of klutzy, ungrammatical authenticity, we’ll go back to a diet of predigested, focus-group-tested gobbledygook.  Political speech will remain a medium for misleading, dodging, and equivocating rather than explaining, confronting, and clarifying.  If it were Trump, all bets would be off.  The State of the Union would be an occasion for pizza parties for both fans and critics. Citizens would watch, avidly.  It would be fun; it would be infuriating; it would draw more viewers than the Superbowl.  But if it’s Hillary, it will be the dreary status quo, not just with the State of the Union, but with the whole process of elective government.  No one will watch.  No one will remember.  No one will care.

If Hillary wins, cynicism about influence-buying will keep eating away like a cancer at the body politic. We’ve had two Bushes; now we’ll have the second of two Clintons.  Trump’s experiment in self-funded, low-budget politicking will have failed.  Thousand-dollar-a-plate dinners will continue. Hollywood moguls and Wall Street bankers will get more nights in Lincoln’s bedroom, more kaffeeklatsches with officeholders, and other nifty emoluments for steering dark money into opaque pockets.

If Hillary wins, the straightjacket of political correctness will continue retarding civic discourse.  At many supper tables, decent people observe that Mexicans who sneak across the border are changing the face of our country (and they are), that blacks commit more than their share of crime (and they do), that there are Muslims who want to come here to blow things up (and there are). Trump recognized those concerns and said they deserve an answer.  He blasphemed against political correctness, broke the ice of national dialogue, and gave voice to the anxieties of millions.  But if Hillary wins, no politician will dare address those anxieties or recognize the truths that underlie them.  If any politician tries to, the time-honored drill will remain unchanged.  He will be called a racist or a bigot, his own party will denounce him, he will apologize sullenly, and the disconnect between the supper-table and Washington will remain unbridged.

If Hillary wins, blacks will remain unthinkingly obedient to the Democratic Party.  Black precincts will continue voting 90-plus-percent for Democrats, resembling Third World dictatorships in the lopsidedness of their voting.  Republicans will know better than to try, as Trump so clumsily, so naively tried, to ask for black votes.  Democrats will be relieved that they can keep taking blacks for granted, and Republicans will remain convinced that blacks cannot be reached.  And the policies, agencies, and programs that have accomplished so little will all stay exactly the same.  Everything that is bad for the urban underclass—poverty, crime, schools, drugs, illegitimacy—will just keep getting worse.

And then there are all the things you’ve heard conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans bellyache about since time immemorial.  If Hillary wins, the state will stick its regulatory nose further into our lives and our storefronts, going far beyond the night-watchman role contemplated by our country’s founders.  The hand of the tax collector will dig deeper into taxpayers’ pockets to fund that state.  Judges and justices will make more end-runs around the legislative process, making law rather than applying it.  The Obamacare insanity will keep driving the cost of health insurance skyward.  The erasure of national boundaries and trade barriers will drive more jobs to ill-paid, ill-policed foreign shores.  Full-time employment, already a rarity, may well go extinct as the dog-pile of taxes, unfunded mandates, and bewildering, kafkaesque workplace rules suffocate all but the largest employers.  More and more able-bodied Americans will give up, drop out, and shut in, unemployed and increasingly unemployable, continuing a depressing, decades-old trend.

And if Hillary wins, any hope of correcting these ills through government action will remain nil. Her election will continue a status quo with which we are too well acquainted.  Consistent with the rule that the party in the White House loses seats in Congress, Republican majorities in the House and Senate will expand in 2018. The Republican Party enjoying that majority will be the calcified, obstructionist one that Trump fought so hard to challenge. For a few months, Trump’s primary victories seemed likely to stir that party down to its long undisturbed sediments, for he is not a conservative.  On trade, he is Bernie Sanders; on the minimum wage, he is Harry Truman; on healthcare, no one knows what he is. But his defeat will allow entrenched GOP officeholders to stay in their trenches, to keep opposing, keep denying, keep deadlocking.

And so it will be if Hillary wins. Voters who yearn for change will keep getting none. Everything will stay depressingly, monotonously the same.

Ron Kozar is a lawyer in Dayton. Reach him at  RonKozar@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP editor Sarah Sidlow at SarahSidlow@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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