Let’s put this up top: Hillary Clinton will probably beat Donald Trump. Judging by his abysmal approval ratings, he’s an historically terrible presidential candidate who really shouldn’t come within sniffing distance of the highest office in America. In the latest average of polls, he’s disliked by nearly 60 percent of potential voters, which is an enormous total. Clinton really, really shouldn’t lose.
The problem lies with the word “probably.” Somehow, running against a man who is despised by unprecedented numbers of people, Clinton’s victory is not assured. In fact, her own favorability numbers are nearly as abysmal—at last count, she’s looked upon negatively by 55.6 percent of the electorate.
You’d have to look a long way back in history to find another major presidential candidate—not even a winner—who is disliked as much as Clinton. In fact, in a world without Trump, her unpopularity may be unprecedented.
This, for many of us, is terrifying, and while she remains ahead of Trump in national polls, the peripheral news around her campaign keeps getting worse. In Politico today, an anonymous survey of Democratic operatives highlighted just how hard the email scandal hit her this week. Yes, she escaped prosecution, but James Comey’s statement about her “extreme carelessness,” along with his FBI testimony that highlighted the many lies—there’s no nicer word for it—she told while the investigation was ongoing, all contributed to the perception that she’s dishonest and corrupt. Read some of the responses from the survey:
“This is not a win. Comey eviscerated all the excuses for Hillary and her team’s behaviors. It plays into the narrative that she can’t be trusted,” said an Iowa Democrat, who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “If she was running against anyone other than Trump, this would have been blown up much bigger and hit much harder.”
“Every adjective [Comey] used confirms the worst suspicions of those who were a wee bit squeamish about voting for her,” added a New Hampshire Democrat. “I cant think of a way it could have been worse, short of an actual recommendation to indict. In fact, because the case appeared to be laid out for prosecution of some nature, the fact that this wasn’t recommended only seems to reinforce Trump’s charge of a ‘rigged system.’”
“Email-gate” is just the latest scandal that’s turning what should be a slam-dunk victory over a hated opponent into a disturbingly close race. Most Democrats would agree that a Donald Trump presidency is the worst possible outcome, which raises an obvious question: Why the hell are they running their own awful candidate against him? Why risk a disastrous loss?
There are obvious solutions, of which Bernie Sanders is one. But it’s become clear over the course of the campaign that the establishment, centrist wing of the party would rather die than give up any control to a progressive, so as much as some of us might love to see Sanders as the candidate, it’s time to accept that it won’t happen.
That being said, there’s an obvious knight in shining armor here, and that’s Joe Biden. He represents an extension of a current administration that must be looking very attractive to a lot of people right now, but he’s not the boogeyman “OBAMA” that turns some independents away (or so they say—given a chance to vote for him again over Trump or Clinton, I imagine many of these people would pull the lever in a heartbeat). On top of that, he’s experienced and charming, and he clearly wants to be president.
More importantly, he would demolish Trump—he carries himself with dignity and charisma, and would make Trump look like the blustering ignoramus that he is. Against Clinton, though, Trump can simply attack her integrity and make the argument that, really, they’re equally despicable. That gives people who might want to vote for him anyway an excuse—a sense of false equivalence that says Hillary is just as bad. It’s the only way someone like Trump could actually win, and the Democrats are letting it happen. It’s enough to make you want to rip your hair out.
So why continue the charade? The Clinton campaign is staggering toward the finish line, leaking credibility day by day. Put it out of its misery, and ensure victory by turning toward the one man who could destroy Trump in his sleep, and save us all from the dystopian nightmare to come.