Monday, July 16 , 2018, 5:59 am | Fair 65º


Will Durst: In the 2016 Election, It’s Crash, Burn and Repeat

We might as well be watching a 30-car pile-up the way Americans are holding hands over their eyes trying to avoid the grisly bits of the most grotesque presidential race we have witnessed in this, the second decade of the 21st century.

Of course, it’s only the second election during that time, but still.

That is not to say 2012 wasn’t genuinely gruesome, with more than its share of cataclysmic collisions and demolition derby debacles, but this time they’re headed downhill faster than an 18-wheeler with burned out brakes carrying a load of nitroglycerine on the western slope of the Andes.

This is a race to rock bottom to see which team ends up least wrecked, and right now they’re both jostling for pole position. Everybody is losing paint riding into each other while running over rocky roads gouged by their own staffs. Must be why they call them pit crews.

You’ve heard the term “Accidents waiting to happen?” Well the opposite is “accidents waiting for a break in the action.” The two most polarizing drivers in the history of American politics have veered into so many walls, both their nicknames could be Crash.

Recently Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton pulled into the paddock to attack their opponent’s foreign policies, a shock to the majority of spectators who were unaware either had a foreign policy that didn’t consist on calling in air strikes on the other’s campaign. And tire irons swung at their fuel lines.

Now we’re getting to the point in this short track race where driver fatigue kicks in, and the unforced errors have begun to accumulate. Clinton said she was wrong to call half of Trump’s supporters “a basket of deplorables.” And she was wrong. It’s more like 63 percent.

Trump used Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto as a prop, then gave an immigration speech that spurred most of his Hispanic advisory board to resign. Although to be honest, Trump Hispanic Advisory Board sounds like Democratic Leadership Council.

Trump also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for being a strong leader with an 84 percent approval rating. It would be higher, but the KGB hasn’t been able to track down the other 16 percent. Yet.

Even the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, got in trouble for not knowing what Aleppo was. Presumably he was thinking a small leopard or someone suffering from the initial stages of Hansen’s Disease.

Time is running out for all the major candidates to grab some clean air. Clinton needs to prove she’s not a robotic automaton who will do or say anything to get elected. And she intends to do that as soon as she installs a larger hard drive and updates her operating system. Pneumonia, right.

Trump knows he needs to assure the electorate he’s more than some spoiled rich guy whose diplomatic horsepower is measured in arrogant smirks; he’s even gone so far as to hire a female campaign manager to smirk for him.

The good news is the finish line is only two months away. The bad news is one of these lug nuts is going to take the checkered flag.

The upside being, on Nov. 8, our long national nightmare will be over. Until Nov. 9, when the funny car race for 2020 begins.

Gentlemen and ladies, prepare to start your engines.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former Pizza Hut assistant manager syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Click here for videos and a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, Elect to Laugh: 2016, appearing every Tuesday at The Marsh in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter: @willdurst and click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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