Time passed, and into 2016 we went. I’m familiar with primary politics, even though I’m not allowed to participate. I’m a registered Independent, as in NO PARTY at all. This was a choice I made a while back, after coming to the recognize that I cannot accept a base party line as my standard for belief, and that partisan politics are probably the greatest threat to a functioning government.
As an Independent, I cannot participate in the primary system, but I can watch and wait. The GOP stack of candidates put me in mind of the 2003 California gubernatorial recall, with such an interesting cast of characters. All of them were your standard GOP brand, with the exception of Mr. Trump. The list was so full for debates the candidates were separated into two different groups at first, until the field winnowed down a bit. For the record, I’d have considered voting for Pataki, but he dropped out early.
The field cleared quickly, coming down to 4 at one point, none of whom I could vote for. Jeb Bush I had objected to on the grounds aristocracy. 3 presidents of the same family to me denoted a ruling class, a conservative Camelot, which to me seemed antithetical to democracy (See: North Korea). Ted Cruz was about as unlikable person there could be on the stage, with a hard evangelical bend. Marco Rubio looked every bit a ladder climber, ready to ditch one office to move up the system with little experience. He has the air of an opportunist, which I find distasteful.
And then there was Trump. He would turn the debates into an outright circus. For a while for me it was good comedy, but soon it became a train wreck. I felt bad for the satirists, night after night having to pick the low hanging fruit. I think I first realized how serious the problem was when Jeb dropped out.
With Jeb gone, Trump was the strongest man left on the stage. His nomination started to seem inevitable.