When Wikileaks founder Julian Assange stood up to the global system of elitist domination I immediately jumped on board. I felt, like most of the world's progressives, that this "under dog," the informational new-age Robin Hood, deserved and earned our admiration and support. I for one admired his guts and bravery. And subsequent leaks only helped to expose global governmental corruption on a massive scale and cemented Assange's status as a modern day cult hero. So when he forcibly inserted himself into the 2016 United States presidential election campaign he immediately raised many eyebrows. But many, like me, thought that this was just a passing fancy, a reaction to his self-exiled boredom, and something that would soon end.
But Assange continued to draw the ire of many on both the political Right and Left for what they saw as uncalled for and unnecessary meddling in United States politics, and favoring one presidential candidate over the other. Then support and respect for Assange started to slip. And as he burrowed further and further up Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's derriere, effectively shutting out the pristine, cleansing light of day, Assange put a once revered institution into disrepute. He completely shot his once hallowed reputation and it now lies in tatters on the political floor.
Now he has abandoned any pretense or attempt at behaving as the folk hero fighting institutional corruption and governmental wrongdoings as he's now completely genuflected to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. I might have rethought my new and disappointing view of Assange if he was more even-handed with the email leaks. He's consistently dumped thousands of hacked emails from both the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign without nary one single two-sentence criticizing of Donald Trump. This is crude subjective political bias at its zenith and nobody with a modicum of common sense can fail to conclude that this entire avalanche of leaks and their timing is all about trying to influence the outcome of the US presidential elections.
Julian Assange is now making absolutely no pretense to be a defender of truth. He's removed his mask of independence and fairness to reveal the fact that he's just a presumed Russian patsy and useless political pawn. If Assange had leaked even portions of Donald Trump's tax returns I would still be in his corner. But to consistently and unrelentingly leak emails about ONE presidential candidate is just way too many coincidences for my liking. The founder of the controversial hacking site has been hiding out at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after he skipped bail to avoid being extradited to Sweden on sex assault charges. That's a very, very small world to inhabit for four years without knowing when the Ecuadorians will get fed up with your crap and kick you out to face an uncertain legal music that includes prosecution and jail time.
But even with all the manufactured controversy and political fallout occasioned by the Wikileaks dumping of Hillary Clinton's emails, Assange's (and Putin's) preferred candidate cannot take hold of the gift of political manna and go on offense against Ms. Clinton. The ultra-petulant Republican standard bearer just continues to be the political gift to Hillary Clinton that just can't stop giving. He continues to unrelentingly attack the media calling it biased and corrupt. And even with Assange giving him a real hand up, he continues to dwell in the warped and quixotic realm of his own self-addicted reality.
These days, in President Obama's sage words, he's focused on childish whining and complaining that Hillary Clinton is getting more press and that she's the media's favorite. This man-boy or boy-man -- take your pick -- is so thin-skinned that the slightest disagreement to criticism sends him into a towering juvenile tantrum underscored by nasty, insulting and conduct unbecoming of a United States Presidential Candidate and more suited for smoke-filled, beer swigging denizens in Hicksville salons where moonshine runs like water and ignorance is commonplace.
But according to MarketWatch (www.marketwatch.com) Donald Trump has gotten the equivalent of nearly $3 billion in free, "earned media," advertising since last May blowing away rivals in both the Democratic and Republican parties. He rails about "rigged polls" forgetting the fact that he's boasted constantly and loudly in his raucous campaign rallies about "the polls" and how they show that "he's winning bigly."
As this mercurial presidential election nears the endgame, Donald Trump appears to have now inhabited the world of the constant and on-call, on-demand meltdown. These days he's lurching from one clueless and erratic act, incapable of working with the political Poker hand that Assange and Company has given him. He continues to screech loudly about a "rigged system" -- the very same system that allowed him to win the Republican Party's domination over seventeen opponents that he's so fond of boasting about. So he hunkers down and does the late night Tweeting, attacking Saturday Night Live (SNL), blaming Billy Bush for his sex-crazed lunging for women's private parts, unhinged calls for a drug test for Hilary Clinton before the last debate, and his wife and children appearing on national television just as clueless and spaced out.
Finally, a word to Mr. Trump: Continually shouting that the "system is rigged" against you is NOT a winning political campaign strategy. When you pulverized your fellow Republicans in the primary the system worked just great and you relied heavily on polls. You can't prepare for loss by creating the excuse and reasons BEFORE the event. That's basically saying that you believe that Santa Claus is real and then you try and find facts and reasons to support your definitive conclusion. Logic and reason calls for premises to be proven by provable facts and not simply blowing air through a vent in your face.
FOOTNOTE: The Republican Party is at a very serious crossroads and it may be way too late to save it from falling flat on its face. Be that as it may, the internal civil war is not something that we can stop -- Republicans will have to do that by themselves. But is noteworthy that Republican bloodletting has been in the works long before Donald Trump decided to run for President of the United States. But I believe that the elders of the party owe it to the American people to save us and the country from Trump's dangerous rhetoric.
Trump's unhinged and frenzied claims, now elevated to the level of a national mantra, that the electoral system in America is rigged MUST be disavowed and called out for what it is: an unadulterated absurdity and falsehood. Instead, we've had a deafening silence as the party's top leadership, like Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others cower in fright at a bloviating coward and political snake oil salesman.
Like his unsubstantiated and scurrilous attack on President Obama arguing that he was not born in the United States, Trump continues to peddle one falsehood after anther. In the midst of all this political kerfuffle, these spineless Republican leaders have remained silent or barely lukewarm in their criticisms and response to Trump's obvious falsehoods. They all know that it near impossible to rig an American election. Yet they offer slavish memes about the integrity of the American electoral system and refraining from directly condemning and criticizing the loud-mouthed one. Admittedly, bravery and principle has not been exactly the values of both Ryan and McConnell have displayed during their tenure. But their failure to firmly and forcibly deal with Trump's errant rabblerousing and agitation is another piece of evidence as to why the American people hold the United States Congress in so much loathing and contempt.