Ake, thank you for the kind words. It is refreshing to disagree strongly with a civilized voice on a Mudcat BS thread.
But what is a "realistic democracy" anyway? Does one exist?
*None* of the current candidates seems capable of navigating the next four to eight years. Two are zealots, one is a visionary, one is a policy imbecile, and the third is - so far as I can tell - merely a fallible but very highly experienced but individual.
The other reason is that at least some of the problems facing America - and the world - may prove to be intractable indeed. (Just today, Mr. Kim has threatened a "pre-emptive and indiscriminate nuclear strike" against South Korea and the United States.)
Mrs. Clinton was hardly alone in recommending air action against Gadaffi any more than George W. Bush was alone in choosing to invade Iraq. These were not autocratic or frivolous edicts. Both people relied on numerous staffs and advisers, and there certainly was less than unanimity in these decisions.
Had the decision to take no military action been *obviously* better (roughly meaning "unmistakably clear to anyone of average intelligence"), it would have been made in both cases. (I don't subscribe to the assumption that Libya and Iraq were chiefly motivated by Wall Street greed, BTW. But this isn't the place to address that.)
It is hard to hold Mrs. Clinton responsible for the fact that the Libyans could not create a stable, inclusive, and more democratic government. Nor is Mr. Bush (or Mr. Obama) responsible for the collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of ISIS, after its most experienced senior officers had been replaced by the president's cronies.
Regarding Mr. Trump it is outrageous for him to say, one day, that he'll order U.S. armed forces to torture terrorists and kill their families in defiance of U.S. law, then, informed that the U.S. military is forbidden to violate U.S. law, assure us that "I've always been a leader, and believe me, they'll do what I say." The next day he said he'd never ask anyone to break the law. And the day after that he promised that he'd make sure the law was changed so that the torture of terrorist prisoners would be entirely legal.
At this point it seems hardly worth mentioning that waterboarding by the CIA (done to about four prisoners only) was designed to elicit information. Mr. Trump implies that that - and "much, much worse" - should be used as punishment (perhaps even of American citizens) to show the enemy just how tough we are. One would think that the current round-the-clock bombing alone would send a sufficient message.
Mrs. Clinton is the only one in the field whose experience and, very importantly, rationality qualify her to be President of the United States.
Those who say that Mr. Trump is merely "telling the audience what they want to hear" might consider that, as of now, there is a much larger audience that would prefer to hear something very different.
But whether he believes his own words or not, he still chooses to say what he says.