This is a dumb election. It's not because the opponents are the same and it's definitely not Hillary Clinton's fault. It's a dumb election because Donald Trump suffers from the insane delusion that years of high ratings playing a celebrity billionaire villain on reality TV shows means that people like and respect him and so he tried to turn the election into one about the likability of his persona versus the likability of his opponent.
To give Trump some due here -- this actually worked for him in the Republican primary, as he prevailed over a dozen and a half goofs through the sheer force of his own personality. But that was in front of an audience that really did like the Trump character of The Apprentice and it was against a large field of mostly weak politicians who fell into Trump's game.
Hillary Clinton, always the Tracy Enid Flick in the room, was never going to fall for Trump's game. If Trump chose to run as the powerful, popular, forceful jock, she would stick to her knitting as the woman actually qualified for the job at hand. It takes bravery to be yourself. She had already lost an election, after all, to a more charismatic opponent. But Obama is truly likable and Trump is not and Obama could reasonably match Clinton's competence while Trump definitely cannot.
In a race between a blowhard and a smarty-pants, the blowhard can often control the pace. Trump has been so out there that he has won pretty much all of the media and public attention. The race is, in ways unfair to Clinton (though to her practical advantage) a referendum on Trump's mental fitness. That's fine, in so far as my side will wind up winning.
It's not fine in that it's left us with a dumb election. A truly dumb election. We have discussed grabbing pussy, accepting election results, building walls that won't be built and the influence of Vladimir Putin and we have had pretty much no discussion of climate change, LGBT rights, police tactics, bank regulation, $2.2 trillion in US profits tax sheltered overseas, the future NASA or, well, much of anything.
There is a silver lining, actually, if Democrats win the Senate and it is this -- Clinton hasn't had to triangulate on any issues and so she hasn't staked out any middle ground on, say, banking regulations, that would put her at odds with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and that means that the left wing of the party could have a clear runway to pursue its agenda. Other Democratic senators, by the way, will likely not stand in the way as the next wave of challenges seems to be from the left.
Still, a dumb election. We haven't discussed much of, well, anything important.