With 2016 having been such an extraordinary year when it comes to political battles, it is impossible for any recap to do it justice. Instead of re-hashing the entire year’s political struggle, instead we are just going to go through the top 10 political rivalries of 2016.
10. Donald Trump vs. Jeb! Bush
This is the political rivalry that really made all of this madness possible. Jeb Bush, who was clearly the Establishment favorite to win the nomination for the Republican Party, found himself against a surprisingly stiff grassroots resistance that backed Trump. The real estate mogul attacked Jeb on every subject he could think of – Common Core, his wife, imminent domain (for some reason) – and came out on top in the end when Bush had no choice but to withdraw from the race.
9. Chris Christie vs. Marcobot Robio
Chris Christie was every bit the attack dog at times we all knew him to be. He was fierce in his attacks, and his final barrage was against Marco Rubio in a live debate. Christie attacked Rubio (rightly so) on the near-robotic nature of his talking points. He so flustered Marcobot Robio that the latter actually didn’t retaliate, but gave a virtually identical talking point, which Christie gleefully pointed out and mocked him over. It crushed anything else Rubio would get to say in that debate, and Christie would victoriously fold his campaign not too long later and begin supporting Donald Trump.
8. Ted Cruz vs. Donald Trump
When it comes down to conservative grassroots, there were very few who were liked as much as Ted Cruz was. However, the utter strangeness of Donald Trump’s appeal to the grassroots led to a fierce battle between the two candidates, with Cruz more or less struggling to win the people who loved him right up until Trump came along. Cruz’s mishandling of Trump from the get-go (supporting him, then fighting against him) proved fatal. Cruz was suddenly hated by large swaths of the conservative base as they flocked to support the loud and politically incorrect businessman instead. He never recovered.
7. Rand Paul vs. Campaigning
Few political rivalries were as odd as Rand Paul’s seemingly utter hatred of his campaign, the voters, and the idea of trying to win in general. To be fair, Paul would have been a good candidate at any point in American history when the nation wasn’t faced with geopolitical foes abroad, ranging from terrorist groups to Russia (or so the Democrats now tell us). Paul, a libertarian, was very much against the idea of going abroad to deal with these opponents. He also seemed to completely loathe the idea of doing anything to try to endear himself to voters, like livestreaming parts of the campaign.
6. Marco Rubio vs. Ted Cruz
There were three camps. The Rubio Camp, the Cruz Camp, and the Trump Camp. The Rubio Camp and the Cruz Camp fought each other in ways that were just as annoying as the two actual candidates attacking each other. Cruz, desperate for some conservatives to come back to him, tried to attack Rubio in multiple ways, and Rubio would have none of it. The most embarrassing of these exchanges was during a live debate, when Cruz shouted in Spanish at Rubio that they could finish the debate en Espanol if he wanted to. Rubio did not respond, and Cruz didn’t look good in the exchange. However, Rubio’s campaign tactic of not agreeing to a ceasefire and closing up shop before Florida could very well have screwed both candidates over.
5. Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders was a socialist no one in the general public had really heard of until he came along and challenged Hillary Clinton to Mortal Kombat with Words (or, as boring political pundits call them, “debates”). His words took on a new life, and he rallied the young, impressionable, and utterly broke college kids to his cause with talk of free things from the government and how evil big business was. He attacked Hillary’s past speeches, her ties to Wall Street, and pushed her further to the Left than she really wanted to go. Even Nature signaled its preference of Sanders by sending a bird on a campaign stage to endorse him.
4. Mike Cernovich vs. The Alt-Right
Mike Cernovich is an alt-right scumbag who has been a very active voice in the online alt-right community throughout the Trump campaign. He was so alt-right that he and a bunch of other alt-righters decided that, in order to celebrate Trump’s election properly, they would host a Deploraball. Then, things went south. Cernovich told another alt-righter to calm down with the Nazi salutes, and that alt-righter, who was on the committee with Cernovich to organize the Deploraball or whatever, said “No.” They fought in a DM on Twitter, and Cernovich announced the other guy was no longer going to be on the committee… To which the other guy said “No. You won’t be.”
3. Hillary Clinton vs. The Cold, Unfeeling Hands of Time
Hillary Clinton looked old. She sounded old. She acted old. This isn’t a sexist, ageist rant or anything. It’s how she was throughout the campaign. She tried to act hip and interact with millennials, but all we saw was a woman who simply could not relate to anything that came into existence after her husband’s presidency. Including people.
2. John Kasich vs. The American People
Much like that sad, sad nerd in high school who couldn’t get it through his head that the popular girl didn’t like him even a little bit, and was just using him to do her homework, John Kasich plodded along throughout the election cycle thinking “Any moment, the American people are going to love me.” Unfortunately, the nerd didn’t grow up to be hugely successful and make the hot, popular chick regret everything. He lost. And he didn’t give up after it was clear he would never win. Weeks after he folded, there was a report that he was overheard at an airport on the phone with someone saying something along the lines of “I was supposed to be the hero.” Which he didn’t. At all.
1. Donald Trump vs. The World
Not content with slaughtering more than a dozen presidential candidates, Donald Trump did what every kid 7-18 wants to do in their lifetime: defeat math and science. Numbers, actual scientific data, even fell to the businessman-turned-president-elect when he decided by sheer tyranny of will to win on November 8th, 2016. Not online did he defeat Hillary, but he also defeated the mainstream media, Democrats as a whole, and reality. It is unclear how one stops this man, but he has turned the political world, and the real world, upside down.