Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nose clips for sale

It's over Tuesday. Yes, the election campaign that has given freedom, democracy and goverment service a bad name will finally, finally end, and we must go vote.

Except for the voting. And if the top cliche of the campaign is true, one could become, well, comfortably well off by buying a bunch of nose clips someplace and selling them at the polling place door. (Is interfering with a voter's ability to breathe rigging an election?)

With all due respect to third-, fourth- and 17th-party candidates, would-be substitutes, and the Sweet

Meteor o'Death, we've only got two choices, and I'm here to endorse Rock over Hard Place.

Those two are represented , of course, by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In a campaign world where negative advertising is king, these two have slung enough - and some of it true - to make, well, a new Sweet Meteor o'Death.

Much has been said about the fact that these two candidates have higher negatives than any other previous candidates, quite a feat when you consider such past contenders as George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Richard Nixon and Mr. Warmth, Calvin Coolidge.

Trump, of course, started his campaign by going after Mexicans, then Muslims, and by this point, 
T-shirt by @jephjacques
wants to build a wall around Megyn Kelly. He believes Vladimir Putin is a good guy, the pope needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and that the only attacking army that ever got war right was the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. He treats women as objects, minorities as useless, elections as rigged and people who want to know how he got so rich after declaring a handful of bankruptcies as a nuisance.

Clinton, meanwhile, carries the weight of being Vince Foster's killer, a secret crony of Wall Street, a money-grubber with ties to American enemies and somebody with no stamina. She also has been the No. 2 target of conservatives since her husband, the No. 1 target, took office. And with Democrats having been president for four of the last six terms, she bears the marks of all of their policies, some of which haven't worked out.

Of course, I could get a good phone book (remember those, old-timers?) and blindly pick somebody who could, with proper advertising, a good speechwriter and a controllable temper, probably do just as well. (In fact, if I had to pick any candidate to write in, I'd write in William Weld, the Libertarian VP candidate, whom I do not always agree with but who has shown sanity and intelligence in his few interviews.)

But we're stuck with The Hair and the Pantsuit. Write-ins won't work. Third parties won't work. It will be one or the other (unless the meteor arrives before Jan. 20)

So it will have to be Hillary Clinton. She has made mistakes, and I believe she showed contempt for the voters with her private e-mail server. She was a public official at the time, and needed to follow the rules about accessiblity of her official writings.

That said, she has also worked as a senator and Secretary of State. She knows what is required as part of the government, and she is as familiar with the workings of the White House as any non-incumbent has ever been.

As for Trump, he can build buildings and golf courses. Those are not small accomplishments, and if it weren't for his history of stiffing contractors and others (including his pollster this fall), would say much in his favor.

But he has never had to work with anything in government other than permit offices and the DMV. He has not had to handle the fates of the world. And his sheltered life makes him ill-equipped to understand the problems in the country he wants to run. He does not see individuals as people, he sees them as inferiors, minorities who really have no business being here.

And if he denies that, let him look at many of his supporters. He has become a focus for white nationalists and others who believed that the U.S. was better when women and minorities were kept away from any connection to power.

Ah, women. I'm going to leave anything prior to Trump's campaign out of this; still, such expressions as his snide remarks against Clinton and Kelly, among others; his attacks on the family of a Muslim soldier who gave his life for his country, against former POW John McCain, and others show he knows not when to shut up.

He has shown the maturity of a spoiled toddler, one who says anybody who disagrees with him hates him. It has reached the point that in this final weekend, his staff finally got him (at least at this writing) to stop his 3 a.m. tweeting of insults to his enemies, usually at the talk-show level of calling a newspaper "The New York Slimes."

Hunter S. Thompson noted that George McGovern, who had been called by many "the most decent man in the Senate," which was not quite the same thing as being the best candidate for President of the United States. "For that," he wrote, "McGovern would need at least one dark kinky streak of Mick Jagger in his soul."

That's about all Trump has. Whether you agree with Clinton or not, she has tried to do something to help people.

And that's how I will vote.

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