Lately, I’ve had two separate thoughts about the 2016 presidential election cycle. The first relates to Hillary Clinton; the second involves what happens if Donald Trump loses.
Hillary Clinton has clearly lost a significant following among Lefties. How everything plays out we won’t know for a while, but many Left-leaning people have “12 on a 1-10 scale” antipathy toward Ms. Clinton. Thinking about this situation brought to mind the Swim Coach Firing. (We going back more than 45 years here.)
I swam competitively between ages 8 and about 17, on and off. (More off than on as I got older, although I swam as a freshman at Beloit College.) My first coach was Sherman Ralsey Miller IV aka Minger. (If you were a kid with that handle, you’d come up with a nickname, too.) Minger was a great coach and a good friend who I surely frustrated too often. Sadly he died young about a year ago.
After a few years we got a new head coach, Charlie Hickox, (Minger was demoted to assistant coach.) Charlie had won three gold medals in the 1968 Olympics. He was a nice guy—he became an attorney / developer in Phoenix, and died way too young just shy of six years ago—but, apparently, not the coach he was expected to be. He was fired within a year or two, and replaced as the head coach by Minger Miller.
When Charlie was fired I promptly quit the team. “No coach; no swim,” said I. Of course, being a pre-teen, it never occurred to me that my stand told Minger Miller I thought nothing of him. After a few tough conversations I came back, but I’ve never forgotten the episode.
So here we are now. Hillary Clinton has been right on children, women, the environment, health care, and so many other issues. She got Iraq wrong. So did many others. No excuses here, but in 1964 the Gulf of Tonkin resolution—the catalyst for significant involvement in Vietnam—passed by a collective House / Senate vote of 504-2. Plenty of legislators got a pass, later, about having gotten it wrong. (Yes, I know many think Hillary Clinton is also a corporatist tool. I don’t agree but I think whether she is or isn’t is irrelevant, for there is much, more than dime’s worth of a difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and she is more right on everything that matters than he is.)
My Feel the Berner friends have, I fear, placed perfect ahead of good, just as I thought I was doing when I was 11-years-old. Frankly, my DC contacts—people who are plugged in pretty well—tell me Jane and Bernie Sanders might have a hard time filling a table of eight for an event, with both of them in attendance. (“DC” really doesn’t like him!)
Wrapping up on Secretary Clinton, I was pure as an 11-year-old when Joe Tofel fired Charlie Hickox. And, like the Feel the Berners who fail to appreciate Hillary Clinton’s whole record, I failed to appreciate the alternative, a man who had made many boys and girls into fine swimmers and really good people.
On to the Donald. Lots of paper, print, and keystrokes have been devoted to what happens if Donald Trump gets elected. Frankly, while apologists claim he will be a mainstream POTUS, dedicated to maintaining the United States of America as the world’s sole, go-to superpower, not one utterance supports this conclusion.
My thinking has taken me to a different place: What if Donald Trump doesn’t take the oath on January 20, 2017? He has pumped up millions of people. And these are not people who seem to be operating in “Que sera, sera” mode. Instead, they are angry and the Trump campaign and the Republican Party have validated their anger. So what happens if—when, I hope—the nation rejects Mr. Trump? Do these people say “Oh well, we’ll get ’em next time?” And what if, as seems more likely by the day, the election is close?
Just some random thoughts from a blogger with time on his hands. Thoughts welcomed.