Saturday, June 11, 2016

I'm With Her

Who am I to contradict that great American philosopher, Yogi Berra? But it sure seems like it’s over – and the fight hasn’t even started.  I feel like I was getting ready for a championship bout, only to hear that one of the boxers knocked himself out heading into the ring.  

My mind tells me that “Anything can happen in a Presidential election, especially when neither of the candidates is especially popular.”  But my heart says, “Are you kidding?   One candidate is a former Senator, a former Secretary of State, and one of the most knowledgeable public policy mavens in Washington.  And the other candidate acts like a character in Porky’s.”  (You remember, the movie with such classic lines as, “Paging Mike Hunt.  Paging Mike Hunt.”)

Eight months ago, Trump was that guy at the end of the bar who was cracking up the patrons with his off-color humor.  At 10:00 p.m., you laugh with him as often as not.  But now it’s midnight, and he’s still there, the same loudmouth, only he’s had four more beers and you’ve heard the same stupid lines for the past two hours.   What was once funny has become pathetic – you feel sorry for the drunk, and you feel even sorrier for yourself for having to listen to him.

“Paging Mike Hunt.  Paging Mike Hunt.”

Honestly, I don’t mind Trump’s foul mouth tendencies.  In fact, I kind of like them.  Who wouldn’t want a President who’d begin a State of the Union with the line, “Pull my finger.”  But the problem is that once the ensuing smell would dissipate, Trump wouldn’t have anything to say of  substance.  He’d merely regale us with name calling, empty promises, and the strong feeling that he cares as little about the Constitution as he does about “2 Corinthians.” 

Sorry to say it, but this blog is a “law free zone.”  I make my living practicing law and I try to keep the law as far removed from my avocational life as possible.  But how can I not point out that Donald seems to have no respect for the judicial branch of the government or the fundamental principles that the judiciary has enunciated?  One minute, he is calling for more than a billion people to be banned from the United States because of their religion.  The next minute, he is questioning whether a federal judge should be disqualified from a case because of his race.   How can any voter be confident that if Trump were elected President, he would honor the rule of law or consider himself constrained by the separation of powers?    

And then there are the domains over which Trump would legitimately be in charge, including the military.  Does he appear to you to be someone who should be trusted with the power to launch a nuclear strike?  What if a world leader insulted him by making fun of his hair or the size of his hands?  Would Donald feel compelled to at least send a few B-52s in that guy’s direction?  After all, when you’re that loudmouth at the end of the bar, you come to control the largest arsenal of weapons in the known universe, and someone insults you, you blow the son of a bitch up!  

Believe me, my friends. I have a sense of humor.  I hate the P.C. culture.  If you hung out with my college friends and me at a Rose Bowl Tailgater, you’d hear for yourself how much I love to laugh at the up-tight, sanctimonious, and smug culture known as official Washington.  I appreciate that Trump has at times served as a welcome antidote to that culture.  I appreciate that Hillary, and the spin doctors and other self-seekers who seem to flock to her like bees to their queen, frequently remind us of what we can’t stand about the D.C. mindset.  They’re the “sophisticates” that my hero, Stanley Kubrick, used to mock mercilessly.  They pretend to be superior, when in fact they go to the potty and have sex just like the rest of us.

“Paging Mike Hunt.  Paging Mike Hunt.”

But folks, this election is not being held to determine who gets to write one-liners for the next National Lampoon movie.  We’re deciding the next leader of the free world.   We need someone who is experienced in governance, has a public policy knowledge base that is wide and deep, is willing to learn what s/he doesn’t know, is willing to delegate to others, and is quintessentially sane.   At this point, we only have one candidate who fits that bill.  

So the choice is crystal clear.  In fact, it is so clear that regardless of whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent who is equally fed up with both, you are well advised NOT to throw away your vote and to instead strongly advocate one of the two combatants.

My vote will go to Hillary Clinton.  And I won’t just vote for her.  I’ll proclaim from the roof tops that we all had better come together and vote for her.   There is simply too much to lose by allowing the other guy even the slightest chance at victory.   And if you have never voted for Hillary before and are balking at starting now, I understand where you’re coming from.  I have never voted for her either.   But I don’t plan on telling my grandchildren that I had an opportunity to vote for Donald Trump’s opponent and didn’t seize it.  I wouldn’t want that on my conscience.  Do you?

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