Monthly Archives: November 2016

DISREGARD ON BROADWAY

Sam: You’re a very rude young woman. I know Douglas from the Rotary, and I can’t believe he’d want you treating customers so badly.

Cashier: I don’t think I was treating her badly.

Sam: Then you must be from New York.

Sam Burns (played by John Lithgow) in Terms of Endearment, the 1983 Academy Award winner for Best Picture.

 

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump supporters attempted to paint their opponents as coastal elitists out of touch with and contemptuous of the nation’s heartland. Now comes an event on Broadway —  possibly the bluest thoroughfare in the bluest city in the country – that portrays liberals as … well … as coastal elitists out of touch with and contemptuous of the nation’s heartland.

hamilton

Last Friday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence took his daughter to see Hamilton, the hottest show on Broadway. As they took their seats, audience members booed. Pence took it in stride, telling his daughter: “That’s what freedom sounds like.”  After the show, as Pence and his daughter were leaving, they were treated to a lecture  by Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who portrays Aaron Burr. Pence stopped and listened. The next morning, he told interviewers that he was not offended, and he encouraged everyone to see the show.

.pence

Although some commentators have dismissed the incident as “dumb news,” it nonetheless deserves examination. It tells us much about the current state of division in our country, and perhaps even a little about how that division propelled Trump to the presidency. Continue reading

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GO WASTE, YOUNG MAN

“Don’t waste your vote.”

That’s the message conveyed to the electorate in this, the autumn of our discontent. Vote for Hillary Clinton or vote for Donald Trump. A vote for a third-party or write-in candidate is a wasted gesture.

It’s a difficult message to stomach because in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the nation has the worst electoral menu in its history. Just look at how their more articulate supporters justify their preference.

disgust

William Bennett served as Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration. He supports Trump. In a November 1 piece for FoxNews Opinion, Bennett and co-author F.H. Buckley called  Trump “a Sam Slick who seemingly has taken every legal advantage offered by the Tax and Bankruptcy Codes. And you expected something better from a New York City businessman?”

On the same day that column appeared, Conor Friederdorf, political staff writer for The Atlantic, offered this ringing endorsement of Hillary Clinton: “There are so many politicians, many Republicans among them, that I would rather have as America’s president. If not for Trump, I would not even consider voting for her.”

That’s what their supporters are saying, so one can understand the vitriol spewed by their opponents. Not surprisingly, the New York Times reports today that more than eight out of ten voters are repulsed rather than excited by the campaign.

But wouldn’t a vote for anyone other than these two tawdry products be wasted?

In fact, the opposite may be true. Voting for Hillary or Trump would be wasteful because neither will be in a position to accomplish anything after winning the election. Both will face congressional or judicial investigations. Trump is scheduled to go on trial later this month for fraud concerning Trump University. If elected, he will face investigations into his Foundation, his taxes, and his supposed ties to Russia. Meanwhile, Hillary already faces investigations into her family Foundation, as well her private email server.

Neither candidate is likely to find Congress cooperative. Trump will not only face the unified opposition (and disdain) of congressional Democrats, he will also face opposition from his own party. At an October meeting of Republican activists and intellectuals at the Hoover Institution, the consensus was that the Party is “in for a pretty long civil war” after the election. Meanwhile, Republicans have already begun discussing grounds for impeachment of a President Hillary Clinton.

But even if a President Trump or a President Clinton is unable to accomplish anything, why vote for an alternative who cannot possibly win?

Well, not so fast. One outsider actually does have at least a theoretical chance. Continue reading

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