Two years ago, it would have been ridiculous to consider that Hillary Clinton would emerge as the ‘old-school” establishment candidate.
Two years ago, Donald Trump was a mere TV name with some celebrity from his business dealings.
And look where we are now.
Mr. Trump clobbered his fellow Republican candidates in the primaries. He has become known as a ‘shoot from the hip’ kind of guy, who holds no words back. His words have seriously stung women, Mexicans, his fellow candidates, and Muslims, to name a few. He has vilified our allies across the globe, and had good things to say about our foes. He personally came up with nicknames for Republicans and Democrats alike – “Little” Markie Rubio. “Lyin’” Ted Cruz, “Crooked” Hillary, and “Pocahontas” Elizabeth Warren. Even though he is the presumptive Republican nominee, the big name Republicans have been slow to endorse him, even to the point of announcing their intention to miss the Republican convention in Cleveland. His policies have been deemed lacking in any substance, detail, or practicality. (PS – thanks to a friend on FACEBOOK who sent me a site where I could read his platform in more detail than I’ve seen otherwise.)
Having been a teacher for 34 years, allow me to make a comparison. Let’s say there’s a wonderful curriculum out there. It effectively works for a great number of students. It is well thought out, it is clear and concise, it is a proven winner in so many ways. Let’s say, though, that the teacher presenting that curriculum insults his students. He puts them down based on who their parents are. He cusses in class. He pays no more than lip service to the curriculum, preferring to give his own version and methodology to the concepts, couching them in the promise that the education he presents would be fantastic, amazing, and totally unbelievably wonderful. Such a teacher would never last in a classroom. He would be summarily dismissed for such behaviors.
And so is Mr. Trump. His behaviors and his ill treatment of people negates anything his platform may carry. Mr. Trump should not be president, no matter how wonderful his policies and proposals may be. His demeanor is unacceptable.
Her candidacy was considered more or less a formality, but then what, Mrs. Clinton? There’s no question she’s been in the national and international scene for a good 25 years now, serving as the First Lady, as a senator from New York, running for president in 2008, and serving as Secretary of State. There have been the elements of controversy over those years as well – you can name them in many ways, but there’s White Water, the whole Lewinski thing, Benghazi, email servers – and she’s been seemingly embroiled in them but never quite formally tagged with any charges. Add the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, and that formality isn’t quite so secure, is it?
Yes, allow me another comparison from my teaching years. As it happens so often, there is often that student in a class who seems to have it all going – smart, efficient, maybe, but this student is often the one who seems to be in the middle of turmoil in the school. The kids come back from a bathroom break, and one of them is crying over something, but no one quite knows why. Another student seems to get shunned by the others for some rumor that’s been started – and that rumor can’t be pinned down, nor can the source. Upon investigation, there’s that student who seems to always be in the middle of such situations, but can never quite get pinned down as the source of the problem. This kind of student drives teachers nuts – they know something is going on, but because there’s no hard evidence, there’s just that aura.
And so it is Mrs. Clinton. I myself have problems with her having somehow running for and elected senator from New York – her background was a childhood in Illinois and then in Arkansas with her Bill Clinton – sounds like carpetbagging to me. Then there’s all those other things – can’t quite pin them on her, but nonetheless, there she is, amid the situations in some way or another.
So, as of now, I have not selected a candidate. In the past, I’ve hoped for Colin Powell. I’ve also recently seen Gen. Michael Hayden. Perhaps against all odds, one of these, or others like them, will get drafted so run for president. Will Bernie arise? Will one of the Republicans resurrect themselves?
I just have trouble thinking our choice is between an outright bully and one who apparently instigates things in secret ways.