The trivia question for this week is, What was the closest presidential race ever? Hint: it’s not the one you think.
As I write this, we are only days from the end of the most exhausting campaign for President of the United States that I have lived through, and I know I share that feeling with the majority of Americans. I don’t think it really matters if you have been cheering for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or some third-party remote possibility because unless you haven’t been paying attention this has been one long, stressful march by the Democrats and the Republicans to the White House. The race has been marred by insults and threats. We have seen people become thugs at rallies, egged on by Donald Trump. We watched Donald Trump turn the debate process into a carnival sideshow as he marched women across the platform who had allegedly been lovers of Bill Clinton, somehow forgetting that Bill Clinton was not running for President and that these women had nothing to do with the issues of government or world politics. I shook my fist in rage and screamed at the TV as I watched Donald Trump repeatedly interrupt Hillary Clinton in the debates while fidgeting with his microphone and snorting like some type of deranged bull with bad sinuses.
I have read post after post and been engaged in more conversations on Facebook about this election than ever (and hope this never happens again). In fact, I have talked more about politics in the days leading up to November 8, 2016, than I have since my days as a conscientious objector and organizer against the Vietnam War. Direct U.S. military involvement in that war ended on August 15, 1973, which was 43 years ago. I remember being awakened in the middle of the night and told the war was over, and I had two thoughts. The first was thank God, and the second was what am I going to do now? This would be the first time in my adult life the war had not hung over my head. I rolled over and went back to sleep. I was exhausted.
There is a long list of crimes, both in essence and in fact, that Donald Trump has committed, and they stretch back before his run for the White House began. I have argued the cold, hard, indisputable, legal facts, and yet I have found people unable or unwilling to believe them. The short list, the very short list: Trump charity fraud, Trump calling for nuclear proliferation, Trump calling for national stop-and-frisk, Trump sued over Trump U. fraud, Trump calling Mexicans rapists, Trump questioning a judge’s integrity because of parent’s heritage, Trump saying women should be punished for having abortions, Trump openly admitting to not paying his employees during the debate, and as recently as October 11 of this year, Federal Judge Ronnie Adams ordering a status conference to be held at 11:30 a.m. on December 16, 2016 (more than a month after Election Day) at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, calling for both sides to provide information that might assist the court in advancing to either settlement or trial the over 20-year-old case of the rape of a 13-year-old girl by Donald Trump. These are not wild crazy ideas I made up but provable facts, and yet as Andy Borowitz wrote in the New Yorker on May 12, 2015, scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans.
I have reached the point of saying you don’t have to like Hillary Clinton, and you don’t have to vote for Hillary Clinton, though I fear the possibility of a third-party vote causing a repeat of the Ralph Nader–Al Gore fiasco. Vote for Elmer Fudd if you must, but in the name of sanity, don’t let Donald Trump become president.
I’m exhausted, and I hope on the night of November 8 all is said and done, and I can roll over and go to sleep.
In the podcast, there will probably be no more politics except for the answer to the trivia question, but there will be some rock and roll news and history. I hope you’ll join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.