“About” Taking a Day Off
INTERESTING STUFF – 7 May 2016

Old People's Take on the 2016 Presidential Campaign

This blog is about “what it's really like to get old.” Almost always, you can rely on that and when the topic does go sideways, usually there is a component – however small – that involves elders.

Maybe not today. We'll see.

Earlier this week, two of the three remaining Republican candidates for president dropped out the race and Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee of that party. The “presumptive” part is a short-term formality and already I'm tired of it. Let's just call him the nominee.

At every move during the primary season, Trump has outfoxed the media who let down the country - and by that I don't mean only us voters but the founding fathers and the Constitution itself - by covering the campaign as entertainment.

The media gave Trump more face time by magnitudes than any other candidate, fawned over him like the rock star he thinks he is, never held him to account for any of his vague or frightening or insincere or changing-by-the-minute policy positions.

The most important decision a country makes, choosing its leader, has been turned into a reality show by the media and there is no indication that will change during the general election campaign between now and November 8.

The subject of Trump almost always comes up at the weekly current affairs discussion group I attend and following the Indiana primary this week, it took more than the usual amount of time.

God knows emotions run high in this election campaign, but the 25-30 attendees at the gathering are mostly careful to control our political feelings. Maybe it's because we are all old and have a lot of experience at how testy - and possibly poisonous - people can get over politics.

This week, however, one attendee proposed an act I will not repeat here that might, the person suggested, take place between the election of Donald Trump and the inauguration, and asked what the rest of us thought about that.

Everyone punted including, I am sorry to say, me as though each of us were repeating a silent mantra, "don't go there, don't go there, don't go there." Since then it has been eating at me that I did not, at minimum, ask, Are you suggesting what it sounds like you are?

Thanks to Trump alone, our public political conversation has become so course, so vulgar and so violent that it has seeped down to a polite little social forum and I doubt the one I attend is the only place it has happened.

Donald Trump is a dangerous man in a certain kind of way. Out of fear, maybe, of being tagged with Godwin's Law*, hardly anyone with a public voice says HOW he is a danger to the United States and the world.

One who just did so, however, is Andrew Sullivan, a conservative (and controversial) political pundit who stepped out of retirement this week to comment on what he calls our “dystopian election campaign.”

While invoking Godwin's Law himself in a long, fascinating and readable essay in New York magazine, he wrote about Trump:

”To call this fascism doesn’t do justice to fascism. Fascism had, in some measure, an ideology and occasional coherence that Trump utterly lacks.

“But his movement is clearly fascistic in its demonization of foreigners, its hyping of a threat by a domestic minority (Muslims and Mexicans are the new Jews), its focus on a single supreme leader of what can only be called a cult, and its deep belief in violence and coercion in a democracy that has heretofore relied on debate and persuasion.”

Generally, people's fascist and Hitler references are disproportionate to their topic but in this case, not so much. Further, Sullivan says,

”...Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others.

“In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.”

One person who has dipped her toe in those waters is the MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow. Here is a portion of what she said at the top of her program on Wednesday night following the Indiana primary this week. (My apologies for the low quality of the video; it's the best I could locate.)

She is right, we are in uncharted political waters and the pundits who almost to a person told us Trump did not have chance of attaining the nomination will undoubtedly be equally mistaken in any predictions they make between now and November 8.

It seems to me that this is the most important, most potentially earth-shaking election of our long lives and for that reason I want to give us old people a chance to weigh in here.

Or maybe I'm just trying to atone for not speaking out when I should have in that discussion group this week. Either way, I'll shut up now and it's your turn. What do you make of the Trump candidacy? How has he affected the campaign so far? The country? Can he win the presidency? Please don't guess - give us your reasons. And how do you imagine a Trump presidency at home and in U.S. relationships with the world?

Andrew Sullivan's essay in New York magazine had me riveted. You can read it here.

* GODWIN'S LAW: If an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.

Comments

Donald Trump is (and has been) a man that deals with the most despicable people on the planet.. I'm referring to NYC real estate developers, land owners and landlords.
These pigs have ruined the middle class in NYC and are on their way to do the same to the rest of the country.
If you lie with dogs, you get up with fleas.

You certainly hit the nail on the head when you said that the media has covered this election as entertainment, which it most certainly is not. I have been reading a biography of James Madison recently and have come more and more to an appreciation of his careful discernment of human nature. The thing that has shocked me, and I mean shocked, has been the number of people who are really, avidly supporting him. I never thought he would be more than a passing interest of the day. It never entered my mind that there were enough Republicans to get him anywhere near the nomination. I do not think that he will win the election. I just cannot bring myself to consider the possibility that enough Americans would be that stupid. Let me end on what I started with: the media should be horsewhipped for the way they turned what should have been a serious discussion of problems and policies into a disgusting circus.

I rarely read Politico, but did read an article by 5 people who had written books about Trump. Scared the heck out of me.

I'm with President Obama and his message to journalists/media folks at the WHCD last week - "Hope y'all are proud of yourselves." I would add "Shame on you."

I think Trump is considered a gift for many, not only the media, but the merchandisers and other fringe businesses. He's the biggest thing to be manufactured this year. And he's one scary person, who seemed to jump into the shallow pool on a lark, a dare, a joke, with the ego of a lifelong bully.

His chances of being elected are slim, I think. The international community and organizations will go all out to defeat him, sparing no expense - China and most others has a vested interest in the US to remain stable. The far right, tea party people will find it hard to vote for him once they realize he's not promoting them and that they've been played as fools. Many Republicans will cross over to the Democratic ticket or choose to sit this election out.

And the women, LGBT, black and hispanic people will be lined up en masse to defeat him because of his hysterical policies.

But hey, what if he picks a really good v.p. candidate that would be the rational, viable, establishment face so Donald could continue his crazyness?

It's ironic that the Republican disgrace of redistricting wherever they could now might determine the length of how far this man can go, while leaving the party in tatters. But that's what greed does, and maybe this country needs this extremism to find its way (back?) to worthwhile, responsible politics and governing.

I am truly worried about and ashamed of our nation that so many people have voted for Trump and I do blame the media for the most part. However, I thought higher of the collective morals and ethical base of our country and people's ability to spot a person totally unsuitable for public office. And I wonder if some can't tell the difference between a reality TV show and something as important was electing the leader of the free world. I know people are angry with our do-nothing house and congress but electing a thin-skinned, unpredictable person with the temperament of wasp whose nest was hit with a stick is not the answer.

I have volunteered for Clinton's campaign.
This is a first for me and many of my friends, but if I did't work to defeat Trump, I wouldn't be able to hold my head up.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" comes to mind. Where is the "child" who will
be heard saying the truth?

If, as I have understood from the media, there are really only around 40% of voters (Republican and Independent,I assume that means) who are in Trump's camp, and there is a means to get out the vote (with all the shenanigans of the Repubs to keep people from voting) and the sane population gets out and votes, then the emperor will be one who is clothed.

Lots of ifs, no way to guess with the commercialization of our journalism that once was our guiding light, now dimmed to flickering.

It's scary! We here in Toronto thought there was no way that the infamous Rob Ford could be elected mayor. Ford Nation won and it was havoc around here. Let's be very vigilant. There is a Trump Nation.

I keep thinking Trump will finally announce, "Only kidding; I'm not running for President." It is unbelievable that someone who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about has gotten so far, but goes to prove how sick of politicians many people are.
He can't possible win, right? Right?????

Your neighbors (Canada, for one), are watching this circus with disbelief and horror. We have every reason to be worried if Trump gains power. He will disrupt all trade agreements, build walls, deport legitimate citizens, and endanger any institutions that stand between him and his hunger for domination. Thank you, Simone, for quoting Obama's comment to the press, "Hope y'all are proud". CNN deserves special mention—their hysterical and high-pitched panels, masquerading as analysis, are a nightmare. At this point, we don't dare turn it off—we need to know when to pack up and head for the hills!

I am amazed & appalled that Donald Trump has gotten the Republican nomination to be president. How can anyone listen to what he says, and what he doesn't say, and think that this man represents all that is good about America? I certainly hope that all of the people he has offended by his rants will come out and vote in the general election. I think it would be a fitting end to this circus for him to be defeated by a large number of votes in November.

And if you look at the political columns in The New York Times today, how many are not about Trump? (Quicker than counting how many are all about him.) Someone should see that the emperor has no clothes!

It scares the heck out of me to think about a Trump presidency. The upheaval in our economy and world affairs alone would send the country reeling. And I agree so much, Ronnie, that the media is to blame for this. I see Gloria Borger and David Gergen on CNN and I can hardly believe they talk about Trump in a seriousl way. It's mind boggling. I'm definitely a moderate when it comes to politics and independent in my views but I will vote for Clinton without any reservations - the alternative is unthinkable. In fact, I read that the headline on a major German newpaper said just that: "The Unthinkable Has Come To Pass". They should know.

The worst part is that Trump is better than most of the Repub candidates. I think we are witnessing the ultimate payoff from Fox News, talk radio, and ALEC's rewriting of state legislation, all feeding an economy that is starving people from the middle down (plus the disappearance of any semblance of serious journalism).

So we have managed to stir up massive anger and frustration and in comes a salesman with a pitch. And this salesman is just that, except he's not even sure what he is selling beyond a few meaningless slogans. I don't think we can really comprehend how much damage he has already done to our reputation internationally.

But he is a symptom of deeper problems that have been ignored too long. Bernie names those and has excited young folks. The scary part is that half of them may not vote because they don't trust Hillary (comparing her to Bernie not to Trump).

I don't think Trump will win but I don't really trust my political instincts any more. He will batter Hillary during the campaign--he's already stated that he doesn't care what she says she will do as president, he's going after her past. Coupled with her inability to project a compelling vision for the future, he's more likely to deter folks from voting at all than she is likely to deter his supporters.

The open question is how the Repubs will or will not pull the party together. As a lifelong progressive democrat, I'm not sure which is preferable.

A very scary time.

Is there anyone out there, anywhere, who will actually admit to voting for The Donald?

Why are folks voting for him? What is the catalyst? I see huge numbers of negative stories - I can hardly think of any favorable articles about this candidate. (Caveat: I don't watch TV news programs where he seems to hold sway) Still, he garners large voting blocks.

Is it just television fame, or is it something else. Is there a Donald voter in our little universe who has an answer?

Our cohort has seen enormous changes in our lifetimes - but this one? Well, words fail me.

When Trump first announced his candidacy, I thought it was a joke, a narcissistic rich man deciding to amuse himself for a while by dabbling in politics. But the media jumped in and gave him more free publicity than he could have imagined (or maybe he did). And thanks to the media, Trump had a huge lead before his opponents had even taken the field. In the months that followed, I mirrored Sullivan's feelings, going from incredulity to nausea to dread to outright alarm.

As for Trump now pivoting and becoming more "presidential," I don't believe he's capable of that. And even if he were, like politicians before him, he cannot go through the primaries declaring one thing and change his position for the general campaign and expect no one will notice, remember, or care. Well, a lot of us will remember and care, but his supporters won't. A blind, ignorant buffoon is stampeding toward the White House, and a terrifying number of blind, ignorant Americans are following him.

It will come down to who will actually go to the polls and vote in November. Sure there are people who don't like Trump and what he stands for, but are they ones who will vote?

I hope he doesn't win, but we never thought he'd be a candidate either. All the "crazies" who usually don't care came out to vote in the primaries, and might vote in the general election. I don't even want to imagine what the country will be like with a president Trump.

As elders we cannot afford to become paralized by our anger, fear and disgust. My 10-year-old grandson, who doesn't have TV, asked, "What is the worst thing that can happen if Trump is elected?" I do not want him (or me) to find out...

Where to place the blame . . . ? In everyone who has taken so much of DT's rhetorical nonsense to heart. Come on folks - where did you place your common sense?
Twelve months, or so, ago we all knew this DT was a reality show - and now really think what we see and hear is real. How thoughtless.
This phenomenon first occurred during Newt's time. Remember the "your with us, or against us"? Then during the last Repub administration - who would have guessed Molly Ivins' 'that half-witted Texan' would ever be elected? Then McCain's showboat: Sarah. Really! How many of you bought those folks . . . ?
I am (was) an election official and have seen the people stream into my voting place with those particular stars in their eyes. None of whom knew what or who they were voting for.
Take note: the common thread in all recent conversations is, "I'll probably not vote". Just exactly what 'they' want to hear. Give up your remaining chance to retain liberty and justice to all - by simply not voting. Now that's saying something (by saying nothing?).
Ironic . . . Who is to blame? We are.

I just returned to Seattle after visiting my sister in my hometown in western Pennsylvania. She told me she is voting for Trump--did vote for him in the primary, and I had the feeling that the rest of the town has similar feelings.

My hometown is a steeltown, formerly dominated by Armco Steel, where almost everyone worked in my childhood. Armco was headed by a benevolent rich man who looked upon his employees as people he needed to take care of so that they would take care of him. Jobs at the plant were enough to support a family without the wife working back then; he created a park for employees, sponsored a fair every year with fireworks and amusement park rides; benefits were generous. You get the picture.

Sometime in the last decade or so, Armco was sold to a multinational conglomerate. You can guess what happened next. People were fired with no notice, wages and benefits went down. My sister and her husband, a retired Armco man, got their insurance changed from a good plan to one that pays almost nothing. They are angry, but they blame politicians rather than the corporation. Trump speaks to their anger; it's as simple as that. They are not thinking logically. Moreover, they hate Hillary, whom the Repubs have routinely vilified. My sister called her a "criminal."

For me, living in the liberal bubble that is Seattle, the visit was a shock and a wake-up call. I had thought there was no chance Trump would win the election, but now I'm really worried. Will cooler heads really prevail?

As for the media, what we must always remember is that they have been taken over by corporate interests. All of the media in this country are owned by just six companies. Old style journalism has been replaced by a 24-hour news cycle that rewards sensationalism; staffing has been cut so much there is no time to produce investigative work. To their owners, media outlets today are nothing more than money-making machines--a product to be sold. I am grateful that the Seattle Times is locally owned, but I don't know how much longer they can hold out. I believe a democracy needs good journalism, and I pray that it will somehow be revived before those of us who remember it are all gone.

I notice not a single commenter prefers Trump to any other choice. We're all afraid, appalled, horrified, shaking our heads in disbelief. A preference for Trump is something one doesn't voice in polite company, and this is ever so polite company. But there are plenty of Trump voters out there, more every day as reliable voices on the right like Thomas Friedman begin to beat the drum for him. Trump is a scion of white male privilege, a wealthy man who inherited a fortune from his slumlord father and compounded it by crude business practices based on the familiar Barnum adage that "there's a sucker born every minute." We paraphrase HL Mencken to the effect that nobody ever went broke underestimating the American people, and we nod sagely about how naive and stupid they all are. Oddly, those two cliches are balanced by the wisdom of Pogo who proclaimed, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Anybody who has an opinion regarding the Kardashians, the Jenner family, the sad hotel heiress, or any of the dozens of attractive young people whose claim to our attention involves a lack of underwear and paparazzi photos of them getting out of cars is responsible for this. if you have an opinion, then you know enough about these people to have formed one. Why have you given them your attention? Anybody who has ever watched reality TV and suspended their disbelief for a moment is a likely Trump voter.

So the message here is that we better be afraid, very afraid, because while the Republicans have lost their party this year to a buffoon who senses that crude demagoguery alone might win him the election, the Democrats are little better. I'm treading on dangerous ground now, to suggest that the presumptive right-of-center Democratic nominee, a woman campaigning on the issue that she is a woman and it is her turn, has anything in common with Trump, but she does. Her very flexibility, a political strength that only her enemies treat as cynical dishonesty, mirrors Trumps own fighting style.

Sadly, the subtlety she brings to this cage match will be lost on the American voter. Only the most sophisticated among us are actually concerned with the thin portfolio of real issues she waves about in hopes of catching our attention. The Supreme Court? What does a mountaintop removal specialist in West Virginia care about the Supreme Court? Women's health issues? She'll certainly attract the votes of those who both know about and understand the implications of Texas' laws on the matter, but she'll lose the votes of the thousands of people in sports bars coast to coast who will be treated by he Fox news channels to some outre misogynist observation from Trump and find that it tickles the dark side of their sense of humor.

This is the first election with a plurality of voters who grew up without the educational support of a decent and ubiquitous public education system. We may now reap what we sowed. This is an election year foreshadowed by Mencken, whose wisdom is captured in the wry helplessness and sorrow of the quotations you can find at this link. Read 'em and weep:
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/H._L._Mencken


So many of the comments and sentiment before me resonates. I won't repeat the agony that many of us are feeling. Just know I will vote, not just against Don the Con, the charlatan extraordinaire, but for the love of my country, our collective liberties, our democracy, for our future. And as far as blame goes - first, the media and all the greed & power that fuels them, and second, those among the "collective us" who refuse (1) to get engaged, (2) to do some research around facts, (3) to apply common sense, (4) to be their own person and not a blind follower, (5) and get over their "anger" based on little fact and lots of BS. To quote the Bible - "live by the sword, die by the sword." To carry that much hate, anger in your heart, to always look for someone else to blame for your situation - well, that will never end well.

Seeing Trump become the Republican nominee is like a bad dream or a horror movie that has become real. Trump’s nomination is the result of distrust of all politicians, the decimation of the middle class, crushing student and medical debt and frankly the anti-intellectualism in our country. The Republican party has catered to the 1% and other fringe groups to their detriment. I hope that I am being too pessimistic and reason will prevail.

It's like nominating P.T. Barnum and his Circus to run America !!

Yee Gods and Little Cat Fishes! ... as my Mothers used to say!

I'm also not going to track back through the great comments here and am also very scared for this country...

During Pa. Primary I had a gentleman (our age) who was urging people to get out and vote for Bernie. During our conversation he mentioned that if Bernie didn't win the nomination he wasn't going to vote. I reminded him that every vote not cast was a vote for DT and he seemed shocked by that idea.

Maybe we could all just mention that to friends and family - just in case they are thinking of sitting this one out.

I'm no fan of Donald Trump, but I DO think the Hitler references are disproportionate to this topic and are a disservice to the millions who died because of Hitler and Stalin too. The odd thing is that conservatives don't like Trump either, b/c they don't think he's a true conservative. Anyway, imho, this is all much ado about nothing since it seems pretty obvious we're going to have another Clinton in the White House come January ... which is okay with me.

I am German, and have lived in the US for 40 years. And for 40 years I have been asked by Americans how Germany could have let Hitler happen in 1933. Well, now you know how it happens. The establishment (including the media) did not take him seriously, thought he would go away, ignored him (and his followers) as beneath contempt, quibbled over technicalities, did absolutely nothing. Our collective delusions, and the dangerous paralysis of "this cannot be happening" is what makes it happen.

As Edmund Burke knew almost 300 years ago, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (sic) to do nothing.”

My daughter just had me watch a 13 minute youtube video by Van Jones warning Democrats.

She stated that after watching it ----it made perfect sense to her that Trump would win.

Just one of the reasons --- his outrageous comments are not breaking rules-- the rules have changed

The new media rules were what helped Roosevelt win --- he understood the power of the new media "radio" and won using it.

Then came JFK and the new media "TV" and won using it

Then Obama and his use of the new media "internet" and won using it

Now we have Trump who has zeroed in on the new media out there --- the likes of twitter and reality shows ---

and the future unfolds if we somehow don't get out in front of it --- and continue to think that it really can't happen and don't respond.

Watch the video and be afraid---

I am just plain scared that Trump will actually become president. He is a narcissistic, Machiavellian psychopath! I fear that if he actually makes it there will be chaos in the streets. He so incites people. People who are for him are rabid in their opinions. It seems that reason and civility have left us completely. I have grandsons in their 20s that say if he is elected they will leave the country. They boys also say that they have many friends that are for Bernie Sanders and state that if Bernie doesn't run they will not vote. The media is so distorting the truth and perpetuating his popularity. Reality is starting to parallel every futuristic book I read in the 60s - Huxley, Wylie, Orwell, etc. It is a national embarrassment and I am just flummoxed that people can't see that.

We are witnessing the crop that was sowed by the influence of the right wing politics of the Reagan presidency. Break the unions, take the money of the big corporations and individuals and do their bidding. Then spread propaganda against the poor and disadvantaged and divide and conquer. The moneyed class have had a long term plan and I fear it is succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. They have created a Frankenstein monster and now they don't know what to do with him.

The gullible loons have always been with us and a showman like Trump is able to speak to their hatreds and fears and lead them like a herd of sheep. That there were so many of them is shocking and sickening.

Bernie is speaking to the same fears, but in a healthy way. I support him to the bitter end, but the corporate world fears him and have done their best to marginalize him from the day he announced his candidacy. They have succeeded again in defeating someone who will upset their apple cart, but they have lost in keeping his message from the people. If he had had half the coverage of Trump from the beginning he would surely have amassed more followers, but now it is almost too little too late.

So the media have the candidate that nobody seems to want and God help the Republic. As Benjamin Franklin so famously said, "You have a Republic, Sir, if you can keep it. Can we keep it?

Heart-warming comments above, and a special nod to Ines--indeed, nothing special about Germans or Americans--we're all humans, for better and worse.

Andrew Sullivan is a creep. Rachel Maddow is not. Beyond that, can't add anything except, yes, yes, yes.

I think Trump could win the election. Hillary is not appealing to a large bloc of Milleniums who are solidly behind Sanders. I am not sure they will show up on Election Day. They lack perspective because they are so new to how the polical system works.

To me, Hillary is flawed in ways that remind me of Nixon. She has never been my first choice. And please, she needs to shut Bill up! But she is far, far superior to any Republican that ran for the nomination this year. But I don't know if she can really debate Trump. He doesn't follow the rules. She could look weak if she allows herself to be bullied. And, commentators seem fixated on her voice!

Some of what Trump says is the truth. Most of what he says is demogoguery. I am amazed that this sensitive, germ phobic man seems strong to people. But there it is.

Yes, he can win. Will the Republic stand? I believe there are enough checks and balances built in that it can. Will four years under Trump be awful for everyone, yes!

As an aging Baby Boomer, this election really scares me. For the first time in my short history, I don't see even a remotely positive choice to lead our country. No matter who winds up in the White House we will find ourselves, as a country, in deeper s*@t than we have ever before and the worst part about it is it will because of our own political system shortcomings. I'm probably one of the most apolitical men on the planet so I decided to see how my "politics" line up with this year's circus tent full of candidates. I found a great website that seems to be completely impartial and pretty damn intelligently designed called: "isidewith."

Victoria's comment made real sense as opposed to those who thoughtlessly blame the media for Trump's success. He merely knew that modern media depend on sound bites and he gave them plenty by making interesting, if outrageous, comments.

Trump was fully exposed to the voters by the media, most of which strongly criticized him in their analyses. Voters knew what they were voting for because of the media coverage. Blame the voters who backed the idiot, not the messengers who exposed him for you.

I beg to differ, Gabbygeezer. Having spent more than 40 years working in news and media, not to mention that I still consume TV, radio, print and internet news at volumes that take hours a day to get through, I know the media's strengths and failings better than most people.

In both print and television and online, Trump is given more time and space than any other candidate by multiples of hours a week. Few ever correct his lies and misstatements either to his face or in followup. Simple stuff even about which they should have facts in their heads if they wish to identify themselves as political reporters.

In addition, besides the reality shows of Trump coverage from supposedly mainstream news services, they fall back on the horse race rather than research statements, check facts, call out lies and explain complex issues.

Very few people have either the time or inclination, as I do, to follow the media coverage of politics. I stand by and defend my characterization of the media's part in the rise of Trump.

I've read everybody's comments here and all I can say is 'Good!'. I hope to God you are shaking in your boots that Mr. Donald Trump is going to be our next president. You lame, liberal ass, progressives deserve every single thing Trump is going to do, esp to people like yourselves. You all deserve one big giant kick in the rear end for what you and that moron Obama did to this country!

Do you actually think that Trump has come to power because of the media? Can you be so stupid, so lame, so moronic??? Apparently, yes! Trump came to power by votes. People of his party voted for him! And he got the needed delegates to be the nominee. Not from added media time. But by human beings, responsible Americans voting for him.

Get your lame brain, liberal asses out of the sand and wake up to what you Democrats have done to this country. You should all be hung up and whipped.

We had to put up with your pussy Obama for 8 years. Move over, Trump is in town. Get used to it. Find out what a real American is!

And I would not doubt that the author of this blog won't post my comment. Doesn't matter. The more you people lament, the better we feel. We love, love, love The Donald. He will make America great again, after your ilk almost destroyed it.

The media did NOT make Donald Trump. We The People did. Get used to it!

Paul Krugman's column--yes, one of the NYT's columns about Trump--spoke to the ways the media try to maintain a "balanced" approach, thereby selling better--e.g. suggesting the contest is closer than it really is (as in the 2012 election), indulging in false equivalencies: reporting as if they were the same Trump's saying Cruz's father participated in the Kennedy assassination, and Hilary's saying Sanders hadn't done his homework on certain issues. And yes, reporting as serious patently false statements. I don't have the column in front of me and my brain being a steel sieve, I can't remember the whole thing, but he named all the ways I remember of the media's misrepresentations, Including some by my beloved PBS. Who can forget the swift-boaters, for example! And of course, the current situation is way more dire.

As for the Bernie followers saying they won't vote if he isn't nominated, well. That's the kind of thinking that comes close to winning a Darwin Award.

I've tuned into Rachel Maddow's comments a time or two. Seems to me she rather consistently and strongly criticized Trump. Isn't MSNBC part of the media? Maybe I misinterpreted that because it's been so long since I got my journalism degree in 1957.

Gabbygeezer, you are right, and I came close to praising her on that last comment.
Yay for Rachel Maddow, & yay for MSNBC for featuring her.

Victoria - thanks for the reminder on Van Jones. My son introduced me to this brilliant man years ago, then Obama either appointed him or stated his intention to, then withdrew said action(?).

He could be a remarkable help to our society, as he has the intellect, insight, warmth and strategic thinking (much like Malcolm X ). I like him - a lot, and hope he's on his way to recognition and perhaps greatness.

Trump needs 70% of the white male vote to be elected, according to what I heard on MSNBC this morning from a poll expert. I don't think he will be elected but the race will surely be interesting to watch. The man seems to have no filter, everything revolves around him. Women are useful for their attractiveness. He proves he "loves Hispanics" by eating a taco bowl salad.

I am SO ready for Hillary!

We recently moved to Kansas from Tennessee -- from one red state to an even redder state. I feel naked without a voter registration card, but we first have to get our car registered, then our driver licenses before we can register to vote. And Kansas requires a zillion proofs of identification for voter registration.

I will vote for the Democratic candidate. I voted in the primary for Bernie Sanders, but I will vote for Clinton if she wins the nomination. The prospect of a Trump presidency is terrifying and appalling to me.

To Mr. A Woodrow ~~

When I was reading your comments, I was laughing - thinking that the writer (you) were teasing us all by using The Donald's own words and rhetorical style in an ironic fashion. Nope! Seems you really meant all that stuff; just like Donald, you tell it like it is. That would be: crude, angry, uninformed, emotional and self-serving. We should all be thinking about how governance should be achieved, and it is not through screaming invectives at anyone who doesn't agree with you, think like you or look like you. Instead, we should aspire to thoughtful analysis of issues and to arrive at a reasoned method of solving problems. Mr. Trump shows no signs of being able to do this at all. The sky is truly falling.

Hey, Frank Paynter. Haven't seen you here for a long time. Enjoyed your comments. We still have two pieces of great art by your uncle Richard V. Paynter in our living room. Is he still with us?

If you want, please go to my blog, which will lead you to an e-mail addy where you can let me know.

Regards.

Everything I could say has been said as well as or better than I could say it (with the exception of one mean-spirited, nasty-tongued Trumpeteer; are they ALL that way or just the ones we see and hear?). We have to hope that "We, the People", who might vote for the Repub candidate--aka: the nation's Impresario--are indeed a smaller percentage than he needs to win. The rest of us really do need to take this election very seriously, including what's left of the media that used to shine much more light on issues and the background/experience of the candidates. (Y-a-ay for Rachel Maddow.) We simply cannot hand Trump his very own 24/7 U.S. Reality Show!

Ronnie---love this blog and you, too.

That being said---Hillary scares the "bejezzus" out of me.

I didn't get around to reading the comments until late this afternoon, but did read the blog post and the original article earlier. Then I heard the voice of reason in President Obama as he addressed the nation. I was so proud of how tempered and rational he was, how presidential and intelligent. I can't begin to comprehend how anyone -- ANYONE -- can contrast Trump's ignorant comments and childish offensive rants with President Obama's behavior and words over his entire tenure and think that the "presumptive Republican candidate" can possibly successfully lead the nation and the free world. If he gets a chance to lead, I can only imagine where he will lead us, and it's nowhere anyone is likely to be happy.

Trump certainly can get in.
We do a disservice to the German people when we blame them for Hitler's rise to power. Hitler knew what the German people felt after their defeat in WW I and took advantage of it.
Similarly Trump is voicing what many people really think, even though it may not sound politically correct to the better educated.
He has shock value and many will vote for him just on one soundbite. Mr. Woodrow is not alone.


Americans get the president they deserve. We value being stupid and following rules in this country above all else. Before the Civil War there was a party called The Know Nothings-- they were very popular. Being shallow is considered a virtue. How much further have we really come? Not.

This election we can't take anything for granted. So if we know what we want, we better be prepared to work for it.

I want a President who will help the emerging multi-racial, complex, wired democracy survive its birth-throes. That means I want the old woman (HRC and I are the same age.)

Wow, Ronni. What a great post and what a mostly great response to it by your readers: honest, in-depth, thought-provoking.

I am afraid and have been very uncomfortable throughout this never-ending campaign, the culmination of almost two decades of demonization of "the other side", of the "me-vs-you" philosophy of life.

Two years ago my sister was elected to her state legislature and I became more interested in learning about how things work on a state level (tip of the hat to John Oliver's piece on state legislatures, too) - and I think that what has been happening there over the past eight years is what will determine the elections in November. For some, it will be a case of being hoisted with their own petard, but in the end it will all come down to who will vote and who will be able to vote. For some, it may well be a case of being hoisted with their own petard ... but I am afraid. I am afraid we will all end up hoisted.

Just getting caught up on things, but had to add to this discussion ...

People would do well to cultivate an interest in history... it's not back there in the past. It's right here and now. And it always is if you care to look. Those of us of a certain age, 80 or so, don't have to look. It looms before us.

Why is everyone so surprised about Donald Trump? Hitler, said to be a crazy paperhanger slipped into power and then they didn't know how to get rid of him. I've been scared where this was going for a long time. I never thought he was funny and wondered about the intelligence of those who did. And there you are ... here we are!

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