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True Sadness Over Donald Trump

October 12, 2016

I have not met anyone who thinks what is happening in this presidential election is anything but shocking and shameful.  I start this post with that fact due to the many political types who live in our neighborhood and those who I have conversations with about this cycle.  As I write there are 27 days until our national election.  The end to this awful chapter in our national story can not arrive soon enough.

What simply boggles my mind in the slime and mud that Donald Trump has unleashed and now promises to only increase.  The latest commercial showing Hillary Clinton sick and exhausted due to pneumonia as she tries to get into her vehicle is the most insulting and degrading thing I have yet witnessed.  And like most of my readers we have seen far too much over the past year.    Having had pneumonia in April this year I know precisely how Clinton must have felt–minus the world watching.

To then have such a medical problem highlighted and mocked in a political ad makes me more than angry.  It makes me extremely sad as to what is happening to this nation and how so many of my fellow citizens are participating in the madness.

Every day I read and watch new ways that Trump finds to bring the race further into the mud  There is only one reason for this and that is play to the most unsavory element in this land and get them so riled and charged up on red meat that come Election Day there will be a purely base turnout.   Two things might happen when such a vile attempt is made so the race is so rancid that it turns off swing voters who just throw their hands up and stay home.

First it creates a more competitive election as some of the citizens who should vote do not, and the tragic outcome of such a tactic should Trump win, would be indescribable.

But second it means that with a base election the next president–and I strongly feel it will be Clinton–will not have the governing mandate which is required to do the work this country needs to have happen.

Instead of trying to expand his appeal the GOP nominee is playing a very dangerous political game.  He is not working for the better of the people or the country but is doing all he can to splinter and harm the electorate in the process of feeding his ego and scoring points against those who disagree with him.

This nation is at a place which is near the edge of a cliff and it is distressing and extremely sad to watch such a dangerous demagogue play so fast and loose with the fabric of our republic.  It is perplexing and equally sad to see so many of my fellow Americans play with this political fire in such a way as to make me wonder if they ever had any civics education of any kind.

We take our republic and our brand of democracy for granted.  If Trump has taught us anything it is that we no longer have the time to do so.  We are at the edge of the cliff and those who share the common bonds of our nation must work overtime to make sure we do not slide over.

All hands on deck, my fellow citizens!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2016 8:32 PM

    Gregory — what a nice offer. Your account reminds me very much of my own childhood in Missouri and Illinois, which started me on the way to studying meteorology.

    While I was an undergrad I wrote the first book about the Tri-State Tornado (worst in American history). It touched down near where I grew up and went on to kill nearly 700 people. Strangely, no one but the locals seemed to have heard of it.

    Hey, we can just swap books!

  2. October 13, 2016 11:07 AM


    We agree about the thrill of seeing lightening and such. I wrote a chapter in my book about weather titled ‘Feel That Breeze” . I post a small section below–though it may seem a lot given how few lines most comments are–I would like to send you a complementary copy of my book it you send me your address via a comment here–no one sees any comment until I post it so one else will see it—–just let me know. (BTW, I really do have paragraphs in my book but something happened below that makes it seem otherwise.)

    I often told my Mom she worried too much about storms, and she always had a stock response. “Someone has to worry.” I never was able to place that into any useful context, and just accepted it as part of her personae. Nothing ever truly bad happened from the storms, but she was going to be prepared just the same. Mom would have been a great military leader; she was prepared for all eventualities, and I loved her for it. She had a mental list of things that needed to be done when storms moved through, and had determination that everything would be ready when the first blasts from a wind bank cut loose. Mom sprang into action when the threat of severe weather was reported on the radio. We would monitor the reports over the scratchy AM signals as the static competed with the announcer. Mom filled large yellow containers with water and placed them in the bathtub. All the major appliances were unplugged so they would not be burnt out from a lighting strike. All windows were shut and fastened except when tornadoes were probable
    and only then one was left slightly ajar for the expressed purpose of equalizing air pressure inside the home. She also had us kids make sure everything was picked up outside. Bikes got put away, clothes were taken off the line, the hoe and rake were stored safely back in the barn, and all the doors on all of the outbuildings closed securely. Mom had a file box which she took to the basement. The box contained all the important information any homeowner needs to access in case of an emergency. The only thing we lacked was an air raid siren. Mom would have had one located in the backyard for the full effect of a looming disaster had she had her druthers. When green roiling clouds, or dark blue ones with the ominous white portion indicative of strong winds got close, the entire family went to the basement. Depending on where the storm was heading would determine which side of the basement we would shelter. Only two times did the drama of potential tornado danger make me queasy. The first time was when Dad did not respond quickly enough to Mom’s marshaling us to safety. Her plea rose above the crash of the thunder. “Get down here!” she yelled so loudly that it still lingers in my mind’s ear. Let me underscore it was not a suggestion for him to move. It was an order. As a small boy, the world seemed to me to be very unsafe anywhere except in the concrete bunker of the basement when a storm brewed. The second time a storm really unnerved me was as we all huddled in the basement as the winds lashed and raked the homestead. With a tremendous crash we all looked about and Dad craned his neck to look out a casement window. Dad wondered out loud if a part of the roof had been taken away. I recall inching up the wooden steps after it was safe and peering upwards with great dread at what might be seen, or not seen. To great relief all was fine that evening, with only a very large branch of a tree having broken loose and thrown close to the house. Given the role that weather played in the life of my family, I think it interesting to note that not twenty-four hours prior to my Dad’s passing, a powerful tornado would pummel the landscape near my family’s home.

  3. October 13, 2016 5:05 AM

    The math sucked. I won’t lie. It didn’t come naturally to me.

    I still get a thrill sometimes, though, like driving to work at 6 am yesterday with a fantastic lightning display off to the west.

  4. October 12, 2016 9:37 PM


    You took the course that I wanted to try for— meteorology. The math portion was never a strong suit of mine but standing in a thunderstorm as it hailed on my umbrella still is fun.

  5. October 12, 2016 7:31 PM

    Oh, and one other thing. Bill Clinton ushered in an age of prosperity for Americans that twiddled with the stock market. For blue collar citizens, Bill Clinton meant NAFTA and their jobs being shipped offshore, usually for good. We can either take the tack of Kevin Williamson et al. (and Paul Ryan, for that matter) and say “tough luck, get over it”–or accept that even Americans who didn’t get gilded educations and can’t relocate to Silicon Valley should still be able to do dignified labor for a fair wage (and btw, I am a commercial driver who graduated with honors from UW-Madison with a meteorology degree. There are plenty of folks like me driving trucks these days–but we shouldn’t all be driving trucks).

  6. October 12, 2016 6:15 PM

    Gregory — it’s a sin of omission and not commission. You may recall that I have said Bernie and the Donald didn’t come from nowhere — they came from the same place, the sense that many middle- and lower-class (mostly white) Americans have that they are slipping economically and that no one speaks for them. Hillary is a known friend of Wall Street and these voters don’t trust her for that reason. If our next President doesn’t pull these disaffected folks into the big tent, they will become further radicalized and easy prey for the next demagogue.

  7. October 12, 2016 5:46 PM

    I do not see where she has done anything that is against the white working class and suspect her economic priorities will mirror that of how Bill governed. That proved to be very good for the country.

    I do echo one part of your comment however and that is the rabid right-wing –even when they do not even understand what they are supporting—will have another candidate this nation will need to monitor and defeat.

  8. October 12, 2016 5:40 PM

    I have come to completely despise Mr. Trump, but even if we can put Hillary over the top this time, if she blows off the concerns of white working-class citizens, you can bet that the “GOP” or whatever’s left of it will put up another dangerous demagogue in 2020… probably one who has basic manners and some political knowledge. Then we’re in real trouble.

  9. October 12, 2016 4:24 PM

    My two comments are totally consistent. I think Clinton will be a pragmatic leader and able to compromise. But I also know that the nation is severely divided and having Trump turn this into even a more harsh base election makes a mandate for governing harder to attain. You and I both know the base in a primary is aimed at to achieve the nomination and then a general election is aimed at talking to the nation. I had talked well over a year ago as to why I thought Jeb would be a far superior candidate at doing just that very thing. Events proved otherwise, but the need for such outcomes is not wrong. We need to have this nation governed. I also am at a loss as to fathom how it is that so many seem to not understand that in politics we do not get everything we want but take the half-loaf and then work as time goes along for the rest. So Bernie folks can either sit it out or vote third party and if Trump is somehow elected deal with it. Since a very large slice of that vote were the young they will have even more years to understand the awful choice they made. In the end I strongly think–as I have said all along since the primary season in real terms ended in early March that Clinton will prevail. But we need a dose of pragmatism in the mix not only for leaders but also voters.

  10. Solly Litella permalink
    October 12, 2016 2:32 PM

    Oh chees, as Lary used to say. Seems like the Dekels is ratcheting down the expectations for Hill’s extraordinary abilities in being realistic and getting things done as we get closer to the election. From April 2: “At a time when political division and partisan rancor in Washington is more often the norm than the exception I want a pragmatic leader who knows what needs to be done when it comes to governing a nation of robust and competing ideas. I want someone in the Oval Office who understands that compromise is the way to make government operate and move forward” Today: “But second it means that with a base election the next president–and I strongly feel it will be Clinton–will not have the governing mandate which is required to do the work this country needs to have happen.” I thought that the Dekester, like Meghan Trainor, was “about that base” ( and that the Sandersnistas were naive and shouldn’t be selecting the nominee and should shut up and quit and go back to beer pong and let the important work of voting to the party regulars. Oh, maybe it was all about the bass. As Emily Litella would say, never mind.

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