A tale of two conventions
I’m not very hopeful or optimistic about the future of our country after watching the Democrat and Republican conventions during the past two weeks. Both major parties tried and mostly failed to rehabilitate the two most unpopular presidential candidates in my rather lengthy lifetime.
First, the Republicans nominated an extremely rich egomaniac, businessman Donald Trump, as their standard bearer, a move they may come to regret before the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The political equivalent of Scrooge McDuck, Trump had barely clinched the nomination and delivered a rambling and unremarkable acceptance speech when he had another temper tantrum on “Twitter.”
Instead of graciously accepting his party’s nomination and turning to the general election, he issued an intemperate rant against his defeated opponent, ultra-conservative Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, insulting Cruz’s wife and elderly father. The thin-skinned tycoon was angry because Cruz refused to endorse him at the Republican Convention. Trump doubled-down on his astounding ignorance and stupidity last Wednesday by urging the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 “missing” emails, a statement bordering on treason. He later said he was only “joking.”
Well, the Republicans are stuck with Trump and I wish them well because their opponent is former Secretary of State Clinton, who should have been indicted for mishandling classified information. Nearly 70 percent of American voters don’t trust Mrs. Clinton despite the best efforts of her husband, disbarred and impeached former President Bill Clinton, to introduce us to the “new” Hillary, an alleged agent of change.
In the end, however, she turned out to be the same old Hillary, who has been a prominent member of the entrenched Washington, D.C. political establishment for more than 25 years. This is the same political establishment Trump and Mrs. Clinton’s primary opponent, 74-year-old Democrat/Socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, ran against. I felt sorry for Sanders and his “progressive” supporters as he moved to nominate Mrs. Clinton by acclamation — a truly demeaning and embarrassing political moment. Let’s call it business as usual in Our Nation’s Capital.
Like it or not, Trump is the change candidate — although we don’t know nearly enough about the kind of change he represents — and Mrs. Clinton is the status quo candidate. Two-thirds of us think our nation is on the wrong track, but if you like the way things are going in Washington, D.C., Mrs. Clinton is your candidate because she promises a continuation of President Obama’s feckless foreign policy and domestic social engineering agenda.
It took Democrats two days to display an array of American flags and their convention featured a motley assortment of malcontents including Black Lives Matter advocates who demonize law enforcement officers and white people. I saw mothers whose sons had been killed by rogue police officers, but I didn’t see the families of five Dallas policemen who were shot and killed while protecting a Black Lives Matter rally.
I’d be tempted to vote for Trump if he promised to appoint former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as homeland security chief and outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as attorney general. You might not like Giuliani and Christie, but I guarantee they’d enforce our nation’s drug, immigration and hate crime laws, putting an end to “sanctuary” cities and arresting those who threaten to kill police officers. That would be a start toward putting our nation on the right track.
So yes, I’m a law-and-order voter, and proud of it; however, that doesn’t mean I’ll be voting for Trump. I’ll be watching him between now and November to see if he can become seriously “presidential.” I don’t think he can, but I’m willing to give him a chance. Stay tuned.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.