NEED VS WANT

There’s a gentleman out there who reads our posts on Facebook with some regularity.

When we write about improving gun controls and background checks, he’s goes ballistic.

When we wrote recently that Mike Pence seemed to have won the evening debate with Tim Kaine, he wasn’t happy, either.

We can’t believe these comments are posted merely to drive us crazy.  But they do, a little.

What does this gentleman want?   Suddenly, says he, we are unmasked, our political prejudices exposed.

While he is clearly a supporter of change, or of Mr. Trump, he has forgotten that we wrote – months ago – that Hillary wouldn’t run (we were wrong) and if she ran, she wouldn’t win (who knows?)

Now, it’s not as though we are trying to make this guy happy.  That doesn’t seem possible.  Apparently he believes we should promote the candidacy of the Donald.

But that IS impossible.   Not only according to our own lights, but in the collective opinion of millions of other voters, many of them far better informed than we are.

We don’t want to waste our readers’ time by cataloguing Mr. Trump’s failings, except perhaps for one.  His total refusal to believe that as a candidate he needs to prepare for the off-chance that he might win.  He tells us repeatedly he knows as much as he needs to, and then proceeds to demonstrate the opposite. This might make American voters, and our European, Asian and Middle Eastern allies (such as they are) uncomfortable.  At the very least it’s confusing for them. And for us.

We hear repeatedly that Mr. Trump will simply hire the best and the brightest.   On the basis of what we see and hear about his staff to date, he wouldn’t recognize these beknighted souls if he fell on them.   As for the wit and wisdom of the Trumps en famille, they might as well all be speaking French while living in the Ukraine.

Which finally brings us to the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 9th.

No one, and we mean NO ONE, seems to have an inkling of what to expect. To be certain Mrs. Clinton will be armed with facts, figures, charts, reminiscences, and an incremental series of solutions to the problems the country now faces.  She’ll smile invitingly and convince very few undecided voters to come to her aid.

Mr. Trump will be armed with a long, LONG list of organizations and establishments that have given him their complete and utter endorsements, as though by this mere recital he is defanging newspapers, news organizations, clots of highly decorated veterans of the state department, of the Armed Forces, and of Congress.

Mrs. Clinton will make no serious errors.

Mr. Trump probably will, but his phalanxes of supporters won’t hear them.

What is being addressed on Sunday is serious stuff, none more so than Bill Clinton’s offing his wife’s support for Affordable Care.  Topics we wish could be examined with equal solemnity must finally include ISIS, Social Security, Medicare, education, jobs, trade agreements, national infrastructure, immigration, our relationship with Russia,  how to becalm and restructure Syria, and the revived and current Big Lie, the salvation of the coal industry.

We as voters deserve to hear what these two nominees have in mind not only on all of those topics, but on many others, as well.  Readers and viewers can pick their own examples: college tuitions and costs, the massive corruption and mismanagement of our largest banks, the ever-increasing costs of pharmaceuticals — not one of these pinned on one political party or the other.

We are tired of being insulted by Mr. Trump.   We are exhausted by Mrs. Clinton’s baby-steps.  And while we often – along with others – chant every day that the government we get is the government we deserve – in the face of our own national good will and ongoing history of tolerance and cooperation (for the most part), in the face of our natural optimism and generosity, in the face of our core beliefs and eagerness to improve life for all Americans – we deserve more goodness and progress than we’re getting.

Sunday night’s set-to won’t necessarily make American values clearer or more capable of being cherished.

But it might.

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