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I’ve lived through the Presidencies of several men, having come of voting age during the John F. Kennedy years,
I “voted” even before that, however, when we held a class vote in 1952 when Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai E. Stevenson were the Republican and Democratic representatives. That one wasn’t even close – Eisenhower, a World War II general, won by a whopping margin over Stevenson. Although I was just 9 years old at the time, I remember that Stevenson was much maligned during that election because he was divorced.
“How can a man run a country when he can’t even run a household?” was a common sentiment at the time.
Politics, in many ways, haven’t changed much over the past 65 years. In fact, if anything, politics have become even more divisive, even more contentious, even more negative. Why, just in the past two months, we’ve been subjected to more negative political campaigning that I can recall, and this was just a statewide election.
My gawd, what are we to expect in two years?
The beauty of the American political process, if any, almost always surfaces when former Presidents, former diplomats, former U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives pass away.
Suddenly, all the negativity that once surrounded those candidates is gone. Even those dramatically opposed to the principles of those former American leaders find a way to say nice things about, even those from opposing political philosophies and parties.
Rarely during my lifetime have I found myself having to choose between what I consider the “lesser” of two evils. Only once during those 50 years did I not cast a ballot. That came during one Presidential election year when I simply could not decide. I thought neither candidate was fit to run our country.
Most folks who read this column know that I lean to the left and, generally, when two candidates oppose one another in November I lean toward the Democratic nominee.
Such was the case last November.
I didn’t particularly care for either Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump. However, that was an easy choice for me. I gladly cast my vote for Hillary.
I believe that the first two years of the Trump Administration have validated my choice.
I don’t think now, nor did I think then, that Trump would be anything but a buffoon in leading this country. Unfortunately, he had complete control of Congress when he took office, yet the only real legislation that has been enacted is the disastrous tax cut.
Folks on the lower end of the pay scale were given peanuts and those modest tax cuts will expire soon. Cuts, massive cuts, were given to this country’s wealthiest people and those cuts were made permanent.
Despite that, we still have a government to fund and, because of the gravy train handed to the wealthy, that has become increasingly difficult, perhaps impossible. While past presidents have, for the most part, done their best to cut the growing deficit, Trump has done just the opposite.
This week we found ourselves mourning another former President. During my lifetime, that’s happened quite a few times.
George H.W. Bush was not only a good American President, he led an exemplary life. He was captain of the Yale baseball team; he served meritoriously during World War II; he spent almost his entire adult life after that war working for America.
I didn’t always agree with President Bush, but I always respected him.
And, I remember what he said during the Presidential election just two years ago.
Former President George H.W. Bush: “I don’t like Trump. I don’t know much about him but I know he’s a blowhard.” He said that just after he said he voted for Hillary.
And commentator Lawrence O’Donnell said: “If Trump gets dementia, how will we know?”