Aug 222016

As I type, it is eleven weeks from Election Day. The conventional wisdom for the 2016 presidential election is that Hillary Clinton is all but inevitable. Don’t put a foot wrong, Hill—especially keep it out of your mouth—and you’re in.

Run out the clock.

But just how highly should we value conventional wisdom this time? Are you paying attention? We’ve been tumbling down the rabbit hole for months. And it’s not that up is down, it’s that up is purple.

Many have said it before me, and I’ll say it again here: in Donald Trump, the Republicans put up one of the only candidates Hillary Clinton could beat. In Hillary Clinton, the Democrats put up one of the only candidates Donald Trump could beat.

To say that we don’t have best feet forward here is an understatement.

So what could happen to Hillary? Here are two big opportunities for chaos:

  • Julian Assange says he’s still sitting on quite a lot of Clinton Foundation/campaign/DNC material, for which he’s promised staggered release over the remainder of the campaign. (He has suggested that just before debates would be ideal drop times.)
  • Trump could make a political master stroke. I’m still fleshing out exactly what I think that might look like, but consider with me: what would be the (seemingly) least likely trait for him to exhibit? How about humility? What about a somber delivery of something like “Look, folks. I know my mouth gets me in trouble sometimes, and I know a lot of you find me obnoxious. But please let me take a moment to talk about my love of this country, and why and how it motivates me…”

As crazy as this campaign has been, I have the gnawing suspicion that from here to the end will be the least predictable time of the entire cycle.

 Posted by at 9:42 am
Jul 272016

bopurp2You don’t have to read long to know that I’m not shy about discussing politics. Sometimes I don’t for a while, but mostly if I’m talking about politics at length anywhere, it’s here. (I weaken on Facebook once in a while, but mostly keep it light there.)

We’re halfway through the second convention in a presidential election year. Running mates are named. Debates are on deck. In past presidential election years, I’d be humming here by now. I have a high school friend and longtime reader who once called the presidential election my “Super Bowl” in terms of writing. I took that as a great compliment.

I’m not bringing a lot of passion to the election this time. Have you noticed?

It’s because I don’t like either one of the candidates. I mean, I really don’t like either one of the candidates. I don’t believe either one of them will make a remotely serviceable president. My only comfort is that as big a mess as President Charlie X has made, the country still stands. And I doubt the next president, whether Trump or Clinton, will go in feeling as gleefully destructive and contemptuous.

Given that Trump will carry Alabama by 15 points no matter what I do, and also given that Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is dopey on foreign policy in that typically libertarian way, odds are good that 2016 is the first presidential election since I became eligible to vote that I won’t. Then I can say I didn’t help make the mess (and suffer the bizarre wrath of tongue-cluckers who claim that people who don’t vote jettison their right to complain, which has already happened once).

(I only thought my support for Romney in 2012 was tepid. I think back now and it feels like massive cheerleading compared to 2016’s apathy.)

I have been amused, both last week and this, by the number of my Facebook friends who have lamented the poor state of discourse in this country. I posted recently on what I think the biggest problem there is. But what especially amuses me is that these are often the same people who have expressed displeasure similar to mine with our choice this time.

I ask, sincerely: what’s worth getting worked up about?

If you really can’t stand up and support either one of these candidates, then why are you burning any polemical oil on either one of them? If you think both Trump and Clinton supporters are wrong, then why engage either one of them? Why watch the conventions? I’m going to get out this time not having consumed a single minute of either one of them. I didn’t even go back and watch the end of Cruz’s speech.

(Now I may have to watch the debates, as significant political theater seems likely. But even that will be firmly in the realm of superficial entertainment for me.)

Keep it real, dudes and dolls. Recognize this election for what it is. Do you want syphilis, or gonorrhea? Do you want to jump out of the 60th floor, or the 80th? Would you like to be torn to pieces and devoured by tigers, or great white sharks?

In a typical election year, “troublemakers” (ha ha) find people waving the other candidate’s flag and pick on them. But this time anyone with either flag is off.

Make trouble with everyone? Or make trouble with no one?

 Posted by at 11:34 am
Jul 222016

I didn’t watch a single minute of the Republican convention, which means I didn’t see or hear any of Donald Trump’s speech last night. I haven’t seen many excerpts or reactions today that surprise me. However, I’ve seen more than one person up in arms about this: Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As […]

 Posted by at 6:58 pm
Jul 202016

I understand there is a norovirus outbreak. Write your own joke. Melania Trump has been accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. And yes, whether the fault is her own, that of a speechwriter, or someone else, I believe she did. However, I consider the real tragedy here not that she did it, but […]

 Posted by at 10:07 am
Jul 132016

Bo: “Can I write about that?” Wise friend: “Do you plan to praise it?” Bo: “Yes.” Friend: “Do you plan to praise it unambiguously and exclusively?” Bo: “Not necessarily.” Friend: “Then no, you can’t write about that.” She’s right. And I won’t. Those of you counting such as victories, please add your tick mark […]

 Posted by at 7:09 pm is using WP-Gravatar