Jul 272016

bopurp2You don’t have to read BoWilliams.com 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 long as we are led by politicians who will not put America first, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. The respect that we deserve.

The American people will come first once again. – Donald Trump, July 21, 2016

Boys and girls, that the President of the United States should think first of the welfare of the American people should not be a controversial notion. Of course, the United States should be a good world citizen, but we are best equipped to be such when we are strong.

There will always be a biggest kid on the block. Throughout recorded history, when it hasn’t been obvious which nation is that biggest kid, there has been widespread war. (If that thought makes you uncomfortable, or you doubt it, or both, go have a look.)

The most powerful nation is in the best position to propagate its values. And despite the shots on the chin the United States has taken over the past several decades, liberty still has its first, best opportunity to thrive here.

The “community of equals” world model, evidently favored by our esteemed president and the generation of tongue-clucking hand-wringers who’ve come of age during his administration, is woefully naive because it ignores human nature. There are several world citizens who are considerably more likely to ignore or discount opportunities for mutually beneficial agreements, and just take by force—whether land, blood, treasure, or all of the above.

American strength is one of the most effective mitigators of such. You don’t build strength to go to war; you build strength to avoid war.

Whatever else Mr. Trump has to say notwithstanding, he’s not wrong about American exceptionalism.

 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 BoWilliams.com tick mark […]

 Posted by at 7:09 pm
Jul 112016

Well, I might be back and forth on Donald J. Trump until that day in November arrives. I had occasion to correspond with a longtime and greatly respected friend today on another matter, and took the opportunity to ask her what her feelings were on the election. Here is her reply: All in for Trump.  […]

 Posted by at 10:10 pm

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