Blog, Politics

“Make America Intelligent and Sane Again!”

Originally published October 25th, 2016 on The Huffington Post

“Make America Intelligent and Sane Again!”
Hillary has been criticized, among many things, for not having a punchy, one-liner that defines her campaign. I have one: “Make America Intelligent and Sane Again!”

But beyond one-liners, the most daunting task facing Hillary, assuming of course that she wins—which seems very likely—is what she can do to heal the rift that threatens to plunge us into an even deeper cultural war, one from which we may never recover.

For a starter, she needs to travel weekly to the Hill to meet with both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. They should not travel to her. That sends the wrong signal.

Much more important, she needs to appoint prominent Republicans to major Cabinet posts. Given their heavy criticism, a Republican as The Head off Veterans Affairs makes perfect sense. More significantly, given the even more intense criticism and bitter opposition to the Affordable Care Act, appointing a “sensible” Republican as the Head of Health and Human Services also makes sense. By “sensible,” I mean someone who wants to make good health care affordable and accessible to all, and not just rip the Affordable Care Act to shreds. Because it’s so daunting is precisely why it needs to be done.

Finally, I don’t know what to call it, but we desperately need to foster dialogue through a nation-wide series of associations, clubs, forums, etc. that will bring us together by discussing what we share in common, however little it may be.

In sum, we need to “Make America Intelligent and Sane Again!”

Blog, Media + Politics, Politics

Getting Beyond The False Contentions That Keep People From Voting For Hillary

Originally Published October, 10, 2016 on The Huffington Post

I am astounded by the reasons (more accurately, “raw feelings!”) that people give for not being able to vote for Hillary Clinton. Basically, they boil down to four.

The first and most pernicious—a lie actually—is that not only is she untrustworthy, but even worse, she’s totally corrupt. For this reason alone, she is basically unfit to be President. As Trump’s supporters never tire of shouting, “Lock Her Up!”

The second follows almost automatically from the first. She is too guarded and therefore not authentic. In brief, she’s unlikeable. She’s unable to show her true feelings and thus connect with larger audiences. Once again, this makes her untrustworthy.

The third is that voting for her is merely a vote for the lesser of two evils.

A fourth is that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for someone better who can live up to one’s ideals.

Let me respond very briefly to each with the clear recognition that if one is committed fervently, then there is little that I or anyone else can say that will cause them to abandon their beliefs.

If Hillary were as corrupt as she’s alleged, wouldn’t 30 years be enough time to convict her? Haven’t enough parties tried their damnedest to do exactly this to no avail?

Making mistakes and lapses of judgment do not make one evil. Lack of perfection is not equivalent to being evil.

Hillary is not the lesser of two evils. By virtue of her intelligence, long years of public service, depth of knowledge and experience, she is eminently qualified to be President. The same coolness and reserve for which she is so roundly criticized are the very attributes that, unlike her opponent, make her temperamentally fit to be President.

There is too much riding in this election to throw one’s vote away. And sadly, that’s exactly what a vote for a third-party candidate is, especially for someone who is supremely ignorant of world affairs.

I will never forgive Ralph Nader for allowing George W Bush to be elected under the false contention that there were, and are, no real differences between the two major parties. There certainly were and there are now between the two candidates.

Unfortunately, a quote—and I paraphrase— that is attributed to Jonathan Swift sums up the matter, “You cannot reason a man out of that he was not reasoned into in the first place.”

I hope fervently that there are enough people who can be reasoned beyond the falsehoods that are attributed to Hillary.