To my conservative friend(s):
Someone commented to me the other day that I seem to be "really bothered" by This Guy. And I answered that I was "worried," not bothered. That wasn't the truth.
I'm not "bothered" by him. He is who he is. He has changed his public persona over the years, has claimed a multitude of beliefs and positions, and has been a chameleon depending on who he needed to be, who he was with, what he thought someone wanted to hear. Like the old joke about the snake, we knew he was a snake when we picked him up. The fact is, it's not his fault that he's in a job that he's uniquely unqualified for. It's the fault of the American voters.
I'm not even bothered by the so-called deplorables (what a crappy word to call someone!), those voters who are uneducated or poorly educated, underemployed or unemployed, who have no hope for their present or future, who are racists or misogynists, or who are still fighting in bars rather than engaging in debates. Nope, I'm bothered by voters like you.
I know you to be honorable. You're a good person, a patriot, a loyal employee, a loving husband and father. You are someone I've spent hours with, debating history, football, and politics, always with the underlying idea that, although we fundamentally disagree on many aspects of today's culture, we share basic positions that we both hold dear: love of country, love of family, love of work, respect for the foundations of our country and those who seek to keep us safe, a complex spiritual life, and concern for those among us who have less than we do, either materially, emotionally, or health-wise.
I'm bothered that you have endorsed This Guy with your vote. We've all met people like him. He's the boss who pinched my butt and tried to touch my breasts in the office (when I was 17 and in my first job), waving a soggy cigar when I pulled away. He's the guy who brags about how much he does for others but you have to dun for the entry fee for the charity golf tournament. He's the guy who stiffs the waitstaff because of some imaginary slight in the service. The guy who sneers behind your back that your (first) wife isn't as hot as his (third or fourth) wife, that your kid went into the military instead of a fancy university because the military is for "losers," that he's too smart to pay taxes when you just made your quarterly payment, that he's too smart to believe in God when you're seeking prayers for your sick child. He's the guy you don't let hold your toddler daughter. Ever. The business owner who overlooks your years of service to give the job you've earned to his nephew who has no experience. The guy who makes rude jokes at others' expense and doesn't understand why his peers aren't laughing.
So, tell me. Would you hire This Guy? Would you ask him to join you and your wife for dinner? Have a drink with him in the bar? Introduce him to your daughter? Play poker with him? Ask him to mentor your son? Nominate him for an office in your professional organization? Suggest him to lead an important fundraising drive? Ask him to babysit your precious grandchild or dog for a weekend, a day, an hour?
If the answers are no, he's not fit to be the leader of one of the leaders of the free world. We need a leader with experience, a willingness to learn the complexities of the world we live in, and an ability to work with others. (Harry Truman did it with little or no experience in national politics, but he was a selfless guy with a deep love of his country and a willingness to listen to a bi-partisan group of advisors.) Someone who will be honest with the American people (we all know those coal-country jobs aren't coming back--they don't exist any more and the jobs that do exist require a different set of educational and experiential qualifications--we need to be concentrating on education, not standing around waiting for a miracle). Someone who engenders respect, and maybe trust, from our allies and enemies alike. Someone who can't be bought or influenced. Someone who puts the country's needs ahead of his own. This Guy isn't it. I'm not certain the other candidate was the best the Democrats could have come up with either, but at least I'm not worried she would get us blown up by North Korea because of an ego trip.
Finally, my friend said, "hey, we've survived worse than this." Really? Is that now the qualification for president, that he's not the worst? Seriously?