Party needs fresh, ethical leadership at the top that provides voters with a quality slate of viable candidates
Despite all of his gaffs, Trump proves to be unbeatable because Hillary Clinton was the wrong nominee at the wrong time
By David Maril
On the plus side, we have a much needed break from months of tasteless, obnoxious political TV adds spreading distortions, exaggerations and lies about candidates for president, the Senate and the House.
If not for a classic World Series a few weeks ago, distracting us for a while from the horrible election campaign season, the October news coverage around the country would have been unbearable.
Tom Boswell, the eloquent sports columnist for the Washington Post wrote a terrific book years ago entitled “How Life Imitates the World Series.”
One certainty this year, politics doesn’t come anywhere close to imitating Wold Series behavior and action. With the Cubs defeating the Indians, the Fall Classic was a showcase of mutual respect between likable individuals on a competitive, pressure-packed stage. In contrast, the presidential election was a clinic in bush-league, boorish behavior by both major parties that became an embarrassing and painful process to watch.
Donald Trump, our next president, is the most unqualified person to ever be nominated by a major party for the country’s highest office. His is inexperienced as a political leader, an established blowhard and a trash-talker devoid of etiquette. His campaign was nothing more than pandering, with unworkable empty promises, to the frustrations of those dissatisfied with Washington who feel they have been left behind in the country’s economic structure. He’s the first modern president to refuse to reveal his tax returns and answer questions about his business dealings.
AGAINST ANY OTHER Democrat other than Hillary Clinton, Trump would be busy today getting back to his building and hotel empire and making excuses for his election loss.
This, according to most of the commentators and political experts, was supposed to be the election that spelled the end of the Republican party as we know it. We were spoon-fed the information that the Democrats would reclaim the Senate and had a chance of cutting into the Republican majority in the House. The GOP was described as being in disarray and turmoil, with divisions among Trump backers, the hard-right, and middle-ground traditionalists. Things were so bad, the last three Republican presidential nominees, George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney, did not even support Trump.
Well, it turned out to be just the opposite. It’s the Democrats who are in disarray without a leader. They failed to take back the Senate, didn’t gain much in the House, and, most importantly, lost the presidency because Hillary was the only candidate around capable of snatching defeat from victory.
ONE THING TRUMP was right about is that the Democratic primary process was rigged. Thanks to the Clinton money and all of their connections, party officials and leaders stacked the deck against anyone else with thoughts of running. Bernie Sanders almost overcame this conspiracy by party officials because of the enthusiasm of his supporters and the genuine tone of his message. Who knows how many other qualified Democrats refrained from throwing their hats into the ring because of the influence of the Clinton political machine?
Hillary was an extremely flawed candidate who had too many negatives. Millions of people who would have supported any reasonable candidate running against a loose-cannon like Trump, were unenthusiastic about Hillary. Overall, she is viewed as a tiresome, ruthless political hack who at best demonstrates a careless, cavalier attitude when it comes to judgment and at worst comes close to breaking the law.
Some will credit Trump’s upset victory to all the new and extra voters he attracted. This, however, is fiction. Trump actually drew fewer votes than McCain and Romney, who were defeated when they ran. The difference was that Hillary, despite a huge advantage in funds and having Bill Clinton, Obama and the first lady, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and an army of flashy celebrities supporting her at rallies, was an unpopular candidate.
HOWEVER, LET’S attempt to be positive. Trump, in his acceptance speech, eliminated his irresponsible and inappropriate rhetoric and seemed presidential. We can only hope that when he assumes the office he does focus on reaching out to all sides and demonstrates a softer, more reasonable tone. It would be a relief if he selects capable advisors and doesn't surround himself in the White House with bitter, insensitive and ambitious hacks like Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Jeff Sessions and Rudy Giuliani.
Another bonus is we will no longer have meals interrupted by phone calls with political messages. Recently in Massachusetts, I even received several calls from Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator, urging me to support a particular local candidate or how to vote on a ballot question.
At first, it seems like quite a distinction getting a call, even recorded, from an influential politician on the national front.
Then, you experience an attitude shift. Just because she is a U.S. Senator doesn’t give her the right to bother me at home.
This opinion becomes even more pronounced when the phone begins ringing more frequently with other political figures calling to have your vote go a certain way. You begin to realize this is an invasion of your time and privacy.
Years ago, when these political taped greetings started surfacing, I received a recorded call from Robert Reich, who was running for governor of Massachusetts. It seemed harmless enough, literally a conversation piece.
Now, however, getting these phone calls is no longer a novelty. The other day when I returned home, I had five voice-mails from candidates and their celebrity supporters.
MAYBE IT’S TIME to turn the tables and start calling these political figures back. If they have access to leaving us phone messages, why shouldn’t we be able to pester them when we have a question or want to deliver an evaluation of their job performances.
We put them in office. They call to tell us to vote. Let’s call them to urge them to work.
The possibilities are endless.
And if we connected with enough of these politicians and celebrities, they might stop bothering us, realizing what a nuisance it is being haunted by unwanted phone calls.
David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.
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