I'm Right Again Dot Com

                             A new commentary every Wednesday — March 22, 2016

THIS POLITICAL SEASON: There has never been one like it.

    If you have not already figured out that this political cycle is unique, please accept the testimony of this octogenarian; one who came from a family that discussed politics endlessly from the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first election in 1933. I've voted in a national election 34 times, 17 times for a President. 

    We are not yet finished with choosing presidential nominees and we've still those races for governors, state and national delegates, plus local seats up for grabs here and there—not to mention a lengthy list of other public issues that petitioners are bringing to our ballots. The folks in the advertising business are drooling over the coming windfall—especially the millions of dollars of "dark money".  Play by play announcers at baseball games will have to pause between each pitch for political announcements.

    Surely there are other readers who will agree that there has never been a political season like this one. The operative word I would choose in an attempt at description would be "extreme".  Not entirely insane, but it isn't over with yet, as long as Donald Trump can attract more hecklers and face-punchers to his speeches. (Both sides are wrong in what they are doing.) 

    Choose any parameter to judge the extremity of this cycle: Amount of acrimony leveled at any past or present President, inability of not one, but all three branches of government to accomplish something constructive, most decidedly the decision by the Supreme Court that a corporation is a citizen-taxpayer and can use its considerable resources to command the media to brainwash us with propaganda. I can only think of one matter upon which Court has ruled and was even more decidedly wrong: the Dred Scott decision, when in 1857 the highest court in the land declared that slaves were chattel possessions of their masters.

    We were stunned by the record number of hopefuls who walked onstage for those interminable and often hostile debates. As per usual, all aspirants made firm promises that ignore the legislative process. That is not the way our brand of democracy works when making laws. Unless the president has long coat-tails that guarantee a firm majority of his or her party in both legislative houses, those promises are worth no more than, as Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President, "Cactus Jack" Garner said when describing his position, "Not worth a bucket of warm spit."

    Even if Donald Trump survives the latest attempt to derail him, as some in the GOP hope will take place in the Republican convention, there is one statistic that gets my attention: the Hispanic vote may be his undoing. 25.2-million of them are registered to vote. While the percentage of them who do vote has barely crept above the fifty-percent mark in recent elections, according to several sources, including Univision— the vast Spanish language broadcasting network—only 17 percent identify themselves as Republicans, far short of what The Donald or any Republican nominee needs to win in the General Election.

 -Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself." - Joseph L. Menchen




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