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Election Day is Only 43 Days Away

September 26, 2016

“Only ten more minutes of this crap.”

– George H.W. Bush

Tonight, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be on the same stage in Hempstead, New York. The event is billed as a “presidential debate,” but that’s not what we get when Trump is involved. Remember those “debates” in the Republican primaries? Trump’s shown time and again that he isn’t capable of civil discourse. His lack of knowledge and curiosity both, always a bad combination, prevents him from positive contributions to discussing important topics. Add to this the martial music, flashing lights and ceremony brought to you by the event’s producer, and NBC’s desire to make lots of money from their broadcast and we’ll be stuck with another lost opportunity.

Only a short while ago, Donald Trump praised Hillary Clinton. He said that she was talented and deserving of important national roles and responsibilities. Clinton was one of those famous people who Trump wanted others to see at his third wedding. She was very much not like the people he surrounds himself with now. Now, Trump prefers large audiences of worked-up and frustrated people who feel like they have nowhere to turn but him. The more down on their luck, the more he wants them in the hall. He now encourages these people to inflict physical violence on both her and people who support her in this election.

Trump brags to the cheering crowds about his unimaginable wealth and blames the losers in Washington DC for preventing each and every one of his fans from attaining the same good fortune. He wants them to think that he alone can fix things for them and that he’s the best friend that they will ever have. He doesn’t care about these people. They are simply a means to an end – just like Ted Cruz, the shifty hack who Trump repeatedly called a liar last spring. Trump now needs Cruz for his lists of e-mail addresses of people who supported him in the primaries. Cruz needs Trump to maintain his political standing in his home state, Texas. So, the proud and principled Christian voters Cruz attracts are now being asked to give their votes and money to a person their champion once called “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar.” They are now invited to join Trump as he leads them to what Cruz once called the “abyss.”

When it’s all over tonight, the talking heads and party surrogates will blather on about what went right and what went wrong. Undoubtedly, there will be talk about whether Trump looked presidential. Spoiler alert. Throughout his campaign, he hasn’t yet presented himself in a dignified manner. After seventy years on this planet and with millions of adoring fans watching him take on the woman he’s instructed them to hate, he’ll not carry himself differently tonight.

But all of this belligerence, yelling and lying seems to sell well this year. A common phrase when Trump is scheduled for a TV event is “have plenty of popcorn.” Fitting, since that’s about the nutritional equivalent of the babble Trump brings.


Clearly not fit for office if he’s looking at his watch. (CNN photo)

Gone are the days when the American public decided that they couldn’t vote for a candidate (Al Gore) because he sighed too loudly in exasperation at his opponent’s (George W. Bush) responses. Then there was 1988, when George H.W. Bush looked at his watch during a “forum” with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Because of that, Bush was ridiculed as criticized as being uninterested in Americans’ interests and therefore, incapable of four more years in the White House. Seriously. We were told that this man, who had served in public office for decades, was now no longer fit for the office because he checked the time.

Bush later acknowledged that he was probably feeling relief that there was “only ten more minutes of this crap” when he looked at his watch. You can hardly blame the guy. Imagine the challenges of debating with a smooth talker like Bill Clinton and Ross Perot, a zany and paranoid billionaire. Ten minutes might seem like a long time in that case. Still, this has nothing to do with his abilities to govern for four more years.

The word is that the elder Bush will vote for Clinton. If appearances over the weekend mean anything, perhaps W. will too. Like many of us, they know that every ten minutes of Trump in the White House creates risks even this strong nation shouldn’t take.

But others feel differently about this and thus we find ourselves facing four years of unadulterated mayhem. Many voters don’t seem to care about policy these days. They tune in for an all-out spectacle fueled by childish insults and filled with candidates shouting over one another. In that environment, there’s never any time allowed for really getting to a good discussion about policy. If a circus is what Americans want, they’ve found their guy with Trump. A carnival barker spewing his ugly view everywhere he goes, he’s also the biggest clown in the room. Every time.




  1. I hate reality shows. I will not be tuning in tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I clicked the “like” button because I liked how you so eloquently summed up tonight’s debate and Trump … but I wish I had a big “dislike” button to show how sad I am about how we got to this terrible and frightening place.

    Remember when President Bush was decried for not knowing the cost of a gallon of milk and being “amazed” by the grocery store barcode reader because he had never seen one? Who knew that 1992 would one day be seen as such a gentle and simple time?

    I hope that we, as voters, see through this terrible and dangerous and selfish charade before it’s too late. But, even just thinking about it makes me cover my eyes. Bruce, I’m glad there are thoughtful and eloquent people like you out there assuring us that we’re not alone …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ms. BB, thanks for the note. I do remember Bush 41’s amazement at the barcode reader. The newspapers were telling him (us) that he really did need to get out more often. But is it really that awful that a person who lives in the White House didn’t run out to pick up a loaf of bread and half-gallon of milk? He may have been out of touch with the way to make ends meet at the end of the month, but nobody wasn’t unimpressed when they saw a barcode reader the first time and he can be afforded the same thrill.

      1992, a “gentle and simple time.” I like the way you put that. If only we had known how much we would miss the relative civility one day.


  3. I tweeted your post which means it will also post on Facebook. I hope some of the people I know who are seriously planning on voting for Trump will read and have a second thought…


    • Mat – Sending parts of this voter’s observations around to your points out there on the WWW is very kind of you. I think the odds of anyone changing their minds about voting based on Ram On blog posts ranges anywhere from zero to none. Even a second thought will be a stretch.


  4. Worse than the Kardashians…count me out. The 2 party system doesn’t come close to representing my interests.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Gary, good to hear from you. I keep hearing the name Kardashian, but don’t think I could tell you it was them if they walked in the door right now. I prefer it that way. Even though I couldn’t identify them (I know that there is more than one) I know the context and the tabloid fever they inspire. Seems perfect for the political moment we’re now going through.

      I have somehow missed your recent posts. I just now went on a search and read about your recent trek to the Coliseum. Excellent description. That’s the scene out there.


  5. I’ll be watching tonight, Bruce, even though a part of me doesn’t want to. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments on this very strange political abyss that threatens to send us screaming into the dark night. –Curt


  6. I went to Hofstra for a while. I wonder what they ever did so bad to deserve this debate. What an election year this has been – whoaa!


    • I’ve never been to Hofstra or for that matter, Long Island.

      I think the better question is what did America do to deserve this election year? Well, there are shelves of books on the topic and hopefully, study courses at Hofstra designed to teach the kids how to do better at this than their parents and grandparents did. We’ve left them a real mess.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m going to like this post, then I’m going to unlike it. So I can like it again. Well done, Bruce.


  8. It’s getting scarily close, the election and the debate. I’m glad it’ll be 2am here when it kicks off. There’s only so much squeamishness I can take.


  9. Watching it right now…ridiculous and embarrassing and typical. They need to cancel this thing, right now, and never attempt another one if Trump is involved.


    • Deb, just wait. If Trump loses the election, he’ll continue to be on TV more than is healthy for our country. Maybe even his own TV station. If he wins the election, he’ll be on TV even more frequently. Maybe he’ll create a White House reality show. Win or lose, the country loses.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Didn’t watch the debate but did hear a few of the highlights this morning. Looks like the clown just keeps getting more bigly.


  11. kdk permalink

    Bruce, where is the Ram on Report Card when we need it for these debates: Smile? Self-awareness? Ability to follow rules? Respect for the game? Self-control? I know — we could turn in the grades before it even started. I have to make light of it, otherwise the whole thing is too dispiriting.

    I listened to the debate on the way home before I saw it. So interesting — Trump’s antics and the contrast in the candidates’ performances (dangerous choice of word) were even more pronounced when I only had audio. Without the TV screen, the image in my mind was of a petulant child stomping their foot — especially during his temperament tirade. On to the next …


    • kdk, the final exam comes in forty days. I very badly would like the voters to flunk Trump once and for all. Let the report card show that his shenanigans have gone far enough. Enough is enough.


  12. I watched the debate because I didn’t think I’d be a good ‘American,’ if I didn’t. It IS part of our democratic process. However, my stomach got so twisted watching “Donald,” that I was up all night. Of course I already know who I’m voting for; i’m trying to understand those who plan on voting for the other guy. But his ignorance, arrogance and all around ugliness just befuddles me and I can’t find an answer….


    • Pamela, there is a civic duty. Unfortunately, civic duty has become mangled and mashed with Grade B show business and crass commerce. Two more to go. Three, if you include the VP “debate.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure my ‘civic duty’ goes that far. I may keep the ‘tube off for the next debates, sit in my cushy chair, and listen to classical music. !!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Bush was worried about ten more minutes — we’ve got more than forty days! Great post, tho.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bruce, I was just thinking of you today!
    I’ve not had as much time to visit WP as much as I’d like, and I have to confess that seeing “43 days” kind of freaked me out. Not because I’m not aware of how close it is, but … seeing those digits made it all too real.
    I’m an optimist and I’m hoping against hope that we’ll go to bed relieved.
    Hope you are well, Bruce


  15. I watched the first debate publicly, and it was a lot of fun. A theatre in an old public school had been converted to a gathering place, and on that night the debate was projected onto the big screen with 200, possibly 300 people filling the auditorium. Across the hall was a small pub that served pints you could carry into the show with you. I sat amidst hundreds of Portland hipsters, young and old, and listened to them laugh and heckle the screen. Because of demographics, it was mostly (or all) Hillary supporters. I found it immensely entertaining to experience what others reacted to vs. what I personally reacted to. Afterward, we all retired to the rooftop beer garden and finished our pints while we discussed what we had just seen. Knowing there was no way to recreate that event, I did not watch the next two. Ok. Honestlly? Knowing that there was nothing left to be said – more accurately nothing left that would be said – in a future debate, turned me off to the idea of watching the next two. How many more times did I want to hear them bash each other? No more times.


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