Folks, we’re in trouble, with a capital T, which stands for Trump -- Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president of these United States.
When I think of Trump, all I can think of are extreme negatives, the biggest one being his bigotry toward just about anyone who isn’t him. In fact, all you “For Trump” people ... don’t be surprised if he turns on you, too, because you’re not exactly like him in every way. Not a billionaire? Forget it. Never owned a hotel? Sorry, go home. Married to the same person for your entire adult life? Nope. Trust me, if there is anything even the tiniest bit different between you and Trump, he will find a way to consider you the enemy.
The alternatives on the other side of the aisle aren’t much better. There’s Hillary Clinton who -- as you can see from Robert Ariail’s cartoon on the next page -- isn’t trusted very much. As for Bernie Sanders ... I actually understand the attraction many have for his rhetoric, but so-called Democratic Socialism is still, well, socialism. No thanks.
Ted Cruz dropped out (thank goodness), but so did John Kasich (too bad). Indeed, as I pointed out earlier this election season, none of the Republican candidates came across as anything less than horrible, in my opinion.
On the Democratic side, Martin O’Malley was the last man to bow out and he was never a viable candidate.
So, come November, I believe we are going to truly be choosing between the lesser of two evils. Most likely, we will have a man on one side who’s likely to start World War III and a woman who appears to be a serial liar on the other. I just don’t think Sanders will actually get the nomination. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
Either way, what we need, sirs and madams, is a white knight to rescue us. Who could that be?
On the Republican side, the only person I can think of is former vice presidential candidate and current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. I never really liked Ryan when he ran for vice president. There were things he said and policies he proffered with which I disagreed.
However, my view of him has changed somewhat since he delivered a speech on the state of American politics to a bipartisan group of House interns in late March. I believe his new role as Speaker of the House has tempered his view on some things.
For example, a few years ago, Ryan made a remark concerning “makers” and “takers” in regards to those accepting government benefits. In his March speech he said, “But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong ... most people don’t want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong.”
Later in the same speech, Ryan had this to say about politics: “...in a confident America, we aren’t afraid to disagree with each other. We don’t lock ourselves in an echo chamber, where we take comfort in the dogmas and opinions we already hold. We don’t shut down on people -- and we don’t shut people down.”
He concluded: “Politics can be a battle of ideas, not insults. It can be about solutions. It can be about making a difference. It can be about always striving to do better.”
These are things I wish the top candidates were saying. This makes me wish Ryan were the Republican candidate for president.
Among Democrats, I have always liked Vice President Joe Biden. His TV interviews have impressed me and while he’s not perfect, his avuncular presence and big heart make him a far nicer person to have running for office than the candidates who remain. If you get the chance, Google “Biden interview Colbert” and watch the 20-minute interview from mid-September 2015 (in two parts). I dare you not to at least feel gentler toward the man than you may have in the past.
For a bit more fun, there’s Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. I have never seen a politician take their job as simultaneously seriously and hilariously as she does. May not sound like a great endorsement, but I’m learning she is one of the smartest people in Congress and doesn’t take ... um ... dog puddles from anyone. Besides, I completely agree with what she tweeted Tuesday after Trump’s Indiana victory, “What happens next ... will determine whether we move forward as one nation or splinter at the hands of one man’s narcissism and divisiveness.”
Unfortunately, Ryan, Biden and Warren have all said they won’t run for president. And there is scant time for anyone to mount a campaign against the nightmare which may come.
But I still have hope one of them or someone else may prove to be our white knight and save us.