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The Madera Tribune

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Political pitfalls everywhere

August 27, 2016

Instructions to never discuss politics or religion seem like good advice to maintain a cordial relationship with your relatives and in-laws. Such as this last weekend of August the weather forecast calls for the high 90s. There was a time that the weather was one of the few truly safe subjects for discourse. Then global warming entered the American lexicon and now even discussing the weather can turn into an argument. At least with the people who turn every discussion into an argument. Some people are just constantly angry.

 

Starting a quarrel isn’t a unique ability. Avoiding arguments — now that is the talent worth cultivating. Some people learn it in childhood. Polite parents know civility can be passed down from one generation to another. Perpetually rude people also pass their behavior on to their offspring as well.

 

While it is inappropriate to call children primates, everyone knows that is what is happening when the term, monkey see, monkey do, is used. I have always found it strange that one needs to pass a test to drive a car or fly a plane and yet there is no prerequisite license required to have a child.

 

In a recent “Pearls Before Swine,” comic strip by Stephan Patis the character of Rat said that overpopulation is a serious problem and if people won’t slow down the birth rate his “Save the Planet,” organization is doing other things to control population. Then he distributes fried food, cigarettes and coupons for free motorcycles.

 

According to babycenter.com it can cost more than $500,000 to raise a child to the age of 18 in this part of the country. Since people aren’t required to undergo a permit process to have children there should be a law compelling prospective parents to open a child rearing escrow account to ensure they and their off-spring don’t become a burden to society. Something to think about!

 

In November, citizens of the United States will vote in what has to be the strangest presidential election in the history of America. The grownups running the country are letting former first lady Hilary Clinton run for president against mega-rich real estate developer Donald Trump. Watching the candidates tear into each other is more like watching professional wrestling than a political race.

 

Ordinary people can afford to exhibit outrageous behavior, politicians not so much. Our president will need to meet with the heads of state from around the globe. While these premiers, presidents and kings no doubt have private moments where they let their dignified facades slip, most of them have the good sense to not act out in public. Not something Trump has learned. While Clinton tends to appear gracious in public she has that credibility problem in the mind of many voters.

 

Video cameras are everywhere including most cell phones. The chances of showing-off in public and having it recorded for posterity have never been greater. That is great motivation to behave while in public for sure.

 

I recently saw a television commercial that said it was from the Clinton campaign that only reinforced the reasons people love Trump. There were three film clips of “The Donald,” making outrageous claims. It made me shake my head and wonder if the Clinton camp is so focused on making Trump look bad that they couldn’t see how the ad might backfire.

 

The election is now just 72 days away. If this was a bad fantasy novel a third-party independent candidate would appear out of the mist to save the day. This fictional candidate would need to be tall and handsome. He would have to be a charismatic big daddy figure that both sides could embrace as a good alternative. I hate to admit it but even on my most feminist day I can’t envision a female version of this alternate candidate. Not even Linda Carter as Wonder Woman with her super powers could get elected at this late date.

 

What I can imagine is my hypothetical presidential pretender in league with either a criminal underworld or one operated by Satan. Isn’t that the way the horror stories about the end of the world play out with a huge conspiracy?

 

Enjoy your weekend.

 

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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