cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
We have, it appears, survived the presidential primary campaign season.
During this season just passed, we witnessed the significant defeat of the Clintons. Yes, of both Clintons, not just Hillary. There is no 'just Hillary'. With her comes the other, Bill. With her comes the remembrances of all that was the Clintonian presidency; the innuendo, the smears, the lost billing records, the huge trading gains, the eleventh-hour pardons and on and on and on. It wasn't a significant defeat in terms of numbers of votes, but it was significant in terms of the name and the legacy.
During this season just passed, we saw the emergence of a first-term senator from Illinois who is now the Democrat candidate for President of the United States of America. He is biracial, and that means that a historic 'barrier' appears to have been overcome. He is inexperienced as compared to the typical candidate for our highest elected position, but he has an eloquence about him that seems to enthrall those to whom he speaks. He is Barack Obama. Of that we can be sure. But, beyond that we are unsure. There is much about him and his beliefs that needs to be fleshed out between now and November
During this season just passed, we saw the Republicans settle on an elder member of the senate who will be nearly 72 if and when he takes office. The word 'settle' was chosen intentionally. The conservative members of the Republican party were forced to 'settle' for John McCain. They may take up the banner and charge ahead, or they may hold back, contribute little and vote begrudgingly. We know that he has been bloodied in battle, and that is reality and not simply an expression. We know the mettle of the man.
So, Hillary is expected to finally make her amends to Barack Obama today by suspending her campaign. That means that she is still trying to finagle something more for herself. It might be that promise of a nomination to become a member of the Supreme Court, or it might be the payment of her $20 million campaign shortfall that came from the Clintons' pocket, or it might be the selection as the vice presidential candidate. We don't know, and we may not come to know anytime soon; but we do know the Clintons and we do know that there will be some price extracted by them. That is the way it is with them.
And the rest of us are left to make a monumentally important decision as to whom we desire as our next titular head. I use the word 'titular' intentionally, as well. The President of the United States influences but seldom decides policy. The President lives in a world of 'checks and balances' that sometimes seems to be unchecked and imbalanced. Congress will be very important as it always is. That is frightening when one steps back and observes the ofttimes childish machinations that come from this body.
As it stands today, we would choose between an elder about whom we know a good deal and a junior about whom we know virtually nothing. I am reminded of the phrase that refers to the 'devil we know versus the devil we don't know'. I don't use that phrase in a derogatory manner. This election is, to my thinking, a classic 'lesser of evils' election. The campaign will be waged between one who is so far only a passable speaker but whom we know, and between the other who is as eloquent a speaker as any politician in my lifetime but about whom we know next to nothing.
And I confess to great concern since us voters tend to be swayed by eloquence more than substance far too often...and we often pay a dear price as the result.