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Hillary or Donald. Aaaargh

Web posted on August 04, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

I do not envy our friends down south. They have some tough choices to make. In the Red corner we have Donald Trump the outsider, in the Blue corner we have Hillary Clinton the ultimate insider. The conventions are over, and they are now the official nominees. Just think, the worst is yet to come. Americans have a long and dishonourable history of dirty, nasty, vicious campaigns, but those will pale in comparison.

The United States is the oldest democracy on the planet, yet in many ways they are acting as if it were the newest. They have a two party system. That's not much of a choice. Each of the parties has some great ideas I really like in their platforms and philosophies. Unfortunately, each party has many more things in their platform that I could never vote for and consider to be just too far out in left/right field. How can a party be pro life and pro gun at the same time? There is no safe middle ground for the moderate voter. There must be a few of them out there, I hope. (We have four parties and I think I said the same thing before our last election.) They seem to be getting more and more polarized all the time, and there is precious little middle ground, or even moderation. They are even having a hard time completely supporting their respective nominees. Both parties seem to be dysfunctional at best. There are probably numerous people already plotting their 2020 presidential campaigns.

It is the only country on the planet where the election process is an ongoing industry. The amount of money that is spent has to be a significant percentage of their Gross Domestic Product. There are elections and primaries of some sort going on every year. It really gets out of hand every four years at presidential election time. I have feeling that if all the money spent on elections could be redirected it would go a long way to solving many of their social problems. With all the time, and money spent on the presidential election process, you would think that they could come up with two better candidates.

I find that our party conventions our much more interesting and less predictable than the American's. For the most part their conventions are a cross between a coronation and a pep rally. They also drag on for four days and late into the night. Well, they do announce the party platforms and if they stick with them, it is much better than the promise-a-day of our campaigns.

There have been great presidents from both parties. Unfortunately there have been way too many mediocre presidents of late. In many ways I feel that the two current candidates have a long way to go before rising to mediocrity.

Donald Trump needs a translator (from Trump Speak to English) so that we really know what he means. He has said a lot of really off the wall things in his speeches. All of it can be open to (mis)interpretation. He has back-tracked on some issues, and put his foot further in his mouth on other issues. He seems to have some interesting ideas, but too often they are cancelled out by the crazy sounding ones. He has a tendency to say what people want to hear, which is why he got as many votes as he did in the primaries. He is also as far from the establishment as you can get. There are many times when we all say things that just don't come out sounding right. When you are running for President of the United States, there is no room for that type of error. Who is the real Donald Trump? There are days when you wonder if he is crazy like a fox, and other days if he is just plain crazy. He scares the living daylights out of many people. Then again a lot of people were scared out of their minds at the prospect of Ronald Reagan being elected president.

Some day there will be a great female president and without a doubt she will do an excellent job. Unfortunately it won't be Hillary Clinton if she gets elected. She makes any of our politicians you care to name (even the most despised ones) look honest, loveable, frugal, and trustworthy by comparison. At least with Hillary there is no ambiguity, when her lips are moving you know she is lying. There are almost as many Americans who dislike Hillary as there are who can't stand Donald.

There is one thing both screaming Donald and screaming Hillary have in common. Their voices grate on our nerves....

Will it be lesser of two evils, or the least evil of two lessers?

For the most part I tend to avoid openly support a candidate or a party, (it's more fun to skewer them) but I have a very self serving reason to hope that Donald wins. One of his promises was to put coal miners back to work, and I am going to need a lot of coal for this year's Lumpy Awards in December.

The Green and Libertarian candidates could get a lot of votes this year from those who can't vote for Hillary or Donald. These votes could decide who loses the election, rather than who wins. It all depends on how many Democrats or Republicans don't vote for their party's candidate. We all remember how Ross Perot caused George H. W. Bush to lose the election because many more Republicans voted for Ross than Democrats.

I really don't plan to comment any further on the campaign, unless something truly outrageous happens. With my track record of late, I think I will be back sooner than later.

As I said in a previous column we will have to build a wall no matter who gets elected. If we are to believe a lot of people on the loonie left, they will be moving here if Donald wins. For the most part they make our loonie left look quite reasonable, and we really don't want them corrupted. On the other hand we have the righteous right. I don't think they will be as much of a problem. I suspect they will probably go those states with lots of mountains or swamps and plan their survivalist, government hating, gun loving, conspiracy theory filled agenda. Most of them don't even know we exist. All of their maps show a big blank space above the United States with the inscription "Here be Dragons." Still, you never know. It's best to be safe.

Either way, be afraid, be very afraid.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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