A Basket of Deplorables:
Why Would Anyone Say Such A Thing Before The Debate?


Leonard Zwelling

         There is no doubt that Mr. Trump has brought out the worst
in some Americans. He has mocked the disabled, bad-mouthed Mexicans and made it
clear he has a religious litmus test for those wishing to enter the United
States. None of this is very uplifting. Given his penchant for the low road,
why would Mrs. Clinton fall into the same trap as Mitt Romney did four years
ago and condemn a large swath of Mr. Trump’s supporters? You have to start
wondering if she really is as smart as everyone tells us she is.

         Bashing Mr. Trump’s policies is one thing. Bashing his
supporters is another and very unwise. First, these are among the precise
voters she needs in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Second, why would you
criticize the people instead of the policy? That makes no sense. It reminds me
of when one of the FORDs called me a loser for reasons that I never did
understand. I am not sure he has turned out to be much of a winner himself, but
why not just criticize my politics and beliefs and what I write. Why lay into
me personally? Mrs. Clinton made the same mistake here.

         Then, to compound her foolishness, she concealed her
diagnosis of pneumonia (and we still don’t really know what she has or had, whether
or not she had a pneumonia vaccination, or how good an idea it was for her to
make kissy face with all those people at Ground Zero 48 hours after the
diagnosis). My understanding is that several of her staff are sick, so it is
likely that she was contagious. I know, it isn’t Nancy ‘Ebola Mary’ Snyderman,
but why not just keep those around you unexposed while you keep your diagnosis
secret. Brilliant! Not!

         I have been following Presidential elections since 1956. I
have never seen one in which the candidates have been so weak, so opaque, and
so lacking in basic political instincts. I will give Donald Trump some credit
for wishing Mrs. Clinton a speedy recovery. Smart. Rare, but smart.

         We have a country so polarized that the only sure thing this
election will guarantee is that more people will be unhappy with the result
than happy. This contrasts with 2008 when Mr. Obama beat Senator McCain and
they both showed respect for each other and for the process. So did the
American people. That is surely not the case now.

         Both candidates are hiding full financial and health record
disclosures. Both candidates cannot give a straight answer about anything from
what they used to think to what they think now.

         In golf, there is a small device called a mulligan. It’s a
do-over and utilized by many golfers at one point or another except the guys on
the PGA Tour.

         I think this election needs a mulligan.

         Let’s ask Mr. Obama to take one more lap around the Oval
Office and delay the election until 2017. We should start the primaries again
and while we are at it, let’s redo that process by which the President of MD
Anderson was selected.

         All anyone can wish for is transparent, honest, intelligent
people running for office or competing for an academic post on the basis of
qualifications and accomplishments as they pertain to the job.

         This seems like so little to ask for, but apparently is as
far away as the moon once again.

         Monday is the first debate and likely will be decisive. Why?
Believe it or not, there are many who have not made up their minds about who to
vote for, or rather who to vote against.

         We kind of know what Mr. Trump will say. It will be short
hand, vitriolic and as likely to be untrue as true. And it will be both
effective and off-putting for Mrs. Clinton.

         What can she do?

         She needs to stick to the policy and how she plans to
implement whatever her plans are to keep Americans safe and to grow the
economy. How will she increase educational opportunities? How will she deal
with what is a very public stand-off between police and the Black community
when the nation’s first black president didn’t have all that much luck with
that. What is she going to do about Mr. Putin and Mr. Assad? How will she both
defeat ISIS and keep us out of further entanglements in the Middle East? Stick
to the policies and the facts and forget about whatever Trump says or makes up.
Don’t call him on anything except when he outright lies and you can prove it.

         Mrs. Clinton, you need to give us a reason to vote FOR you,
not just one to vote AGAINST your opponent. Do that and you can order a new
comforter for the Lincoln bedroom.

Leonard Zwelling