Abraham, Hillary and Don


Leonard Zwelling

         The 1968 hit song Abraham, Martin and John by Dion extolled the virtues of the 16th President, along with the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr. “They freed a lot of people, but it seems the good they die young…”

         At the debate on Sunday, October 9, poor Abe Lincoln was dragged into the mud, first by Hillary Clinton as an explanation for two-faced politicians and politics (is there another kind?) and then The Donald called him Honest Abe, something that Hillary is not.


         I guess the perfect metaphor for America right now is the bald eagle caught in a car grill after Hurricane Matthew passed through Florida:


         The country seems caught in a storm and enmeshed in a dung heap of political name calling and bad adult behavior. Whether or not Dion was telling the whole story about the Kennedys or Dr. King in his laudatory song, the legend matters and we all know from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Dion did.

         I must have been watching a different debate from all the pundits. I thought Mrs. Clinton did exactly what she needed to do in this heavyweight match of flawed party champions. She did the counter-punching as he tried to loom over her with a posture that cemented the notion of Mr. Trump as a sexual predator a la Sonny Liston. It was interesting that the only thing good about Mr. Trump Mrs. Clinton could name was his kids. He called her a fighter. I think they both may be right.

         The GOP got themselves into this mess by running the worst primary contest anyone has ever seen. Most of the men and one woman had absolutely no business even thinking about being President. Ben Carson? Please!

There’s a reason for the Electoral College and the original election of Senators by state legislatures. The Founders did not want the country falling victim to the mob and the mob is who is backing Mr. Trump. They are not deplorable, nor irredeemable. They are the have-nots who see a government operating in a fashion both dysfunctional and benefitting the rich while leaving them to fend for themselves and for their kids to have no hope for a better future. Given that, it is imperative that every American looks past Mrs. Clinton’s casual relationship with money, power and the truth and realize that of the two choices, only she will put the Trump supporters in a better place than they are now. He won’t help them by lowering taxes on the wealthy. He will just bankrupt the country like one of his casinos in Atlantic City.

         I don’t think that either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump is a person for whom the National Park Service will need to make more room on Mount Rushmore. She did treat Bill Clinton’s women badly. She did make a few really bad judgments about the Iraq War, Libya and health reform in the 1990’s when she was First Lady. And the emails…enough has been said. But she has learned and her cool demeanor at the debate revealed how tough she really is. That’s who I want staring down the Russians, not a man who would exchange conquest stories with Vladimir Putin over drinks at a new Trump Hotel in Moscow on horseback with their shirts off.

         There is no doubt that Americans have been given an awful choice. Adults often are. But there was only one person on that stage Sunday capable of filling a desk in the Oval Office and it wasn’t the one with the funny yellow hair. It was the one with the most unamused look on her face who right now is all that there is between America and a Third World country where the loser of an election goes to jail.

         Neither of these two are Abraham, Martin or John, but the choice is pretty clear. As Dion might comment, better we should elect someone married to Runaround Sue than someone who IS Runaround Sue.

Leonard Zwelling