Hillary Clinton is our final protective barrier against a massive Trump forest fire now raging across our land.
She is the firewall standing between a fire which should have been stopped when it began June 15, 2015, as an anti-Obama racist birther flame.
On November 8, voters will have to choose: Support Hillary Rodham Clinton; make a naive gesture for a third party candidate; vote for a retired general or Aunt Maud; or vote for Donald J. Trump.
I chaired George McGovern’s Illinois convention delegation in 1972 when one young McGovern delegate told me she would cast her vice presidential nominating vote for her mother.
That irresponsible act was an early warning to me of misguided idealism in politics. It revealed an immaturity on the Miami convention floor in 1972. In 2016, it flames the fires of tyranny.
New York Times columnist Andrew Rosenthal addresses what is at stake:
Melania Trump said the man in the 2005 video is not the man she knows. But he is the man the rest of us know. To vote for him, you have to pretend you don’t know who he really is — or choose not to care.
The Republican Party could have found a way to halt the Trump phenomenon when the Donald emerged as the possible nominee. Rosenthal believes he knows why the GOP did not unite against Trump:
I’ve never believed that the Republican leadership really disagreed with Trump’s fringe views. They just didn’t like the way he expressed them, because it exposed some powerful and disturbing currents in their party.
South Korea’s Samsung headquarters knew what to do when its phones started exploding; it canceled production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
It is too late for the GOP to cancel anything. Ballots are printed and early voting has begun.
In a report under the heading, “Trump declares himself free from ‘shackles’ — and threatens to burn the GOP to the ground.” Raw Story’s Brad Reed sees Trump at war with the GOP he conned into letting him be their nominee.
If Donald Trump is going down, he’s going to try to bring down everyone else with him. In a furious tweet storm on Tuesday, Trump ripped House Speaker Paul Ryan for his “weak and ineffective” leadership and accused him of being disloyal for saying on Monday that he was finished defending Trump’s candidacy.
Trump declared that Ryan’s betrayal had freed him from his “shackles” — and he could now campaign for the presidency without any kind of filter at all.
Few media voices have arisen to question Trump’s psychological make-up, which makes him unfit for the high office he now seeks. Such reluctance is understandable. Medical experts are unwilling to attribute mental conditions of individuals they have not personally examined.
David Brooks bravely puts forth his personality assessment of Trump in his New York Times column, entitled, Donald Trump’s Sad, Lonely Life.
Brooks’ lay diagnosis is simple: “Trump continues to display the symptoms of narcissistic alexithymia,” a psychological category which may be studied on the internet, through such sources as this essay in Huffington Post.
Politics is an effort to make human connection, but Trump seems incapable of that. He is essentially adviser-less, friendless. His campaign team is made up of cold mercenaries at best and Roger Ailes at worst. His party treats him as a stench it can’t yet remove. . . .
Trump breaks his own world record for being appalling on a weekly basis, but as the campaign sinks to new low after new low, I find myself experiencing feelings of deep sadness and pity.
Imagine if you had to go through a single day without sharing kind little moments with strangers and friends. Imagine if you had to endure a single week in a hate-filled world, crowded with enemies of your own making, the object of disgust and derision.
You would be a twisted, tortured shrivel, too, and maybe you’d lash out and try to take cruel revenge on the universe. For Trump this is his whole life.
Trump continues to display the symptoms of narcissistic alexithymia, [which is] the inability to understand or describe the emotions in the self. Unable to know themselves, sufferers are unable to understand, relate or attach to others.
To prove their own existence, they hunger for endless attention from outside. Lacking internal measures of their own worth, they rely on external but insecure criteria like wealth, beauty, fame and others’ submission.
Trump’s supporters are likely to ignore such a description, but it is nevertheless, one way of understanding how this raging forest fire has been sweeping through our political life.
Trump has been a professional entertainer and a builder of massive structures. He had not been previously examined in the court of public opinion as a political leader or as the President of the United States.
Hillary Clinton, like candidates before her, is flawed. Her husband has been a burden to a wife with a single-minded vision. That same husband, however served two successful terms in the White House, even as his own careless personal behavior embarrassed the nation.
Hillary Clinton is smart, determined and wise to the ways of politics. She demonstrated this in her leaked private meetings with donors.
In one private donor meeting, she spoke of two levels of political thought, the public and the private. She was referring to Steven Spielberg’s film, Lincoln, with a subtle perspective any perceptive viewer could share.
In his 2012 film review of Lincoln, the Chicago Sun Times critic Roger Ebert wrote:
Lincoln lacked social polish but he had great intelligence and knowledge of human nature. The hallmark of the man, performed so powerfully by Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, is calm self-confidence, patience and a willingness to play politics in a realistic way.
The film focuses on the final months of Lincoln’s life, including the passage of the 13th Amendment ending slavery, the surrender of the Confederacy and his assassination. Rarely has a film attended more carefully to the details of politics.
Lincoln believed slavery was immoral, but he also considered the 13th Amendment a masterstroke in cutting away the financial foundations of the Confederacy.
In the film, the passage of the amendment is guided by William Seward (David Strathairn), his secretary of state, and by Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones), the most powerful abolitionist in the House.
In his script for Lincoln, Tony Kushner delivers a Lincoln who maneuvers through a divided Congress by sharing his private convictions with a limited few, while persuading his opponents that they should agree to his public position that both sides benefited from Lincoln’s political agenda.
In Sunday’s second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton was attacked for having said to a private donor group that a good politician has a personal and a public perspective on political issues.
When pressed at the debate, Clinton said she was referring to the Spielberg movie, Lincoln. The media had missed the possible connection of her personal/public opinion to how effectively a politician like Lincoln operates on those two levels.
Trump attacked Clinton for dragging Lincoln into her campaign. He demonstrated no depth of awareness of either the film or the the historical Lincoln.
Movies that rise above entertainment are both “about” that which is obvious on the surface, and “are” something deeper in the dynamics of a film. Hillary Clinton knows the difference. She referenced that difference in her private remarks.
If she is elected, she will have many opportunities to choose between the surface military option or following the deeper diplomatic option in both foreign and domestic battles.
She will see this even more clearly once she is in the White House. It is reassuring that she understands the two-level decision-making of master politician Abraham Lincoln.