And despite their different temperaments -- Trump, the garish, in-your-face braggart who shoots from the hip, and Clinton, the crafty behnd-the-scenes manipulator whose every moved is scripted -- they have a lot in common. Both are Ivy-League educated, both are wealthy, both are longtime members of the New York/Washington/Los Angeles ruling elite.
So I find this very curious. Real Clear Politics has a poll asking people if the country is headed in the right direction. The latest finding reports that 68% think we're headed in the wrong direction, compared to 18% who say we're on the right track. And yet our choice this year is more-of-the-same vs. barroom-brawler.
But what do I know? I was not one of the 27 million TV viewers who saw Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech, nor one of the 30 million who watched Donald Trump. I was on vacation during the Republican convention; and as for the Democrats, by then I felt like I'd already heard all the nasty name-calling I could possibly stand.
We know that politics is a nasty game. At least we don't have duels anymore, or attempted coups that seem almost routine in the rest of the world. For another perspective check out Meryl Baer who ponders this crazy election season in Donald Trump and His Co-Conspirators. She suggests at least one reason why Trump was able to brilliantly move beyond the penthouse of Trump Towers to become the GOP's presidential candidate.
But if, like me, you are now trying to avoid politics, consult what I think is a more constructive post, Delaying the Arrival of Alzheimer's and Dementia, about how watching your grandchildren (rather than presidential debates) can help defer the onset of these much-feared disabilities.
Meanwhile, Rita Robison takes on those robocalls. (Businesses may be the worst, but politicians aren't far behind. A friend of mine gave $25 to a political candidate. He is now inundated with emails and telephone calls every day. "I kid you not, I got 40 emails yesterday from politicians in six or seven states asking for contributions," he told me.) Now a federal agency is trying to require the phone companies to provide customers with free ways to block unwanted robocalls. Ring up The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide to find out more.
Carol Cassara agrees with me, at least to the extent that there hasn't been much to laugh about lately. But that hasn't deterred her, over at Heart, Mind Soul, from talking about some of the benefits of laughter and why it's so important -- and thankfully she demonstrates her sense of humor when her son . . . well, read about it yourself over at Don't Text Me.
Despite all the sturm und drang, I think it's pretty clear that Donald Trump will need a vacation in November, after he experiences defeat at the polls. (Real Clear Politics has Clinton leading by somewhere between 50 and 100 electoral votes). Besides, we all know that Trump needs to calm down anyway. And so it suddenly hit me that Kathy Gottberg has inadvertently come up with a good idea for the Trump family.
Every summer, she reports in The Cure for Worry, Fear and Narcissism, she and her husband rent a house up in the mountains, primarily to connect them to the feelings of beauty and nature that they can't get at home. "Being in nature," she writes, "and finding an ongoing sense of awe and wonder, is critical to our feelings of happiness and well being . . . and besides that, it also makes us nicer people to be around."
Just the cure for Donald Trump. Don't you think?
Or, perhaps Laura Lee Carter suggests another scenario. In her post High in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains she tells us you might, as she does, harbor some romantic visions about living high in the Colorado mountains. She visited some new friends who live in an old miner's cabin at 8,200 feet, and then she came home with a few stories about living way up high.
I know this was not Carter's intent. But I can't help thinking Donald Trump, at 8,200 feet . . . as Jack Nicholson in The Shining. What say you?