The Honeymoon is Over

PeteMauer

Years ago in America, well south of the Mason-Dixon line, a tradition was held for newlyweds.  They were given a lunar cycle’s worth of a special, locally-brewed, honey-based and fermented beverage.  The month got its name as the period of time between full moons; they were called ‘moonths’.

Because the newlyweds were given enough ‘honey’ to last a ‘moonth’, the initial 28 days of the marriage came to be known as the ‘honeymoon’.

Okay, enough with history.

Now that both the GOP and the Democrats have anointed their respective nominees, let the games begin….and by ‘games’, of course, I mean the slanderous, hyperbolic, name-calling and mud-slinging that is about to begin in earnest.

With the honeymoon period over,  each party gets to see the ‘real’ candidate, at least as much as they want you to. With Hillary, we pretty much know what to expect.  Like her or not, like her policies or not, like her loose approach to security or not, at least you know what you’re going to get – the mirror image of Bill, only not nearly as likeable.

Bill Clinton, despite his questionable personal morals, was generally well-liked, not only by most Americans, but also by world leaders.  “Bubba”, as he came to be known, was more like your favorite uncle than the leader of the then-undisputed world’s superpower.

But Hillary, despite being the first female presidential nominee, is not nearly as well liked. Forget the red herring known as the Benghazi hearings; they aren’t going anywhere. As for the server issue, that has more staying power, as in ‘it’s staying in the public eye for a while’, and that has many, many Independent and Democratic voters on the fence regarding Hillary and their vote.

Donald Trump has similar problems, only more pronounced.  A relative unknown when it comes to politics, no one, myself included, gave him much of a chance to do anything more than serve as a disruptor to the real political process.

But like Bernie Sanders, Trump’s appeal stems from a growing number of Americans who are both disenfranchised from the economic success enjoyed by the top on-percenters and disillusioned by a political system so rigged against them and to the benefit of, not surprisingly, those same one-percenters.

Regardless of your political persuasion, or whether you are a Hillary or Trump supporter, there are two things that will determine the outcome of the general election: (1) how each candidate will battle their respective ‘unfavorable’ ratings, over 50% for Hillary and a staggering 65% for The Donald, and (2) how many current Trump supporters will hang on.

Trump’s biggest challenge will not come from Hillary, but from his own big mouth.

And that same mouth that got him to this point may also serve as the instrument of his political demise.  You simply cannot shoot your mouth off like some hormonally-charged adolescent with impulse-control problems and expect to maintain even the slightest whiff of credibility.

I do not like Hillary, and likely will not vote for her, but I do respect her statesmanship and sense of decorum, both qualities that a true world leader needs.

I do not like Donald Trump, and absolutely will not vote for him, even though I have to admire his lack of life-long-politician pedigree.  His big mouth, lack of decorum and sensibilities, not to mention his oft-demonstrated bigotry, sexism, xenophobia, petulance, and impulsive and childish outbursts are more the attributes of a playground bully than the leader of a superpower with access to ICBM launch codes.

Fortunately, I have more faith in America than does Donald Trump, and I think as November gets closer, more and more Americans will awaken from their stupor and see Trump for what he truly is – a arrogant and ignorant boor who should get no closer to the White House than a stroll along Pennsylvania Avenue.

[gazetteguy@yahoo.com]