The Octogenarian: This is one crazy election season
In my lifetime, I have lived under 14 U.S. presidents, starting with Herbert Hoover, and have survived 21 presidential campaigns. Despite hearing from several of those campaigns that this election will be the end of America as we know it, both me and my country, have survived them all and prospered.
The first presidential campaign I worked on was for Harry Truman, who was running for re-election, in 1948. Truman was really hated because his election would be the fifth election of a Democrat for president and that would mean twenty consecutive years of a Democrat in the White House.
Truman had so little chance of winning that election that the morning after election day, a leading Chicago newspaper came out with the now infamous banner headline, “Dewey Wins.”
Since then, I have closely observed every presidential campaign and been involved in some on both sides. But I have never observed a campaign like today’s 2016 slugfest.
How and why is this one different?
For one thing, the lack of integrity exhibited by the candidates is overwhelming. In a political campaign, you expect exaggeration. But with this campaign, the amount of smear tactics, false innuendo, vilification attempts, misguidance towards false fears and the outright bigotry is overwhelming.
I think constantly of my mother, sister, my wife, my six daughters, their daughters and my great-granddaughter juxtaposed to members of the Republican party that shows complete disdain and disrespect toward women.
This movement is led by their bigot and chief, Donald Trump and carried on by the next to worst senator in the Congress, Ted Cruz. These two purveyors of hate and bigotry with a disregard for our Constitution are two of the most dangerous politicians on the American scene in my lifetime.
As for John Kasich, his record shows that he, too, is no friend to your wife or mother either.
On the Democrat side, we have Bernie Sanders, seen as a nice old guy who is making the same speech day after day.
As they say in Texas: all hat and no cattle.
Sanders claims that the reason Hillary Clinton won all of the early states is that he did not compete at all in those states. But Sanders’ own people admit that, in at least three of those states, he was the first to have campaign headquarters and that he did compete, just unsuccessfully.
That leaves my choice for next president of the United States, the candidate who has successfully accomplished more than all of the others combined: Clinton. Since the late 1980s, I have seen the political right accuse her of virtually every crime possible. She is easily the strongest candidate and the only one prepared for this job.
Disagree with me? Good. At least you’re thinking. But gather your facts, not anecdotal nonsense.
Opinion Columnist Ken Levin is a political science senior and may be reached at [email protected]