Dump Trump or Pillory Hillary?


This coming November our nation’s top political prize will go to either a narcissistic, sexist, cheating, lying, fact-shifting, opportunist … or to Donald Trump.  That fact alone should have rendered the Brexit news a mere blip on the financial market radar as surely either of these candidates taking the highest office in the land will spook the markets much more.

How in God’s green earth did we get to this place?  Why don’t the best of our best strive to lead our country again?  Where are the Colin Powell’s who are held in high esteem on both sides of the aisle?

The answer is actually quite simple:  Modern politics have devolved into a cheap rip-off of WWE wrestling.  Sgt. Slaughter vs. the Iron Sheik (Google them, millennials) has been replaced with Barbara Boxer vs. Carly Fiorina.  The Trump/Hillary debates later this summer are sure to break viewership records; not for their policy debate to clarify positions but rather to see if her camel clutch can outdo his ‘do.

We got here thanks to a lack of Congressional term limits, the creation of a permanent political class, influx of special interest influence, and the absence of a line item veto which makes PORK legislation the standard where all sides gain (which of course is untenable).  But even more so from a two party system that treats a world that is increasingly grey as one that is black and white.  And who comprise the black and white?  The demagogues and the partisans, the very people who jam up any hope of compromise for the betterment of the country.  And unfortunately those who also happen to be most engaged with our politics.

But there is hope … a bright glimmer that their exists a rational element of our electorate who are rooted in principal minus the blind demagoguery allegiance that our media promotes. This letter from a highly principled citizen, displays the rather novel concept of patriotism to our country over that to his party.   We would do well to mimic such hierarchy in choosing our political candidates:

Dear Sir or Madam,
I’ve voted for the Congresswoman in every campaign where she was running to represent me.  I’ve placed her signs in my yard and have been an enthusiastic supporter.  And, although her conservative credentials are not the strongest, I liked and respected her.  In spite of the fact that she insists on aligning herself with the establishment side of the Republican party, I still intended to vote for her this November.  That was until today. 
Once again, your campaign was placing the precious Flag of the United States along the curb of every home in my neighborhood.  They’re bathing in the sun and swaying gently in the summer breeze.  It’s a marvelous sight.  Those flags look incredible . . . .  today.  But what happens in a couple of days, after the flags are strewn about by the wind, trampled by people getting their mail, or desecrated by animals?  What happens when our precious flag is laying in the street being driven over by cars?  Is the campaign planning to drive through all of the streets in the district each day and rescue these distressed flags?  Of course not.  
In my neighborhood, it will again be up to a handful of patriotic neighbors picking up these flags and respectfully, honorably, and pursuant to the US Flag Code, destroying them.  Because as a veteran and one who reveres the majesty of Old Glory and all she represents, I am duty bound to clean up your atrocious mess.  What I will see by the end of the weekend will break my heart.
This is not the first time the campaign placed curbside flags.  A few years ago, I contacted you through Facebook and issued a similar complaint.  I was impressed by how quickly the campaign responded to me. I was further impressed when Rep. Comstock stood in my driveway on a crisp autumn day and did not hide from this debacle but instead owned the decision and apologized for it.  She earned my respect for her handling of that moment.  Honest mistakes happen and I accepted the explanation. That respect translated into another yard sign and vocal support for Barbara Comstock among my friends and neighbors. 
Today is not an honest mistake.  It was a wanton use of the US Flag for political gain.  It sets the stage for the accidental desecration of many, many flags.  Have the leaders of the campaign taken the time to familiarize themselves with the US Flag Code, found here http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html?  Is Rep. Comstock familiar with the code?  Your campaign has once AGAIN violated multiple provisions of the code, to include prohibitions on night display; inclement weather display; touching anything underneath it; displaying the flag so that it will become soiled; use of the flag for advertising; among others.  Then again, maybe you are familiar but don’t care because you intend to prey on voters’ poor civics education and ignorance of the proper care and display of the US Flag.  Either way, it reveals a decision lacking in honor and I am sickened by it.   Why do you insist on doing this?  
This November was going to a difficult election for me.  I find myself voting for Donald Trump only because I cannot abide four to eight years of Hillary Clinton in the White House.  Congressional terms are only two years.  That doesn’t seem like a very long time to tolerate a liberal member of Congress.  Besides, it is but one voice in a chorus of 435.  I can live with it.  And if your campaign loses, I will happily commit myself to finding a conservative representative who respects and honors what I hold dear–not one who plays lip service to honoring the flag while setting the conditions for its abuse. 
Amazingly, in one afternoon, you have managed to turn on its head one of the easiest decisions I planned to make in the election booth, my vote for Barbara Comstock.  But even more important than that, I find myself in the strange position of urging my friends and neighbors to not vote for a Republican candidate, which is strange, uncharted ground for me.  I’ve always voted for, and urged others to vote for, the Republican in every local, state, and federal election since the time I cast my first ballot for Ronald Reagan.  I also find myself now in the unique position of not voting in support of, but rather voting against, candidates.  I’m voting “Not Hillary” at the top of the ballot and “Not Barbara” down ballot.  Funny thing is, I don’t even know who is running against you.
Although Barbara Comstock has lost my support, I still like her and wish her well personally.  I’m disappointed in her campaign and the values that this lack of leadership has exposed.
-Great Falls, VA

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