I’m writing this early on election day, so maybe it will be one of those embarrassing DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN! deals (and you can frame this web page to show your grand kids), but:
CLINTON BEATS DOLE!
Not knowing the Congressional results, or any of the rest, I’d just like to suggest a couple of things.
First, as I’ve suggested before, despite its not being fashionable: we were lucky to have two such good and competent candidates to choose from. Unfortunately, it’s become the nature of the game for each side to try to demonize the other, but the fact is that these are both extraordinarily able, experienced men of good will, both of whom wanted to do a good job for the rest of us.
Second, the drumbeat of “scandals” surrounding the President is mostly hokum. To me, Hillary’s commodities scandal is a good example. Even the least financially savvy among us can snicker at the knowledge that she must have done something wrong. But as I’ve written before, other than being too defensive about it, this simply turns out not to be true. She didn’t. Likewise, the Clintons’ Whitewater investment and the Vince Foster suicide. These scandals turn out to be non-scandals — and yet, throw enough of them out there, relentlessly, and they begin to take on a life of their own.
Not to say the Clintons are perfect — or the Doles either, for that matter. Perfect is a pretty tough standard to live up to. And not to say the FBI files matter shouldn’t be looked into — someone screwed up (but why are his political enemies so sure it was the President?). Or that campaign finance reform is not badly needed (but it’s badly needed on both sides).
For those who disagree with the President’s ideas on social and economic policy, there’s naturally the strong disposition to believe anything that would “prove” he’s a bad guy — and thus discredit those ideas. We want to believe the worst about the people we disagree with.
And even the rest of us, not wanting to appear naive, tend to assume the worst.
But my own instinct — having through dumb luck had an opportunity to observe the First Couple a little bit back when they were merely Arkansas’ first couple — is that most of this stuff is simply without substance, overblown, or, with respect to his private life, really none of our business.
So if your man won — congratulations. And if he lost — well, I just want to suggest that it may not be as bad as you think. After all, the last four years haven’t been that terrible.
Tomorrow: Whither the Market
Quote of the Day
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.~H. L. Mencken
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