Sunday, October 16, 2016


We should have known it would come to this. A male candidate and a female candidate running against each other for the Presidency of the  United States.

The boys against the girls. It was ever thus. Any divorce lawyer will tell you that when the flame dies and animosity sets in, the battle becomes vicious.

Men and women fight differently, and when they do, their man-ness and woman-ness seeps through. Charlie Brown gets angry, flustered and red faced. Lucy gets steely eyed and mean spirited.

Nobody wins domestic arguments. They just end somehow. Murder, divorce, make up sex. Somehow. Unhappily, the rhetoric in the 2016 campaign has made it sound like a colossal bedroom shouting match. And the things they accuse each other of are curious.

Hillary says that Trump is a misogynist. That means he hates women. To prove it, she points to testimony that Trump gropes, touches, kisses and ogles women.

Curiously, that would suggest not only that he doesn’t hate women, but that he is attracted to them beyond the customary restraints of courtesy and decency.

For his part, Trump attempts to paint Hillary as a rumor mongering, devious, and dishonest shrew. The saddest aspect of this phenomenon is the impact it has on the people of the United States.

We have always been divided between Republicans and Democrats. Even within families. Somehow we manage to compartmentalize our politics so that every day life can continue in reasonable tranquility.

But the emotional dimension associated with a cross gender feud, has a way of intruding on our lives differently than the ordinary political debate.

Hillary, of course, plays the sex card. Constantly and loudly. Why not? She would be the first female President of the United States. Not only would that be a feather in her cap, it would be an historic event in which every American, male or female, would take great pride and satisfaction.

Particularly women. Particularly our wives, daughters, sisters and mothers.

We like to think that Presidential elections are decided upon issues relating to the operation of our government; the kinds of things listed in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: Unity, Justice, Domestic Tranquility, Defense, Welfare and Liberty; and the character, competence, instincts and experience of the candidates.

Chauvinism is defined as excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one's own cause, group, or gender. Surely there are both male and female chauvinists among us. What they do in the secrecy of the voting booth, and why they do it is their own business.

But the fact is that the average voter makes a rather visceral decision on election day. Social scientists tell us that the outcome of an election can be reliably predicted by showing pictures of the candidates to people who do not know who they are, what they are running for or what they believe or stand for.

If that is so, how much gender biased inertia will affect the outcome on November 8, and how much the election result will disturb American family tranquility no one knows or can predict. My guess is that an attractive woman would beat a homely man and vice versa.

I well remember the heated argument my parents had when my Dad learned that my Mother had voted in favor of allowing oleomargarine to be artificially colored to look like butter.

We can only deplore the fact that ‘Peanuts’ cartoonist Charles M. Schulz is no longer with us and able to cast Donald Trump as Charlie Brown and Hillary Clinton as Lucy.

America needs a good laugh.

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