Saturday, July 2, 2016

Trump or Clinton: Who Is the Biggest Pirate?

Jimmy Olsen #118
Politics rears its ugly head in the weirdest of places. Earlier this week I went to return a Jimmy Olsen comic to the guy on 40th street in Manhattan who sold it to me (It turned out I already had a copy of it--It was the one from the late 1960s where Jimmy turns into a hippie and launches a Hate-In against Superman.) The comic-book seller also has numerous campaign buttons for both Clinton and Trump on his card table. He was engaged in conversation with another gentleman with a British accent. The English guy was saying he'd won a bet of several hundred pounds that Trump would win the Republican nomination and he was laying a similar wager that the Donald would become President. He went on to say that Hillary was a tremendous crook and there would a Watergate-sized scandal if the Justice Department did not indict her for the email thing.

I could no longer contain myself and decided to venture into controversial waters. Before asking about returning the Jimmy Olsen, I said to the British Hillary hater, "So you'd rather have Trump than Clinton?"

"A thousand times yes."

"Really, you'd rather have a man who has gone bankrupt four times, sold the Plaza Hotel for more than he paid for it, had his yacht repossessed, started a bunch of casinos which failed, and stiffed hundreds of his suppliers and vendors, over a woman who's been a Senator and Secretary of State?"

"I don't like him. He's a bully, a narcissist, he's obnoxious, but she is the most corrupt person in decades. He is who we need now."

"What are you talking about?"

"We are on a ship that is headed for a waterfall and you need a ruthless pirate like in the olden days to steer us safely to shore."

"Or to steer us onto the rocks which is what Trump would do. And besides, if you think we need a devious crook in order to save us from ruin, by your logic we should have Hillary because you think she's a bigger criminal than Donald. If you use your thinking, she's more a successful crook than Trump who keeps losing fortunes. He himself admits he's the King of Debt."

The conversation went on in this vein for a while with the English Trump supporter (I assumed he was a British born American citizen) claiming Hillary would shred the Constitution. I countered that Trump wanted to destroy Freedom of the Press. My opponent answered, "Oh no, he's not stopping freedom of the press, he just wants to change the libel laws."

"Yes, to silence anyone who disagrees with him. And he denied access to all his campaign events to the Washington Post."

"But he didn't say they couldn't publish whatever they want."

I could see I was not going to convince anyone, so I turned to the comic seller and traded my redundant Jimmy Olsen for a Superman from 1983 and an Action Comic from 1979, both involving Superman fighting seemingly bigger and stronger enemies.

I'm afraid many people share the views of the British gambler--that Trump may be a nightmare, but Hillary would be far worse. I can understand the frustrations of Trumpians. They see a future with no jobs for them and a government and society which ignores or marginalizes them. There was even a Washington Post op-ed from a Republican who says he despises Trump personally but he can't stomach Hillary because she represents a politically correct society where everyone gets free cookies and milk, nobody works, and everybody in Little League gets a trophy just for showing up. But Trump is not the answer. Marco Rubio was right, he is a con man only out to burnish his brand. Win or lose the election, Trump will triumph because he will be on everyone's mind. I've heard rumors that he is planning to launch a cable news network.

The comic I was trading in made a joke of the hippie movement, viewing it through the conventional lens of Superman's straight-laced vision. The big risk is for people to laugh off Trump in a similar way or think he can be contained by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. That would be dangerous. He's real and could irreparably damage our country. Hillary is not the ideal alternative, she has a lot of baggage and her husband didn't help any by appearing to influence the attorney general not to indict her, but she is a thousand times better than Trump would be.

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