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STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

October 19, 2016

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

It was observed long ago that “Politics makes strange bedfellows,” and the author of that observation has been proven correct in one case after another. A Republican senator from Michigan also long ago made the observation in describing foreign policy that “Politics stop at the water’s edge” in acknowledgement of the constitutional provisions giving the executive the exclusive power to conduct the nation’s international relations without legislative interference.

Unfortunately, now everyone is in on the act of second-guessing such conduct with first-term congress members who are suddenly experts in the area upon their election and others who see political profit in Benghazi, emails divulged by thieves etc. The scene is reminiscent of one where I (in a position of power but a total ignoramus in re computerese) would go to Silicon Valley and order the whizzes there to pursue this or that avenue of research. I am utterly unqualified to show my face in Silicon Valley.

Given such background and understanding, it occurred to me in searching for relief from the current political morass foisted off on us by Donald Trump with his loose talk that would destroy our democracy (because he as I in Silicon Valley doesn’t have a clue) that we can expect some political alliances (aka strange bedfellows) to come to the defense of democracy, by far our most valuable national asset bought and paid for by the blood of patriots.

As I further considered the actors involved from both sides of the political fence who would defend our democracy against Trump or the North Koreans or Putins of this world, and though I don’t pretend to be a Nostradamus, I am ready to predict the following scenario after the election, given Trump’s threat to continue his campaign against our democracy win or lose (he loves the spotlight).

He will lose the election, of course, but since his invective calls for destruction of the country and its small d democratic institutions well beyond such pedestrian issues of who wins or loses elections or insult games, I think that Speaker (if the House remains Republican)Ryan and President Clinton will meet to fashion a common response to this man’s narcissistic lust for power at the expense of American democracy,  and why not?

We (including Ryan and our new president-to-be) are all Americans devoted to democracy before we were Democrats and Republicans, and Trump has gone beyond the pale in deciding that our democracy is up for grabs. Our democracy is not on the ballot and never will be. Would-be dictators such as Trump who announce that they know more than our generals and admirals and are the only ones in the world who can fix this or that need to be (as I in Silicon Valley) banished from the scene. Even if brilliant and not narcissistic, such wannabes are not qualified to lead a democracy since democracy and dictatorship are oil and water. Their root philosophies are antithetical and can never mix however long one stirs the pot.

Republicans and Democrats have much in common while disagreeing on details. Both are political parties and their members believe in democratic processes and the blessings of our democracy given us by our Founding Fathers. The preservation of democracy transcends any other national goal, and certainly transcends lusts for power, money and the like.

On a personal note, I spent some time in the South Pacific during WW II. I was not drafted since I was not 18; I was a volunteer at age 17. I did not go to my country’s defense for political gain for Roosevelt or Truman; I went to defend democracy from the very real threat of fascism. After all, presidents come and go, but democracy is a bedrock asset of immense value to every American. Today, unlike then, the threat of fascism is coming from within by a man who says he loves America, a man who was himself a serial draft dodger when his country needed him. Some lover! Donald Trump as a bona fide narcissist loves only himself and is oblivious to everything and everyone else as proven by his maligning of both Republicans and Democrats – and worse – even our democratic values. This cannot be tolerated.

So will Democrats and Republicans other than President Clinton and Speaker Ryan have post-election meetings to decide how to handle this man’s continuing threats to bring the nation down with his demented rants of fixes and rigs? I think so. There is much more at stake in this election than mere success in the election per se; we may be voting on whether we wish to retain our democracy or surrender it to a man who lives in another world, one which I for one wish never to inhabit.

In short, I predict that Democrats and Republicans at the very highest and intermediate levels will join together in the common defense of our democracy against those who would bring the nation down, and indeed if they do not but rather join such fascists, then stop the bus. I want off.     GERALD      E

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