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In November 2012, I learned that times had changed and that I no longer knew my country. I could not believe that, after what he had done to the US, my compatriots would re-elect Barack Obama — and I was wrong.
This year, I could not believe that Donald Trump would get the Republican Presidential nomination. He was not, to begin with, a Republican at all. He did not embrace the agenda Republicans at least pretend to support. And, let’s face it, he has not lived his life in a manner that anyone with a moral sense and aesthetic taste could approve. Anyone who is surprised at the remarks he made to Billy Bush has been wearing blinders. No one of his stripe, thought I, could get nominated. But, once again I was wrong.
Nor, earlier this year, could I believe that the Democratic Party would nominate Hillary Clinton for President. She was, I knew even then, a corpse. She had no pulse. Had you told me that Bernie Sanders — who is one of the few Democrats who more nearly resembles the living dead than Hillary — would be her only serious opponent, I would have guffawed. Tell me another, I would have said. Yes, I was wrong.
I expected Scott Walker to be a serious contender. I figured that Martin O’Malley — the only Democrat of any consequence who has not already in effect passed on — would emerge. I was wrong again. Neither of them got anywhere.
So there is one thing that I know. I know that I do not know what is going to happen — and when I look at the polls, count bumper stickers, and keep a record of the yard signs that I stumble across, my certainty grows that I do not know.
The polls suggest that Hillary will win — but not Rasmussen and not the LA Times.
I have yet to see a Hillary bumper sticker, but I have seen only one such Trump sticker. I have seen three Hillary yard signs and more than fifty Trump yard signs. And look: I have been all over. Texas, upstate New York, Silicon Valley, and Michigan north of Lansing. And get this: I saw more Bernie Sanders signs than Hillary signs, and I am talking about the last month.
It is positively eerie. It is as if no national election is going on. Let me be clear. I have seen lots of yard signs pertinent to local elections, next to none regarding any Congressional race, and just a few pertaining to the Presidential election. It leaves me wondering whether on the second Tuesday in November anyone will show up.
Let me add this. The Trump tapes are the talk of the news. But this talk has had no effect on the polls. It is as if no one really cares about the old codger’s trash talk.
There is this that may favor Hillary on 8 November. She has a get-out-the-vote operation that ought to be worth a point or two. There is this that may favor Trump on 8 November. Ronald Reagan used to outdo the polls by ca. 5 percent. There were lots of people who voted for him in every election he ran who would not admit it. Could the same be true for Trump?
Add this. There are people who love Trump. Never mind the fact that I think them mildly unhinged. They do exist, and they are numerous. Is there anyone who loves Hillary … apart from embittered feminists (but I repeat myself) of a certain age. It may be hard to get people to turn out for a person as malicious and unpleasant as she is.
If I were a betting man, I would bet on her — which suggests that she might lose.