Once again, I found myself discussing why I am so disgusted with any acquaintance who voted for this pestilence. It was essentially the same conversation I've been unable to avoid, periodically, after November 8. Were I to start every encounter with casual friends I haven't seen since then with something to the effect of... I don't want to know how you voted. If I find out you helped put that abomination in office, then our relationship is over. If you are comfortable with this, then fine ... feel free to tell me you voted for him and in turn, I will feel free to tell you I never want to be in your ignorant presence again.
But that seems a little rude, even for me. So when I run into such a familiar face, all too often the conversation drifts beyond Hey! How's tricks? Family good? All righty then, great to see you. Give me a call. Bye! ... and enters the forbidden zone.
This time, it was with a neighbor who had been away for almost a year. Our exchange edged into the forbidden zone when he asked if I was still socializing with a common friend, and then wanted to know why not. I told him. Perhaps I shouldn't have, but what else was I going to say? That we had a falling out over a drug deal?
No, I was trapped into telling the truth. And by doing so, I trapped my neighbor into feeling like he had to admit he didn't vote for Trump ... but with a condition: "I didn't vote for him, but I couldn't bring myself to vote for her, either."
I couldn't bring myself to vote for her, either. How often have you heard this in the last eight months? ... I couldn't bring myself to vote for her ... as though there is something in Hillary Clinton's past, her present, her personality, her politics and philosophies and plans for America, that is so intolerable that this man—straining so nervously to convince me he acted out of conscience—just would not allow himself to sink so low as to cast his vote for ... for ... ugh! ... Her!
I didn't argue. Frankly, I just wanted the conversation over. Plus, at this point in American history, debating Hillary's qualifications with people too dense to have recognized them long ago is a bit like quarreling with a toddler over whether flushing the washcloth down the toilet was a good idea or not. The damage is done, and all that's left to do is to pay the price.
But! ... Had I chosen to contest my neighbor's implication that, somehow, Hillary is every bit as unpalatable as the serial sleaze we ended up with, I believe I might have begun by pointing out, as respectfully as my unmitigated scorn would allow, that ... You know, sir, she wasn't asking to be chosen as your Mom—after which, I would have expected him to moan ... Aw, so you're playing the female-ophobe card.
To which, I might have answered ... Well, neighbor, what else am I to think? After all, if you discount the absurd accusations coming from the vilest sewer sludge of the demented Right, that she was running a child sex slave ring ... that anyone who crossed her ended up dead ... that the Clinton Foundation is an enormous scam ... all the ridiculous charges that anyone with even one foot in reality immediately recognized as utter horseshit ... And! ... If you dare to acknowledge that, in terms of qualifications, comparing her to Sleazy is like discussing the difference between a master gardener and a common garden slug ... And! ... If you admit, as did the FBI, that the entire private server/email stink was a false alarm, and that the Benghazi scandal, as proven by endless investigation, was as insubstantial as Trey Gowdy's brain ... then what else could it have been?
It is next to inevitable he would have countered ... But she called his supporters "a basket of deplorables!"—to which I would have snapped ... And by now, thoughtful Americans understand how right she was. No sir, I submit that in Hillary, you saw every woman who ever rejected you because she was smart enough to realize how much smarter she was than you ... every woman you've ever resented for rising above you in the workplace based on her superior abilities ... every woman you considered "snooty," "uppity," "phony" because she excelled at what she did ... every woman you ever mocked because she didn't meet your expectations of attractiveness ... every woman who ever offended you because she didn't wear an apron around the house, pat you on the cheek and tell you what a good boy you are. That's right, neighbor. That is exactly what I think ... that you couldn't bring yourself to vote for Hillary not because you seriously believe she is crooked, but because she is neither seductive nor motherly. To wit, the only qualifications you have ever looked for in women.
By this juncture, the quasi-civil conversation would likely have been over, replaced with shrieking, cursing and who knows what else. Sooner or later, though—I am absolutely convinced!—those childish minds who blamed (and continue to blame) Hillary Clinton for being Hillary Clinton must grow up and come to a more mature understanding of what a nation as sophisticated and complex as ours needs from a chief executive, or the U.S. will descend into the same tar pit of irrelevance, savagery, idiocy and eventual petrification that has become the graveyard of so many once-vibrant societies. If you don't believe such a thing can happen, simply look at how far down that slope we have already slipped. And in a mere six months.