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Finneran: Notwithstanding Trump V. Clinton

Friday, October 21, 2016

 

The polls reveal great unhappiness with our choices for President. Most Americans seem to yearn for something more---something greater, something inspiring, something hopeful. The two principal candidates seem to fall far short of such yearning.

Some part of that national disappointment rests with President Obama whose “hope and change” candidacy and incumbency has fallen quite short of absurd expectations. For that part of the hope and change nonsense that Obama promoted he bears full responsibility for the accompanying civic disillusionment. For that part of the hope and change nonsense promoted by an unquestioning even adoring media they stand revealed as nakedly cynical, partisan, ignorant, and arrogant. 

A still hopeful American might ask for a fourth presidential “debate” where Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton concede their many limitations and mistakes as well as their broken-vessel characters. These two individuals are not sterling examples of piety, so any semblance of modesty and humility would do them and everyone else a world of good.

That same hopeful American might then ask each candidate to commit themselves to improving three big things if given the privilege of the Presidency. Try to imagine a conversation where each candidate chooses his or her “big three” and what they propose for the nation’s consideration.

I’ll name my big three, not that I expect either candidate to candidly explore them. Given that the options for improving the status quo are a) limited and b) lousy, the candidates would probably shy away. As has been pointed out many times, campaigning is a lot easier than governing. And governing takes you into the realm of lousy choices.

My big three for Trump/Clinton consideration are 1) the nation’s aging infrastructure, 2) the nation’s accumulating debt and deficits, and 3) the nation’s foreign affairs. Note by the way that each issue would by necessity implicate Congress in coming up with proposals to improve such matters. That is a very good thing in light of recent presidential tendencies to assert monarchical authority. No sane person should want to vest such royal prerogative in anyone named Bush, Trump, Clinton, or Obama. May Congress quickly recover its soul and its purpose, Amen.

Note too that each issue involves the nation’s future safety and well-being. Hallucinogenic hypotheticals about abortion, birth control, bathrooms, new pronouns, and which lives matter are set aside. For the record, all lives matter and the nation can no longer afford the sideshows of distractive issues. Might we focus for a change on issues which are of daily importance to to hundreds of millions of Americans?

There should be little doubt that our highways, airports, seaports, and subways need attention and investment. Where will the dollars come from? Budget cuts in other areas freeing up such dollars? A dedicated tax? User fees? 

There should be absolutely no doubt that our debts and deficits are unhealthy indicators of a government that has lost self-control. We’re screwing our kids and grandkids in ways that were unimaginable to our parents and we seem to think that such fiscal incontinence is a birthright. Republicans and Democrats share ample blame for this disgrace.

There should be no doubt that current foreign affairs discourage our confidence. An aggressive Russia, an assertive Communist China, a lunatic North Korea, an appalling mess in Syria, bedlam in Libya and Iraq, an Iran deal which though hidden still stinks, refugee crises, and terrorism abroad and in our communities do not impart high marks on President Obama’s stewardship. Allies are worried and adversaries are emboldened. What might our presidential candidates do to correct this course of affairs?

True leadership does not often emerge in mundane matters. Such leadership often needs crisis as a stimulant. As President, Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton might very well surprise us, rising to the occasion of these first turbulent decades of the twenty-first century. Hopeful Americans might pray for their success, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans. 

There is certainly no lack of crisis.

Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio.

 

Related Slideshow: Trump in Worcester

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump fans like this young supporter made signs of their own to show their support for the Donald. They could be seen dotting the line waiting to enter the DCU Center.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

For Trump fans that left their gear at home, there was nothing to fear. Vendors took advantage of the passionate crowd, lining up near the entrances and selling buttons, hats and t-shirts like this one.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Star-spangled gear could be seen often outside and inside of the DCU Center. This Trump supporter really worse his love for the Donald on his sleeve.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

It wasn't all good cheer for Donald Trump. Protestors lined the streets near the entrance of the DCU Center, and could be hear chanting various anti-Trump sentiments.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

This young man's pants left no doubt. He is a big fan of two things—Donald Trump, and the United States of America.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These four Trump fans wore their support proudly on their chest, and they weren't the only ones. Many fans could be seen sporting Trump hats, shirts, buttons and more as they filed into the DCU Center.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These two said they were proud to support Donald Trump in his bid for the Presidency.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

You could call this protestor a "one-issue voter." He mixed calls for the return of his favorite discontinued soft drink in with chants criticizing Trump's immigration stance.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

For these Trump fans, it was a family affair. The whole bunch turned out to support their favorite candidate.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

The cold weather didn't bother this Trump fan. He said he decided to purchase a Donald Trump-branded jacket or sweatshirt inside the DCU Center.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These two Trump fans were "red"-y to see their hero in action!

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These clever protestors turned Donald Trump's famous catchphrase around on him. 

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

There were plenty of young fans on hand for Donald Trump's speech in Worcester. These two made their feelings on Trump, and his immigration stance, very clear.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump had the chance to see him name up in lights on the DCU Center jumbo-screen. It must have been quite the thrill!

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Donald Trump made his entrance at roughly 7:30 PM to nearly deafening applause. He paused for a moment to soak it all in.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump walked confidently to the podium after being introduced as the large crowd cheer and chanted his name.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump fans inside were loud, and cheered the Donald often. They also made sure to snap their own photos of their favorite candidate while they had the chance.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump fans in Massachusetts came from near and far to get a glimpse of Donald Trump live and in person.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Standing room only—the DCU Center was nearly filled with supporters who got on their feet early and stayed there for most of Trump's hour-long speech.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Even inside the DCU Center, Trump could not escape the protestors. These unhappy attendees attracted a lot of attention, but were whisked out of the arena by security after only a few seconds.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump said time and time again to the crowd gathered in Worcester that he would "make America great again" through smart immigration and trade policies.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump said he was glad to be in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and pleased fans by talking about the greatness of hometown hero Tom Brady.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump was all smiles when one of his jokes drew big laughs from the crowd of supporters.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump supporters chanted his famous slogan, "make America great again," before, during and after his speech at the DCU Center.

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Donald Trump at the DCU Center

When Donald Trump finally finished his speech, he drew the loudest applause of the night. Fans waved signs, chanted his name and tried desperately to snap one last photo of their departing hero.

 
 

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