Notes from the Field

Sometimes I think God sent Donald Trump to help me get comfortable with my mortality.

He has poisoned the civic discourse in ways from which we won’t soon recover. But I’ll be shuffling off this mortal coil far sooner than the younger people who will have to clean up his mess.

That’s just one statistically irrelevant thought from my last few days canvassing in the field.

Another is that many people like me – old, white and male – don’t like Hillary Clinton very much, and they’re not very civil about it. “She should be in prison” has become their reflexive refrain. If you call them on the phone, they just hang up. You get kind of tired of old white men after a while.

Especially compared with my conversations with immigrants, often voting for the first time. They’re excited to be citizens, to be Americans, and to vote – although several were afraid of being challenged at the polls.

This didn’t seem a future to fear. It seemed the future that has always defined America at its best, a future I’d actually like to hang around for.

What a contrast to those who can’t get past our imperfect choices, as if we have ever had anything else in politics – “I’m voting for Donald Duck,” a man said yesterday. Great.

Finally, those who will vote for a third party might consider what the Libertarian vice-presidential candidate told CNN yesterday:

“I do see a big difference between the two other candidates,” said Bill Weld. “Trump . . . is totally unfit to be president, [while Clinton is] is a perfectly reputable, professional, responsible candidate for president of the United States and deserves to be treated as such. . . . Frankly, I think Mrs. Clinton has been receiving a pretty raw deal.”

In the last few days I’ve seen the past and I’ve seen the future. I like the future better.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.