Dos and Don’ts: Primary Edition

Here’s what you can do:

Defame a Viet Nam war hero.

Insult Iowans two weeks before their caucuses.

Claim a reporter’s incivility was the result of her period.

Categorize other women as fat pigs.

Call Lindsay Graham a stiff; Arianna Huffington a liberal clown; Charles Krauthammer a dumpy political pundit.

Refer to most Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists.

Declare all Muslims enemies of America.

Slap a 45% tariff on all Chinese imports.

Rant and rave and bluster and cavort and fly all over the land in a Boeing 757 emblazoned with TRUMP on the fuselage.

If you’re Donald Trump and it’s 2016, you can do all these things and still be considered a viable presidential candidate.

But there’s one thing even Trump can’t do—he can’t share the stage with Sarah Palin.

The Iowa Caucuses were Trump’s to lose. He had led from the get-go and the other candidates had been relegated to a struggle for second place, all of them wondering who would actually be able to stay in the race behind the Trump juggernaut.

Enter Sarah Palin, cue the sad trombone

and we’re off to New Hampshire.

I take no joy in Trump’s second-place finish. Comeuppance is good, but anything that lifts the spirits of Ted Cruz, an infinitely more dangerous candidate, cannot be looked upon with favor. Still, it does prove that there is a line over which most reasonable people will not step. Most of us learned that during the 2008 presidential campaign when Ms. Palin reminded us that she could see Russia from her home state of Alaska: I wonder if she can see New Hampshire from wherever she is today.

 

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Chuck Radda

I'm a former high school English teacher, currently a literacy volunteer and novelist. I invite your responses right here or to chuckradda@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook and on Twitter—where I tweet annually at @chuckrad45.

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