The chances that Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson will win the presidency this November are just slightly more than my chances, and it’s only close because I know where Aleppo is.
Okay, so we’ve had our fun with Mr. Johnson and we’ve declared him incompetent and ignorant and a threat to all that’s good and noble in America, but his one gaffe pales by comparison with the continuous onslaught of false, misleading information and outright lies that spew from Donald Trump hourly.
Can we go back to Wednesday night for a moment and Trump’s comment about women in the military? It went by me so fast (and sounded so completely bizarre) that I hardly had time process it—and neither did the somnolent Matt Lauer. But basically Trump’s solution to the abuse of women in the armed forces is to separate them from the men. Now this process may work exceedingly well with lions and giraffes who share the same zoo, maybe even with prisoners and guards who share the same prison, but among humans with ostensibly equal rights—where one species is not the predator and the other is not the prey—his “solution” is so simplistic, so sexist, and so out of touch that I’d rather elect someone who had to find Aleppo on a map if he had to. And to his credit, at least Gary Johnson felt embarrassed by his mistake and promised to do better. Trump admits to nothing. Just as well—he can’t do better.
So here it is two days later: Matt Lauer has become the symbol for ineptness in journalism and the repentant Gary Johnson will forever be ridiculed as the “Aleppo Guy.” But Donald Trump who supported/didn’t support the Iraq war, who wants to/would never destroy the military court system, who loves his country/Vladimir Putin (and yes, those feelings are mutually exclusive) plows ahead, undeterred by facts and buoyed by supporters who give him pass after pass because of their long-standing and conspiracy-fed anger towards Hillary Clinton.
I don’t suppose Confucius will be voting in this election, but he once said that holding onto anger was “like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.”
There are already a lot of blistering fingers out there among Trump supporters; by November I’d expect the sale of oven mitts to rise dramatically.