Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Ave, Mike Gilleland!

If you don't follow Laudator Temporis Acti ("praiser of times gone by"), you really should. Michael Gilleland describes himself as "an antediluvian, bibliomaniac, and curmudgeon." He posts passages from the oldies—sometimes the very, very oldies. His most recent series of blog posts will give you some idea of what he thinks of the upcoming election.

"Precedency" (which lends itself to a clever pun on "presidency") features the quote: "there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea."

"Slumkey v. Fizkin" features a dialogue between two people who don't know whom they're cheering for; all they know is that they need to side with whichever mob is larger. You wouldn't be wrong to sense Orwellian undertones.

Then there's "Dilemma," in which we read, "Wolves on the left! Dogs on the right!"

I do believe I share Mr. Gilleland's sentiments. This election offers us a very scyllo-charybdisian choice.

It's early afternoon in America—Election Day. On with the circus! Whom will you choose—the louse or the flea? The attacking wolf or the attacking dog?


TheBigHenry said...

Along with most other people, Kevin, you seem resigned to the proposition that it is not clear which choice is the lesser evil in this election, based on the rationale that both candidates have unpalatable personalities. I don't intend to sway you from your opinion. But I do think your reasoning is faulty. A nice personality is a nice thing to have for our President, but it is not a critical consideration for an effective Presidency.

The job description for the office of the President is straightforward: defend the Nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic, as the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces; preserve and protect the Constitution; discharge in a lawful manner the duties of the Office as the CEO of the Federal Government. This job description does not necessarily rely on the President being a nice guy. Yes, it is that simple.

Kevin Kim said...

It's not Trump's personality that makes me circumspect; I really don't care how pleasant or unpleasant he is as a person, although I freely admit that his personality doesn't exactly endear him to me. More than personality, there's the matter of his mercurial nature. How many times has he flip-flopped on positions? How many positions does he currently hold, how many promises has he made, that he'll be consistent on once he's in office? Will he actually build that wall? And could he truly finish it by the end of his first term, or will it become a white-elephant project for his successors?

Trump's mouth makes him a national-security nightmare. His tendency to blab whatever comes to mind doesn't reassure he that he can be a serious repository for state secrets. His thin skin doesn't bode well for global diplomacy, either: he currently adores Putin because the latter said some vaguely non-negative things about Trump (which Trump exaggerated as high praise). I don't think Trump would get us into a nuclear war, as the left has been trying to say, but I do wonder how capable Trump would be at greasing the wheels of diplomacy and fostering international cooperation, especially with his avowed nationalism.

There's more (and I've already blogged on all of the above), but my friend Mike has done a good job of laying out misgivings about Trump at his blog.

TheBigHenry said...

OK, Kevin, I wasn't aware that your decision was based on issues other than personality flaws.

If that is the case, and you feel that Trump's inadequacies in the areas you have enumerated exceed those of his opponent in those same areas, then all I can say is that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, however faulty they may be. God bless America.

Kevin Kim said...

"...everyone is entitled to their own opinions, however faulty they may be."