Presidential Illiteracy: Can We Afford To 'Wing It' In The White House?

Hispanic voter voting in polling place
Hispanic voter voting in polling place

This is the first election that I won't be voting FOR a candidate. I will, by default, vote defensively for the most innocuous one. Frightfully, it isn't about who will be the best choice anymore, it's who will inflict the least amount of damage to our country. The bar has plummeted so low that common sense and level-headedness is now the number one priority.

The game has changed. For example, GOP nominee Donald Trump has run his campaign boasting he can successfully "make America great again" because he is an "intuitive person" and he "has a very good brain." Apparently, instinctive reactions and innate hunches have overtaken experience and knowledge. We don't require our candidates to have at least some traditional presidential credentials anymore. Has the highest political office in the world been cheapened and debased so much that we don't care?

Anything is possible. Maybe we don't need time-tested experience as a job requirement in our Commander in Chief? But the question is: Can Donald Trump's "off the cuff" intuition and business talent run our country efficaciously? Can he be trusted not only because he's a compulsive liar but mainly because he has zero experience?

In a recent TIME magazine article, writer Jon Meacham discusses Trump's declaration that he would take talent over experience in any given endeavor: "I've always rated experience far less than capability." Trump said, "I think my ideas are really good."

But simply thinking you have "good ideas" doesn't translate into intelligibility. Sounds like a shaky, lets-play-it-by-ear plan that would be fun if you were, say, taking a spontaneous summer camping trip with your family. Thinking you can run the most powerful nation in the world because you are naturally intuitive and have "good ideas" sounds like pre-presidential illiteracy to me.

Meacham also says that Trump's "tendency to wing it--to act on his gut--effectively means that he's working off what might be called 'political hearsay.' All presidents have to know enough to assess the validity of the inevitable advice that swirls through the Oval Office."

Call me madcap but I would speculate that Trump would tussle poorly with that. How can Trump assess the validity of anything he knows nothing about and doesn't care to know about? He may be a master provocateur, but he's also a con-man--and not a very good one at that.

Also, think about this: Much of politics is diplomacy. It's still playing--to some degree --the conventional game of patience, poise and good manners. Meacham says that "Presidents are custodians of a social and political order that requires sophistication, balance and a fluency in the basic vocabulary of government and of statecraft. However Trump is a creature of the moment, of improvisation, of polarity."

Spoiler alert: Balance, poise, sophistication and most importantly, good manners are not words that come to mind when we think of Mr. Trump. Eh, no.

But, inexplicably, his misguided followers are not bothered by this lack of composure, balance and articulacy in the basic language of government. To them, Trump's celebrity status and his infectious combative charisma mask his sociopathy and his emotional instability. Hearing Trump assert, "I am a very stable person. I am so stable you wouldn't believe it," is enough for them. Wow.

However, for once I agree with Trump. I myself wouldn't believe it either...and I don't believe it now.

Accordingly, we come back to the less harmless Hillary Clinton. Yes, she lacks warmth, charisma and likability. Like Donald Trump she has lied, deceived and flip-flopped to further her political platform on many issues, so her credibility according to many Americans is also down the toilet. Many cannot trust her too. Granted and noted.


That's right. Just DON'T!


Vote to keep a narcissistic, loose cannon, presidential illiterate from getting to the White House.

Vote against a nominee who plans on "winging" the ultimate responsibility as Commander in Chief for the next four years.

Vote against a candidate who's narrow-minded campaign focuses only on law and order, immigration and trade.

Vote to preserve decades of human rights progress this country has achieved.

Vote for equality and fairness for all Americans.

Vote for preserving healthy diplomatic relationships with our allies and keeping a sane and sober influence in the global community.

Vote against fascism, racism, bigotry, misogyny, discrimination, xenophobia, etc.

It's NOT about Hillary the candidate anymore. That's over.

We have lost the ability to be proud and hopeful about our next Commander in Chief. Since we have stooped so low in terms of character quality in our candidates this election year and because, as mentioned above, the game has changed and now it's more about doing the right thing for our future generations, by default, Clinton is the less injurious choice.