Tuesday, September 20, 2016
At least the shootout at OK Corral ended. Guns were drawn, shots were fired, and some of the tough hombres went down and didn't get up. Blasted cowboys got theirs at the quick hands of the Earps, who had enlisted Doc Holiday as a ringer. Ended the feud just like that.
The good guys walked away. The shootout at OK Corral, Tombstone, AZ, way back in 1881 may well remain the most important showdown in western American history; and it wasn't going to be repeated because Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers never got up off the dirt again.
Not so next week. The only matter beyond speculation is that both hombres will live to duel again--twice, in fact. There'll be two more debates after next week's, no matter how much blood is left on the stage or whose it is in a pool. The whole darn world expects Hillary the wonk to try to bring the Donald to his knees with facts and figures and specifics. If she wins, it'll be because she's a vastly better engineer. She'll kill him with competency.
Donald takes no prisoners and only punches below the belt. Hillary will be getting into the ring with a animal armed with chain saw. Unless his incredible manager has his ears and tongue pinned, all you can expect is the unexpected. He's amoral, knows no boundaries. It'll be the engineer versus the cave man, and nobody--nobody!--knows who'll step out of that ring the winner.
Besides, it's completely unlikely that anyone anywhere close to that ring will come away with a changed mind. The whole blasted shootout is being staged for the hearts and minds of but a sliver of uncommitted voters. The insane hate for both combatants is so high that each of the candidates will hold on to the vast majority of their supporters but convert no one. Trump was right when he announced just down the road (at the college where I was employed for most of my life) that he could kill a man on Broadway and still be loved by loyalists. Millions of America would rather elect Satan.
But then, for millions, Hillary is Satan. That's where we are.
Whoever gains the victory next Monday night, or come November, will face four more years of bloody warfare. The truth is, there are so many checks and balances written into American democratic system that it's virtually impossible for any one man or woman to lead all the rest of us into some kind of spiritual or physical Armageddon. Even Trump can't trump Congress and the Supreme Court all. the. time. Hillary, singlehandedly, can't flip America suddenly third world.
No matter who gets up slowly a week from now on Tuesday morning, no matter who Fox News or CNN or anybody else declares winner, the madness will go on.
And on. And on. And on. Neither of them, all by their lonesomes, will lead America to ruin. Only the rest of us can do that.
The only casualty will be the body politic, and we've been staggering around with a gut shot for a long, long time.
You can't help but wish Wyatt Earp were in the race. That whole shootout only lasted thirty seconds.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:42 AM