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On the 25th of June, 1950, I was spending the weekend with my grandparents in Granby, Connecticut. My grandfather was out of the house on an errand and my grandmother was sitting in her usual chair in the living room reading a detective novel.
I was watching television in an adjacent room. Since it was a Sunday afternoon, it’s safe to assume I was watching a Red Sox game on their state-of-the-art 12-inch black-and-white screen in a walnut cabinet that was probably four feet wide.
With no warning, the screen went blank, then a sober male voice introduced President Harry Truman, who announced to the nation that the North Koreans had invaded South Korea and he was mobilizing the army to help defend our allies.
There was a palpable sense of gravity to the president’s tone and I called to my grandmother in the next room to come quickly because the president was on TV saying something important. I’m quite sure she never looked up from her book and snapped, “There is nothing that damn Democrat has to say that interests me.”
That was my introduction to partisan politics. In the decades since, I have shifted back and forth—a little to the left, then right, then back to the left—depending on the candidates. There was a stretch when I was deeply immersed in politics, my company helping to develop strategy and handling media for statewide political campaigns. The one constant I’ve found is that most Americans have only a vague—and often wrong—understanding of the issues, because government at every level is so damn complicated!
The answer, I’m convinced, is to stop trying to elect people because they are liberal or conservative. Instead, we must do our best to elect men and women of true quality—intelligent, sympathetic and passionate in their desire to improve people’s lives.
Finally, by now perhaps we can all agree that Donald Trump has absolutely none of those qualities and should never again hold public office.
This article first appeared on www.trainsandtravel.com
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