The holidays are never easy for anyone except the Hallmark family, but this year seemed especially disquieting: Donald Trump acts like he's still playing bully in some schoolyard somewhere; fingers of blame point in all directions in both parties; and it's a dangerous world that is impossible to ignore. My son made me watch a documentary produced by Vice News about the Islamic State; terrifying doesn't begin to describe it. And Trump only needs one intelligence briefing a week.
It was a joke on "Saturday Night Live": The president-elect and his fossil-fuel-loving EPA administrator were going to protect us from the environment. But really, it's not a joke. It's an accurate depiction of all of Donald Trump's appointees. Instead of serving to ensure minimum standards for labor, Trump appoints an opponent of the minimum wage to be secretary of labor. An ardent opponent of civil rights and voting rights will, if confirmed, be in charge of Justice, which will not be the kind of Justice we are used to.
So we have one candidate who definitely supports the Constitution and one who takes 24 hours to decide whether he does (tough one).
His daughter knew what to say. So did his running mate and his campaign manager. They all knew the question was coming. And the answer was simple: Yes—barring some extraordinary circumstances, such as what happened in the 2000 election, "Of course we'll accept." "Absolutely, we will." Will what? Abide by the Constitution of the United States. Accept the results certified by the states and then officially by the Electoral College. The truth is that it doesn't matter what Donald Trump says.
Oh, dear. I almost forgot what I was going to write about. And I don't think it's age. Heck of a vice presidential debate last week, I say to the man in front me of me in line. Actually, I don't say it. I'm afraid that even in my NPR-ish zip code, he'll still look at me like I'm out of my mind. And if I'm being honest, I'm not sure I could pick Mike Pence out of a lineup, not that anyone votes for vice president.
I left the University of Southern California forum where I watched the debate Monday night with an overwhelming sense of unease. And I've been trying to figure out why. I've been to debates where my candidate did great and debates where my candidate did not; I've been to debates where I can't even remember what city I was in, much less what anybody said. I would have to say that most debates don't move numbers or decide elections, no matter how big a deal the media makes of them, because most people leave supporting the same candidate they supported coming in.