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Politics 2016: Trick or Treat?

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Message Larry Snider
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We've really been through it this year. The tactic of throwing the kitchen sink at an opponent was surpassed long ago with Clinton commercials featuring a nuclear missile manager and Trump's catcalls re crooked Hillary and threats to begin an investigation against the Democratic Presidential candidate the day he is inaugurated.

It has been quite a year and of course it's not over yet. FBI Director Jim Comey's re-opening of the investigation against Hillary Clinton is the closest thing to an October surprise that I'll think we'll get and it presents a clear opportunity for Donald Trump to blast away at Hillary Clinton's character in a year where former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made it clear along with a long list of other Republicans including the sitting Governor of Ohio that he doesn't believe that Trump has the character, experience or self-control to be qualified to serve as President.

So Hillary Clinton is carrying a weighty load of baggage acquired over a quarter century of knock down drag out investigations, including Whitewater, Paul Jones-Monica Lewinsky and more recently the Congress's Benghazi extravaganza and the FBI's email investigation/re-investigation. It's hard to talk about policy when your opponent points out ad infinitum that you have been the subject of countless partisan and not quite so partisan investigations for longer than young first time voters have been alive. It's a heavy weight that I believe Hillary and her campaign minion's decided early was better viewed in pieces than as one long unfortunate traveling road show. And so her apology for having and using a personal email sever while serving as Secretary of State has been parsed out in segments as has her responses to the death of four heroes's including Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi. It's an ugly bag to carry. It's become part and parcel of Hillary's legacy which may be updated dramatically if she lands in the White House in January 2017.

As for Mr. Trump, he has been a self-avowed counter-puncher for decades who all of us watched with amazement as he thinned the heard of Republican Presidential candidates one by one until he was literally the last man standing in a contest in which he and his small campaign staff rewrote the book on campaign tactics and threw it at opponents, the Republican National Committee, the Media and anyone else with the tenacity to speak against him. He has used up a couple lives and a couple of Campaign Managers along the way to ultimately land with the combination of Breitbart inheritor Steven Bannon, the balance of Pollster and Media Manager Kellyanne Conway and a bevy of grown up tough guys led by Rudy Giuliani, Governor Chris Christie, and General Michael Flynn along with his smart and tough Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence.

The fact that just a day ago Nate Silver and his 538 election eye had Hillary ahead by 312 to 221 electoral votes represents the last look at a Clinton cake walk to the Presidency before the fall that is coming in the wake of the Comey announcement. It rubs mud all over Hillary at the very moment she was raising from the ashes of this take no prisoners campaign from hell just before we hand out the candy. It is a shame to have to cut your teeth on this revolting campaign that takes everyone to the lowest common denominator and then magically finds a way to descend even further. It's not a picnic for us older types either who have a little more experience having survived decades of wild rides on the Nixon bus or the Obama plane and all the requisite dirty tricks and media pressure that once made Ed Muskie 'cry' and Howard Dean shout.

But we have a critical two-step to do as Democrats, Republicans, Independents and first time voters. We must begin by showing up on November 8th in record numbers to voice our opinion and give it the punch it needs to clarify this sorry political year with an election mandate. We have one candidate who is damaged and it must be said contributed to that damage through her own choices, actions and in-actions and another who is simply unqualified to be our President. Yes he beat all his competition and was formally nominated at the Republican Convention in Cleveland. He is the candidate selected by the Republican Party and he has some 40+% of our VERY angry public who can't wait to throw the bums out of Washington. But he doesn't know more than the Generals about ISIS, he doesn't have a long attention span and he has spent his adult life winning battles by leaving everyone he can including many of his contractors by the side of the road unpaid and bankrupt. There is room for a media savvy entrepreneur to become President of the United States, but not Donald Trump. Another success billionaire would have studied the issues, learned the details and been able to develop and define coherent policies. It's not enough to call your opponent names. It's not enough to divide our country even further. And it was wrong for Hillary Clinton to call Trump supporters a basket of deplorables. I'm afraid that tag will be used long after the election is over to coalesce a Movement that remains angry at the bipartisan gridlock that has settled on Washington. It will become a key ingredient in reminding those who vote for Donald Trump and many who won't that America remains divided.

That is the second and vital part in the two-step: After enough people vote to elect Hillary she must pursue a well articulated policy of bipartisan engagement enabling our Country to deal with terror, to revitalize our economy, to reform Obamacare, to rebuilt our crumbling infrastructure and remain the greatest power for progress on earth.

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Larry Snider was the President of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace; ICMEP. He founded New Hope for Peace, a dialogue and educational forum in 2001 and is a member of the Greater Bucks County Peace Circle. He is author of numerous (more...)

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