Thursday, March 24, 2016


On my drive to Pinnacles National Park (thanks President Obama!) this morning for a spring break hike, I was listening to some California Republican officials/consultants on KQED's Forum show. They were sounding, not surprisingly in our very blue state, like ducks out of water, but also like human beings with a basic grip on reality, when a caller came on and quite sincerely took to defending Donald Trump's candidacy, and I had to change the channel. Well, actually I popped in my CD of Lee Morgan's Sidewinder, a recording I recommend to one and all.

But Lee, Joe Henderson, and company failed to take my mind off Trump, and much as I tried to banish the thought as I trudged the 3.3 miles and 2000 feet of elevation up to North Chalone Peak, I kept returning to the very real possibility that this guy could be our next president.

Based on his words and behavior as a candidate, if Trump were a kid in my son's seventh-grade class, he'd be the kid my son would have to send (repeatedly) to the office for being a disruptive brat or bully... not to mention a failing student and a bigot. But is it all an act?

I've wavered between two alternative theories of Trump. (1) He really is that way, in which case we would be better off with the median American seventh grader as our next president. (2) He is a talented if unpleasant showman, and this is the show he is putting on, because he has figured out that he can win the nomination by appealing to people who for some reason want a badly behaved 7th-grade boy as their president. Despicable, and bad for our country, either way.

I had been subscribing to theory (2) until I read the transcript of Trump's interview with the Washington Post editorial board. I recommend this to any and all citizens. Trump is so alarmingly and convincingly incoherent, I find it difficult to believe that he is having us on. He's not just despicable, but pathological and downright scary. I wish I had more confidence in HC. A lot could be riding on her success.

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