The Old Codger’s Corner: A Plague on Both Your Houses

More stories from Ken D’Angelo

Love on Loan
April 4, 2017
The Old Codger’s Corner: A Plague on Both Your Houses

It was a lovely warm day for November in Central New York. On my way to a class in Grewen Hall I noticed a rather large gathering of people there. At first I thought that it was a party, an autumnal Dolphy Day perhaps. I heard and saw several pickup trucks with loud engines and honking horns driving around the traffic circle and exiting on Salt Springs Rd. They waved flags that I couldn’t make out except for one. It was the Confederate States battle flag. I shook my head. I’ve never understood why anyone would take pride in waving the flag of the losers.   

This made me, in a phrase, “Full blown gonzo confused.” When I got near the building I saw a crowd of faculty and students. I was told they were protesting the Presidential election. To me this made as much sense as protesting the Law of Gravity. You can pout, kick and scream like a three-year-old but it still won’t change the result. You can be dignified, sincere and quietly passionate but it still won’t change the result. People with passionate political feelings scare me. Describing the emotions created during the debates over independence for the colonies, Ben Franklin said, “Passion governs and she never governs wisely.”

This election passed with the average acceptable amount of ballot stuffing and graveyard votes. I’ve not heard of election laws broken or intimidation at the polling sites. It seems to have followed the rules, both state and federal. The campaign, however, was vicious and bitter. There is a lot of scar tissue out there. I would like to give the following advice to those supporters of Mr. Trump who feel the need to pound their chests, strut in victory, and get in the face of people whose candidate lost the election. Cut the crap. Drop the immature, boorish, unsportsmanlike behavior. Show some class. Your candidate does not have a strong mandate. He won the electoral vote, but don’t forget that your guy had more votes against him than for him.

To the supporters of Mrs. Clinton, I’d like to say that your candidate lost fair and square so cut the crap. It’d be a good idea if you waited to protest if Mr. Trump does or tries to do anything that infringes on the protection you receive from the U.S Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If that occurs I will be protesting right beside you, if need be with my Second Amendment in hand. If you are protesting legislation you just don’t like that’s your prerogative. If I agree with your point of view I might join you. If I don’t care, I’ll be home watching TV and drinking beer. If I disagree with you I’ll be carrying a sign that says so. That’s just the way it works.

I read a very long time ago, when I was just a few years older than you young students, that magnanimity was that virtue where you can consider that your opponent is, in his opposing opinions, as sincere and honest as you are in yours…and just maybe he may be right.