Phyllis McGuire | View from the Village: Sifting through a presidential field, warts and all


WILLIAMSTOWN >> Is the presidential primary season getting you down?

Do you want to fly to the moon because you fear Donald Trump will be elected the 45th president of the United States?

Do you doubt Hillary Clinton would be an effective president as she would spend too much time sending emails or in the bathroom, powdering her nose?

Do you question whether Bernie Sanders, who will be 75 in September, could withstand the "rigors" of the presidency — playing golf and basketball?

Hillary's age is not an issue. At 68, she is well past her child bearing years. Otherwise, her opponents could use that against her.

A president needs to have his wits about him, they might say, and studies show a woman's brain shrinks up to 5 percent during pregnancy. And surely everyone knows a mother's priority is her baby.

Across the pond, 90-year old Queen Elizabeth II has proven a woman can do it all. She gave birth to two of her four children after she ascended the throne in 1952, and managed to perform her duties as head of state of the United Kingdom.

As I write this, none of us knows whose names will appear on the 2016 presidential election ballot. I am doing my best to be well-informed so that on Nov. 8 when I stand at my polling place, ballot in hand, I will be able to make a wise decision, or at least one with which I will be comfortable.

Sometimes, I watch the TV late night talk shows, hoping to switch my brain gears from alert to relax before I go to bed. The shows' hosts, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel as well as late, late night talk show host Seth Meyers are having a ball, telling jokes about candidates. Although amusing, it brings the candidates to mind, again.

And Hillary Clinton has invaded my dreams. Dressed in doctor's garb, stethoscope dangling from neck, she is standing over me. No disrespect to Hillary, but it is scary.

Of course, if Brad Pitt or Kevin Costner visited me in my dreams, I would be delighted. But they are not candidates, so my chances of seeing them anywhere, anytime are still nil.

Way back when I was a young child, I wore the campaign buttons that my father brought home. He supported Thomas Dewey for president when just about every one else in our neighborhood favored incumbent Harry Truman.

I had to walk across sidewalks on which my friends had chalked nasty things about Dewey. But we still played hopscotch together in the playground.

Father was sorely disappointed when Truman won that presidential election. (The Chicago Tribune made a glaring error in the headline on the front page: DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.)

Children are often influenced by what their parents do and say. And it is possible that is the case with an 8-year boy I know of.

The boy was acting up in class and the teacher took him aside. "What is wrong with you!" she protested. "I'm mad," the boy replied.

Then the teacher asked "Why?" and the boy replied "Donald Trump is going to be president and he's going to throw all of us into the Atlantic Ocean."

Trying to assuage the boy's fears, the teacher told him that presidents can't do whatever they want." Can the police arrest the president?" the boy asked.

"Presidents can be impeached," the teacher said, and explained that means removed from office.

In the United States' history, two presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives: Andrew Johnson (17th U.S. president) and Bill Clinton (42nd U.S. president). But they were acquitted by the Senate and remained in office.

Like any other mortals, presidents are not perfect, but that should not discourage us from searching for the best person for the job.

Phyllis McGuire writes from her home in Williamstown.


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