I have published this blog for nearly 10 years, and we are going through the third Presidential election during that time. It never occurred to me to comment on an election in this space, other than to present an objective analysis of how folks voted in counties that surround some of the best golf communities in the Southeast. Surprisingly, as you will know if you receive our free monthly newsletter, some counties in deeply red states actually voted for President Obama -– twice. That kind of information might be helpful to more progressive leaning couples worried about being fish out of water in a Southern retirement community. Conservative couples should find it equally interesting.
I am mindful that my audience probably splits roughly along party lines, and that comments about the Presidential race at a site like this might cause defections. But the 2016 election is different from all others in my lifetime, and since this site attracts about a thousand visitors each week, a decent if not decisive constituency, I am going against instinct and endorsing a candidate here. I am mindful that, by doing so, I could be down to a few hundred visitors to this site by next week.
This is a hold-your-nose-and-vote election but we have, as many of the pundits say, “a binary choice.” Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President, and a vote for anyone else -– or no vote at all -- is a wasted protest. The personal character traits of the candidates have been well publicized, to the point of nausea, and there is nothing I can add here on that score. The negative perceptions of both of them are deserved, if un-equivalent.
My own vote comes down to one core issue, and that is anger. Many –- maybe most -- Donald Trump supporters are angry, and where that anger falls on the scale from whining to justifiable is beside the point to me. After 68 years on this earth, observing business and life decisions, it is clear that no good decision is made in anger. A Harvard Business Review study confirmed that “angry people tend to rely on cognitive shortcuts –- easy rules of thumb –- rather than on more systematic reasoning. They’re also quick to blame individuals, rather than aspects of a situation, for problems.”
Too true. Mr. Trump has taken advantage of and stoked that anger; he is angry too. And whether his anger is faux or for real, we cannot take the chance that anger will guide his decision making from the White House. The world is too complicated and the stakes too high for hair trigger reactions and retributive decisions.
Mr. Trump admires strong leaders, and it is to Genghis Khan we give the last word on the subject: “An action committed in anger is an action doomed to failure.”
There is no choice for me but to vote for Hillary Clinton and to urge others to do the same.
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