149 Cradle to Trump
December 8, 2016 § 4 Comments
I am closer to my young brother’s birthdate than
anyone else alive, but recently I found it hard to feel close
to him at all.
On Election Day morning, I called him(Kirkpatrick, Kirk), and asked him to give me his picks for the swing states. By sunset EST it was clear he had gotten them all and I had gotten only the forlorn blue ones.
On Memorial Day, 2009 Kirk and his mate Shirley announced they were planning to move to Charleston, SC, where two of Shirley’s sons lived. Two additional reasons: In the North, all winter, for over a mile, the unpaved road leading to their house above the Hudson was mostly unplowed and impassable. In the dry months the house is also occupied by Kirk’s daughters and granddaughters. So they moved.
Through the years and many books, secession and the breaking down of largescale power had been Kirk’s major subject. It took only a brief time in the south before President Lincoln had become the subject of a book. I’d had a roommate in college who was fond of “The Union, next to our Liberty most dear.” Who, then, started the Secession? And who but Lincoln needed it most? Was it not clear that the Emancipation Proclamation was needed to find freed slaves to fight on the Union side? Kirk had become a southerner.
Move forward to the past winter. Giving me my major information was the man who had been cleaning house for us for over fifteen years and he was full of Bernie Sanders. I could see that Sanders was entirely admirable, and he could not win the nomination. The Republicans were being led by a lying clown ahead of fools like Bush, Rubio, and Cruz, who could not beat Hilary Clinton.
In the 64 years since I first voted in a presidential election I knew why I voted for the Democrat, and I paid little attention to why Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Dwa Bush had won, and the Supreme Court had won the latter’s first time around. So last November I paid little attention except to those whose polls showed Clinton had had only to carry, say, Florida, and one other swing state. I simply could not take in Kirk’s swing state picks, and of course I was far from alone in being stunned.
Tell me, Kirk, could you really have voted for Donald Trump? He wouldn’t say he had done so, but he made it clear he couldn’t vote for Hilary Clinton. Since I first realized I couldn’t vote for anyone else, including the admirable Sanders, I now had to admit there was something wrong in my political education, and perhaps had been from the beginning.