THE BIGGEST LOSER

The biggest loser in this next presidential election, regardless of who wins and moves into the White House will be America. We as a nation have lost dignity, respectability, and class in this reality show/wrestling match/crybaby tantrum fest known as the presidential campaign. Never before in our history have candidates for the highest office in the land behaved in a manner that would get 8 year olds sent to their rooms. Never before in our history have candidates referred to penis size in a nationally televised debate, or name-called to such a degree that if one of them shouted “Liar, liar pants on fire” during a debate it would fit right in.

History will not forgive us. We will be living with the consequences of this election year for generations to come. And while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have not debased themselves in the manner that the Republicans have, they have started trending toward more personal attacks because that seems to be the only way to get air time now.

What is even more disturbing than the behavior of the Republican candidates is the fact that so many people think their behavior is just fine. Watching it is one thing — it is hard to turn away. But endorsing it is veering down a dark tunnel that will, without doubt,  swallow us.

I was once in a restaurant/bar in New York when a fight broke out between two (probably drunk) men. They were flailing at each other, one was swinging a chair at the other man. Eventually someone broke them up, but we were all watching it. The fight was immature, and messy, and very entertaining. But I would venture to say that no one who was watching would endorse it as admirable behavior. What happened to us as a nation that  we are allowing a presidential campaign to descend into a bar fight?

What happened to us that made us shrug off Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that he’ll behave differently once he gets into office? That would be like an athlete competing for the Olympics, blowing it, and then saying ‘Let me in anyway because I’ll do better once I’m actually in the Olympics.’ The word “greatness” is tossed around like a tennis ball in this campaign. We have had great leaders in this country’s history. We have also had great figures who did not hold elected office. None of them behaved like foul-mouthed children who resort to sneering, name-calling, and prurient attempts at humor. That’s not what greatness is.

Greatness is dignity, restraint, thoughtfulness, an intelligent weighing of facts, problems, solutions. Greatness is the ability to lead people from darkness into light. These are dark times. The dangers of the world are all too real, and the dangers within our own borders with mass shootings and racial hatred are splintering the towering vision that the founders of this country held dear. The solution is not to behave like children. The solution is to grow up and lay claim to what greatness truly is.

18 Responses to THE BIGGEST LOSER

  1. David Marks says:

    This election is more like a sandbox brawl between youngsters vying for a larger collection of sand and territory. The imperative to possess attention has never been more fervent, nor have the lengths by which candidates have gone to take like children in a candy store. Dignity has been lost, as if by intent, and if ever there were reason to denounce the system and throw everything we once held dear about American leadership to the winds, this is surely it. Grace, fair play and reason, ideology, philosophy and mutual respect, have all lost their purpose and their place, and as is always the case, Patti, you have captured the essence of this one perfectly.

  2. Edward Jenny says:

    once again you have stated things in a way that reflects exactly how so many people must be feeling about the state of the onion, obviously stinks and makes us cry … Kudos for your keen abilities and commitment. I am very disappointed that no living president is shaming these clowns … and not just the candidates. Makes me feel there is more to the collective plan, we do not see. Be well, Peace. and thank you.

  3. Rodney Wilson says:

    The final paragraph needs to be chiseled in marble in the halls of Congress, for all our leaders to read.

  4. I am embarrassed by the behavior of our so called future leaders. What type of lesson is this to the up and coming generation? It frightens me and it must be stopped or we are the same as the countries that are run by dictators.

  5. Ionel DINU says:

    Patti, their language is a response to people’s want of normal persons in the White House, someone who speaks like the street and, more than anything, not using politically correct language. Do not worry, the world does not judge harshly the duel of words seen in these campaigns because in other countries it is worse. Cheers !

  6. Sonnische says:

    Dear Patti, I want to express my deep condolences to you and your family for the loss of your mother. I was sad to hear of it. My dad designed the Pacific Palisades house and thus knew your parents. I believe you and my cousin Kent Lee were in grade school together when he became ill and died of leukemia. All the best to you now and in the difficult days to come.

  7. Janet Evans Webb says:

    Dear Patti,

    Your words speak to the denigration of truth and decency in the way we elect Presidents. When I last visited Washington DC for President Obama ‘ s inauguration in 2012 I was disgusted by the deplorable assault on the Office of the Presidency of Mr.Obama. The Do Nothings should be stripped of their offices and their pay. Congress has never done so little. I know your Mom had to be digusted. Her light shines on in Heaven with your Dad welcoming her to rest. God bless you and your family. I know your family’s work to make America better will not wane.

  8. Anthony Stike says:

    Thank you for this essay. It should be required reading for anyone who chooses to run for any office in America. I grieve with you, Ron and Michael on the loss of your mother. You and the rest of your family are in my prayers.

  9. Ken says:

    Nobody wants to ask “why Trump”. After such weak leadership and a clearly corrupt and phony H. Clinton, people are naturally attracted to an alpha male. This is a natural reaction to the realization that America is in severe decline. And there is no recovery from this. But not to worry liberals, you’ll get your Hillary. The mainstream media almost always gets their candidate. And who owns the media? Billionaires of course. Keep electing media endorsed candidates and then wonder why things never change. This is comical.

    • Steve S says:

      Trump is the biggest ass in the race by far. The only Republican candidate who is Presidential is John Kasich.

  10. Julia Harman says:

    You have beautifully stated what most of my friends and I feel and have been saying. Sadly, we’ve become so accustomed to “Reality T.V.” that I can’t help but feel there are people who find one of the candidates and the verbal sparring entertaining. I posted on my Facebook after the last debate and again Saturday how much I miss your Dad and his stewardship of our country.

  11. Joyce Feilke says:

    A sad loss of your mother. She and President Regan left a legacy of honor and respect for our country that we can all be proud of. Thank you for pointing out the shameful dysfunction of the current Republican candidates. But please let us stop scapegoating children by comparing these immature adult brats to children. Most children do not act so disorderly, crude, or stupid! The Republican candidates aren’t behaving like children, they are behaving like FOOLS!

  12. Lance Lukenbill says:

    So astutely and articulately put that I have nothing to add. Kudos Patti.

  13. Tim Spann says:

    Patti, Just came across your FB site. Something that has struck me over the past few years is your mother’s support of stem cell research. This was perhaps unexpected on some levels, but life is rarely predictable. Her deep concern for your father was obviously what lead to her position. Then the current mob of psychopathic right wing immediately turned on the woman who had been the female symbol of conservatism for decades. Their values were revealed as absolutely shallow. The refusal to recognize the Scientific Method has been frustrating for many of us in past decades. I can’t start to imagine what that experience was like for Nancy.
    I applaud her stance on medical research, and send you condolences at this time. You have acted with grace in response to the position you were placed in at birth, and have appreciated your commentary over he years.

  14. Jack Lamborn says:

    Patti,

    I had a less positive opinion about your mom but have come to believe that she was a good person. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

    Jack Lamborn

    Your comments about Trump are so correct!

    What happened to us that made us shrug off Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that he’ll behave differently once he gets into office? That would be like an athlete competing for the Olympics, blowing it, and then saying ‘Let me in anyway because I’ll do better once I’m actually in the Olympics.’ The word “greatness” is tossed around like a tennis ball in this campaign. We have had great leaders in this country’s history. We have also had great figures who did not hold elected office. None of them behaved like foul-mouthed children who resort to sneering, name-calling, and prurient attempts at humor. That’s not what greatness is.

  15. Margie Estberg says:

    So true. I remember your mom and dad as the remembrance of the dignity of days gone by.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and your eulogy was beautiful. I hope you’re able to gain comfort from knowing that your mother’s actions and feelings were probably brought on by the way she herself was raised. Remember the good and release the bad. It’s more painful, but you will find peace.

    Thinking of you and your family,,,

  16. David says:

    Ma’am,
    I agree with your final comment concerning the need to remember how integrity, dignity with sound judgement fortified with trust and honor would be required by our next President to lead by. Your father had a wonderful woman, your mom. They were both in love and the separation through death never diminished her love for him, and I am confident for both of her children equally. I experienced this 20 years ago when I lost both my parents 6 months apart, I was 38. Remember our lives at times get derailed no worse or less than how you explained the republican and democrats have been parading their quest to be President. Both are out of control. On one side conduct and the other side trust. We as a people living in this once great nation must voice our concerns united by love of country and each other, not by talking points that divide or degrade the other side. I ask, how can we survive as a nation when both parties alienate one from the another. The answer would be, “if we could only unite as a nation as your parents united in their life, in their marriage” …how much better we would be.

  17. Tony Marino says:

    Dear Patti,
    First I’d like to offer you my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your Mother. She was a gracious woman and from reading about your interviews, I’m glad in your later years you made your peace with her. So many can be quick to criticize, but relationships are often much more difficult than they appear on the surface. Like your Mother Nancy, you have class and honor.
    Secondly I’d wish that your comments on this years election and the candidates behavior become required reading for all voters and youth. When did we get so obsessed with winning that “anything goes” ? I can honestly say I’ve never in my life been embarrassed to be a Republican until now. I don’t see children behave this badly. The other side of the coin isn’t much better either. We are now surrounded by so much hatred at immigrants, we seem to have forgotten that’s how our great nation was founded. I spent my life in military service (Navy) and was always proud of the years with your Father as my Commander in Chief. I can’t say I’d feel the same about the lot that are running for office now.
    Anyway, thank you for your words, they are exactly what Americans need to hear right now. You are a class act. God Bless You Patti.

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