Melting Snowflakes

The absolutely unthinkable, devastating election results of last week have upset millions, even to the extent that some liberal university students are reportedly unable to function and professors are cancelling classes and postponing midterm exams. Whether the reports are true or not, they are prevalent enough to prompt one Yale professor, Steven Berry, to write a guest editorial in the Washington Post defending the strength of his students.

While I respect Professor Berry’s coming to the defense of his students, I have to wonder why this phenomenon exists at all. What has happened that students at the university level are apparently so brittle that they can’t deal with real life? I was in 7th grade on November 22, 1963.  We were out of school that day for some reason, but on Monday, November 25, we went back. There were no grief counselors, the school district didn’t cancel school, teachers didn’t excuse us from doing homework. We talked about what Kennedy’s assassination meant. We talked about how the Constitution provides for continuity of government. We talked about being saddened. But we also talked about how life would go on. The United States would remain safe (remember, this was during the Cold War and the threat of nuclear attack by the Soviet Union was real). In short, we dealt with it.

I have to think that it was because we had already been exposed to concepts that threatened our beliefs, and that we continued to be exposed to concepts like that, that we, as junior high students, didn’t crumble. I still remember American History in 1964. This was an election year. Our American History teacher contrasted the Republicans, Democrats and even the Communists on the bulletin board. Think of that! We were exposed to the Communists, whose leader, Nikita Khrushchev, had pounded his shoe on the podium at the United Nations and said the USSR would bury the United States, when we were but pre-pubescent, vulnerable children.

Professor Berry solved his students’ dilemma by way of a standing offer that he has. If a student, for whatever reason, feels he or she isn’t ready to take one of the two midterm exams, the student can opt out and transfer the entire weight of the exam to the final. Professor Berry feels that was a “clever” solution. But is it really?

I’m a lawyer. If I have a big trial tomorrow and I’m upset over the results of the election, the judge doesn’t care. A surgeon can’t tell his patient that he stayed up too late and is too upset about the Trump win to operate and remove the patient’s malignant tumor — sorry, it just has to wait. That response doesn’t fly in the real world. It shouldn’t fly in colleges and universities either.

Hillary How Do I Dislike Thee? Let me count the ways.


This presidential election offers little. The best that can be said for either candidate is, “he/she isn’t her/him.” Donald Trump’s shortcomings have been pointed out by many here, so let me express my concerns with Hillary. In no particular order:

Her only goal is to be elected president. Once elected her place in history is secure as long as she isn’t impeached AND convicted (Bill already proved that impeachment alone means diddley squat). That’s because her biography will forever begin with “Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first female president of the United States.” That’s it, that’s all that matters to her. Even if she’s a total failure as president, no one can take away the fact that she was the first female president.

She’s suckled at the public teat her entire adult life. She has never worked in private industry and doesn’t have a clue about the needs of business owners. Nor has she ever been in a job threatened by the economy.

Related to the last two points, her entire adult career has been one calculated move after the next to achieve her only goal.

Everything (with rare exception) that comes out of her mouth has been strained and filtered for the proper spin. Donald Trump gets criticized for speaking his mind, uncouth and politically incorrect as it might be. Hillary, on the other hand, never speaks her mind without first considering the optics of what she’s about to say. That’s why it’s so newsworthy when she does go off script like she did with her “deplorables” comment.

She has little grasp of reality, whether intentionally or not, as evidenced by the fact that she took the FBI’s recommendation not to prosecute her as not only exoneration but vindication as well.

She has extremely finely-tuned selective memory, whether it’s about coming under sniper fire when landing in Bosnia (when the facts showed her greeted by dignitaries and children) to flat-out ignoring what was written in the FBI report by saying “that’s not how I remember it.”

Benghazi. The whole thing was a tragedy but then to blame it on a video that supposedly went viral and inflamed the mob was despicable. And then, when it wouldn’t go away after a year, it was dismissed as “old news.”

Peddling influence as Secretary of State.  No, it can’t be proved in a court of law, but there are too many questions: 30,000 missing emails, private servers, incriminating emails that have been recovered that suggest influence-peddling, and Bill’s speaking fees. Between 2009 and 2013, (Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State), Bill earned $47.7 million in speaking fees, ten years after his presidency ended. By comparison, George W. Bush, who followed Bill, earned $10.4 million. Why did Bill remain so popular? Maybe because his wife was Secretary of State, hmm?

“Plausible deniability.” That’s the mantra of the Clintons. Whatever you do, make sure that there is a plausibly true, politically acceptable alternate explanation.

I’m no Trump fan. At this point I don’t know who would be better for the country. Maybe the right question is, who will do the least damage? For me, that’s tipping the scales to Trump. I think the nation can survive eight years of either of them, but what concerns me is the legacy that will be left by the Supreme Court nominees that the next president will have to make. I’m too afraid of what Hillary’s choices would mean for my First, Second, Fifth and Tenth Amendment rights. I’m not sure the nation can endure a half-century of liberal interpretation and expansion of federal powers.