America’s Past and Future

Today, June 14, 2016 I just spotted a Daily Beast article “… This is America’s Senior Moment” celebrating Clinton’s 69 years and Trump’s 70 years that reminded me of the following that I published on May 12, 2016.

I wrote the piece that follows before Mr. Trump became the presumptive Republican candidate for president. I’m publishing it today because I saw a report online that the 72-year-old former Republican speaker of the house and writer of the contract for America has been mentioned as a possible vice president running mate for Mr. Trump.

Almost everything I’ve been seeing online concerning primary candidates is about how candidates or their supporters can be classified according to level of education, gender, and nationality. Donald Trump of course provokes howls of ridicule and bemusement usually because his statements seem inspired by uniformed impulse. And of course his supporters like him are uninformed and poorly educated white men who’ve been losing out in the job market to their better educated female and non white counterparts who’ve been doing quite well thank you. A Royal Bank of Canada executive yesterday characterized Trump’s supporters as people opposed to “change”, the change that’s caused the knowledge based jobs that made manual work skills outmoded.

So though media caricatures may mow be abating in place of policy characterizations, I’ve decided to try understanding what’s hardly ever written about ’till now online by speculating about what I see in the Democrat and Republican primary candidates. And what first strikes me is that of the four candidates remaining, three are old. Sanders and Trump seem almost too old; Sanders could be about 78 at the end of his first term and Trump 74. Clinton though not in her 70’s probably would be by the end of her first term as president. The only person embodying the hopefulness of youth is Mr. Cruz; so it might seem that voters wishing to face the future with new innovative ideas might instinctively gravitate toward Cruz even though he’s recently being backed by his party’s stalwarts more rooted in a conservative past.

And Mr. Trump also seems more rooted in the past; he’s from Manhattan, New York where America started with those Dutch sailors Fitzgerald reminisces about in “The Great Gatsby“. Trump wants to bring back that old America with its old values. Cruz’s name and heritage are of Latin America far from the past’s north eastern Yankee dominance. He’s of the present, one of that brave “new global” post national populace born in Canada to a United States citizen, irrevocably re-linking North and South America.