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A sense of humor helps during campaign season – Columbia Daily Tribune

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The fatigue came after watching both political conventions, reading several newspapers a day and — thanks to Citizens United — being subjected to unrelenting false information. I am suffering an undefined malady.


If I were king, I would establish a dress code for political conventions. Why must it appear as if we’re selecting the next president of the United States at a costume ball? As bad as the costumes were, some outlandish and often misleading remarks caught my attention.



The fatigue came after watching both political conventions, reading several newspapers a day and — thanks to Citizens United — being subjected to unrelenting false information. I am suffering an undefined malady.


If I were king, I would establish a dress code for political conventions. Why must it appear as if we’re selecting the next president of the United States at a costume ball? As bad as the costumes were, some outlandish and often misleading remarks caught my attention.


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My first pique is related to governors of all stripes and persuasions. Every governor says he or she balanced the budget every year. Well? Almost every state has a constitutional provision requiring a balanced budget. If you fail to do so, you will be in trouble. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said his state had the largest job production in 17 years. He is correct, but among the 50 states Indiana ranked 31st. Why is it that when the economy is producing jobs — 17 million since 2009 — each governor takes credit for jobs in his or her state? When the economy is losing jobs, it’s the “stupid president” causing it.

Hillary Clinton chose Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate. Several years ago there was a Tom Kean who was governor of New Jersey, which prompted Donald Trump to ask, “Why would Clinton choose Kean for a running mate? He was never very popular in New Jersey.” Politics is more humorous than I remember.

Both conventions decried the loss of middle-income jobs and the stagnation of wages, which are correct observations. The unemployment rate for workers with a college degree is 2.4 percent while the unemployment rate for high school grads is 7.8 percent. Today only 1 in 3 people has a college degree. In 1970, 25 percent of the workforce was unionized; today the number is 7 percent, mostly in public-sector jobs. Mix in robotics for unskilled work and globalization and cheap labor in China and Malaysia, and the picture is not so complicated. No matter how small the room, some never can find the elephant.

You have heard the discussions in both parties condemning American trade deals. Most want to get rid of NAFTA and to reject TPP. NAFTA, they say, cost 2 million jobs, and TPP would be even worse. You also saw hundreds of people flashing “NO TPP” signs. TPP has been negotiated for 10 years, includes 12 countries and is 30 chapters long with thousands of pages. How many sign carriers do you think read the treaty? Two things you might want to remember: Since 2009, the U.S. economy has created 17 million jobs. China has recently lost 20 million jobs. This really is rocket science!

The crème de la crème comes from the local level in the name of one Eric Greitens, a Republican primary candidate for governor. Responding to some anti-Greitens ads funded by a PAC titled “Jobs and Opportunity” and funded by the Democratic Governors Association, Greitens said: “This is coming from Barack Obama. He knows his liberal legacy is going to come to an end when I’m elected governor.” We have incontrovertible scientific evidence that President Barack Obama created the Zika disease and El Niño, but I’m not certain about the anti-Greitens ads.

If the president is sitting in the Oval Office worrying about a Republican primary candidate for governor of Missouri, America has a very serious problem. We can only hope that Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Mitch McConnell will break down the door, grab Obama and holler, “Stop that, Mr. President!”

If you don’t have a sense of humor for the next 100 days, they will come and get you in a truck with lights on it.

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