Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Finding Some Common Ground in This Age of Divisiveness.

This past weekend, I went to Las Vegas to do a thing with some people. So much fun, but as they say, what happens there stays there unless it's a blood-borne pathogen, so here are a just couple of highlights:

1) My friend Pete and I wore the same shirt to the Events and Adventures 2016 Seasoned Stallions Grub Tolo at New York, New York:

Can you tell the theme was Fifty Years of Hasselhof?

2) I had Eggs Benedict twice:

Okay, yes, I ate it twice, but it was spread out over seventeen hours.

3) And Air Force One taxied by as we waited to board our plane back to the PNW:

At the time I was so preoccupied elbowing the sick and elderly out of the way in search of the perfect grainy iPhone shot, I wasn't bothering to ponder the significance of the occasion.

Regrettably, it wasn't until the Boeing VC-25 disappeared around the corner and I'd settled back into my cracked vinyl seat to re-dedicate myself to my hangover that I wondered: How many opportunities are we afforded to see our commander-in-chief's flying command center in the process of ferrying said commander-in-chief? I'd say most of us get less than one.

So much history—the tragedy of LBJ's onboard inauguration, the triumph of Nixon's China visit, George W. Bush's seemingly callous Katrina flyover on his return trip from vacation—is packed into this symbol that's so much more than a steel tube with swivel chairs and good coffee.

Waves of nostalgia washed over me, nearly equaling the spasms of intestinal regret I'd acquired from my hollandaise-blazed malaise. I realized, though, as awesome a vision as that grand jetliner is, the pangs of sentiment I felt were actually initiated by the man inside the plane. His time is almost up, for God's sake!

If connections are formed by shared experiences, I've not bonded with any president more than with Barack Obama. It's not even close. The only thing I'd ever had in common with Gerald Ford was a love of football and the agility of a liquored-up kitten. Richard Nixon seemed more like my Uncle Monty, lifelong confirmed bachelor who sat in the corner at Thanksgiving quietly sipping a bourbon and smiling while snapping mental Polaroids of the female kin.

And holy shit, Reagan? Forget about it; he'd lost his keys five times before I was even born.

President Obama is less than a year older than I am. He's got two daughters and a fiercely independent wife. I wouldn't even be surprised if we've both owned Styx albums, so there's no way either candidate in this election will approach the feelings of simpatico I share with Mr. Obama.

So, to attempt a little damage control and to strive for some common ground with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I've formulated a list of life events, nothing too drastic, that seeks to establish some of the common childhood denominators I share with the president. Let's see how this goes.

1) Who cleared the docket every Tuesday night for ABC's juggernaut tandem of Three's Company and Charlie's Angels?
Um, yeah that one's easy. Edge: Trump

2) Who grew up eating more Pop Tarts?

I'm guessing that Trump wasn't allowed Pop Tarts unless they were left behind in apartments where people were evicted by his dad, in which case he scarfed entire boxes.
But overall, edge: Clinton.  

3) Who played Battleship?

Probably both, but chances are, Trump never finished unless he cheated in time to win before he was bored and irritated.
Edge: Clinton.  

4) Who swore more as a child?

Trump looks like he's swearing even when he isn't, and I'm sure that's been going on since he emerged from the womb.
Edge: Trump.

5) And finally for tiebreaker, who enjoyed reading books as a child?

Trump still only reads shampoo bottles and anything in Hustler written in skintones.
Edge: Clinton.  

Hey, what do you know! Looks like I'm voting for Hillary!


  1. Seeing Air Force 1. Pretty impressive. I went to do my duty today at an early voting location. Woo who!

  2. Entertaining, as Always, Tim!
    I agree that President Obama is The Most Relatable U.S. President Ever! Also, the most Personable to the Most People! He even signs emails and letters to his supporters "Barack" And, it's as real/believable as anything in politics can be.
    I also have 2 daughters (& 1 son), Pres Obama Is my age (He's 3 months older.)
    And, Barack & Michelle Obama grew up middle-class and have Great Humor ~ New to the White House in My lifetime! Pres Obama has been disrespected like No President before him ~ from Before He Ever took Office, called "Uppity"! Yet, He remains calm, reasonable and Classy. The amount of Good He has accomplished for All The American People, despite constant opposition, is Pretty Amazing! 💜

    1. Hi Linda,
      Yes, correct on all points. I really did have a moment seeing AF1 like that. Believe it or not it was the 2nd time I've seen AF1. Bush 1's plane sped by on the tarmac at O'Hare in 1990. Caused all other plane movement to stop but it was pretty cool! Thanks for your thoughts!

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