Opinion Columns & Blogs

Time to ‘vet’ the horses in the presidential race

I like that word “vetting.” Somebody said it comes from a time when veterinarians used to check out a horse before a race or a sale. When I researched some of the things vets look for, my brother’s first wife immediately came to mind. She had bad teeth. I don’t know if it was from eating corn but he did have a problem keeping her fed. We should have vetted her.

I sold a Toyota van to a guy who said he’d pay me each month for a year. After the first six months no payments came and when I went to pick up the van, it was full of cigarettes and beer cans, didn’t run and the sun roof was stuck in the open position. I should have vetted him.

I could go on but what good would it do? What is desperately needed now is a reputable veterinarian, and yes, you need to vet the vetters to vet our current crop of presidential candidates.

I would suggest we use the same set of criteria they use when they vet horses. Here’s how it might go if we started with Hillary Clinton. “Yes sir, Secret Service, lead her on in. Have her sit here, please. Now, Mrs. Clinton, just open that mouth and let’s have a look at that tongue. Umm, looks a tad forked. When’s the last time you told the truth? Uh huh, looks like it has been awhile. In fact, looks like you might be lying right now. Yes, I know it’s habit forming, but we’re just vetting here and I’m just a vet.

Now, let’s see if you can stand up on your own. Oops, somebody get a handler. Looks like her legs just gave out from doing a little too much cardio. No pictures please, it’s hot in here. See if you can get her back on the stool. Now, we’re going to check your coordination Mrs. Clinton. Just cough into this microphone ... uh, not yet. See if you can do it while you drink from this bottle of water. Very good!

Somebody get a towel please and put Donald Trump in that next stall, the one with the gold-lined trough.” (They want him to be comfortable while being vetted by the vet). The vet is now going to vet Mr. Trump.

“Mr. Trump I’m going to have to check your scalp for anything that might have decided to take up residence in a warm, cuddly environment. Would you mind removing the hairpiece? It’s not? Well, you could have fooled me. Just let me dig around in here…Well, would you look at this. Looks like a piece of a taco shell. And we thought you didn’t like Mexicans. Ok, it’s time to listen to your heart. What’s that? You say yours is bigger than Sen. Rubio’s? Well, I’m sure we’ll find out for sure when your taxes are revealed and we see what you’ve given to charity. In the meantime, let’s take off those shoes and check those flat feet. Something must have prevented you from military service during Vietnam.”

The veterinarian, in the interest of saving time, has decided to post vet both candidates in the same stall. “Let’s be honest here,” he says, “I’m just a vet. If the American people are going to learn all they can about the facts surrounding each of you who seek the highest office in the land, I recommend we expose you both to the real vetters in this country and that would be ‘Dr. Phil,’ ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and the folks on ‘The View,’ and maybe a round of late night television shows. It’s the only way you can be truly vetted. Now, will someone open the stall door and let these two out of here? Oh, and bring me some hand sanitizer.”

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.