Opinion Columns & Blogs

Why neither candidate will do

I hate to say this, but I have to be honest. Monday’s debate sounded an awful lot like the conversations I have with my wife. When Hillary said something about being blamed for everything — that did it. I could have sworn somebody put a home video in the DVD, showing me blaming my wife for something she wanted me to do but wound up doing herself because I took too long to do it. On top of that, it didn’t get done right.

Well, my wife does get blamed for most everything because the fact is, she’s in charge. She’s been in charge for more than 30 years, so she has to accept some responsibility for what goes on around here. You can’t have it both ways, I tell her. Either let me do something, or I’m going to blame you for what gets done wrong. I get blamed for what doesn’t get done and that’s called equality.

We have a marriage based on equal rights for both parties with enough blame to go around to satisfy everyone in the house because we are the only ones here who can be blamed. If she wants some work to be done, it is delegated to me and I have something called freedom, which means I can choose to do it or not. If I choose not to do it and she does it, she can get blamed if it’s not done the way she wants. That’s called freedom of choice (her) and freedom of opportunity (the opportunity to blame her, me).

Donald’s whining and sucking in air didn’t help much either. He reminded me of a guilty dog who ate something off the dinner table or the wolf at the pig’s door trying to blow her house down. I expected Hillary’s hair to fly up at any minute, revealing two red horns because if President Obama is the anti-Christ she must surely be the devil.

As for who won the debate, they both lost in my book and here’s why. They both showed a lack of something called class, and this reveals more than any words can about who these people are and how they really feel about who we are.

I don’t know about you, but I was taught to listen politely when someone else is talking. Facial expressions, harrumphs, snide smiles and expressions such as the ones I witnessed during the debate were considered very disrespectful when one was listening to someone else. My 2 1/2-year-old grandson doesn’t do that when we’re talking to him, and we’ve never had to tell him not to. Listening is a skill and we all know those who are good at it and make you feel comfortable talking and those who are not.

So why do these two presidential candidates feel as though it’s OK for them to disrespect each other during a debate by not listening politely? It could be because they see us as people who will accept that behavior. Oh, I know this has gone on in the past, no doubt. But the degree to which it went on Monday night sent a message to all of us that we must be accepting of this type of listening.

Well, the truth is, most of us are not and the sad fact is we’re stuck with the two of them, and to hear them tell it, one’s a liar and a crook and the other is a bully and a crook. The one thing they seem to have in common, other than wealth beyond one’s capability to understand, is a lack of class, something money cannot buy.

When someone says, “I can’t support either candidate, but don’t know why,” this may be the factor that prevents them from doing so. Both candidates see us as people not worthy of respect unless we’re needed for a vote. I could write more about this but won’t because the dye is already cast in this election and Little Harmon has put Captain Finn, the cat, in the fridge. All I need is for the wife to come home and see a SPCA vehicle in the driveway. We all know where the blame is headed and there’s no debating that.

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