The Most Despised Duo in American Electoral History

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorised

“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today
I don’t know what it is
Something’s wrong with our eyes .”
— Aerosmith, Livin’ On The Edge

Is there something wrong with the world today?

No matter where we look…from the top to the bottom of the Americas…on one side of the pond and the other…we are, at turns, puzzled and confused by what we see.

Is there something wrong with our eyes?

As usual, the lunacy is most prominently, unapologetically on display in the grubby world of politics. Here is a realm where lying, thieving, and debasing your moral character are considered acts of valiance and virtue.

Of course, there’s nothing new under this sun. Democracy has forever been “two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner.”

It’s rule of the “mobjority,” plain and simple.

What is particularly perplexing in this day and age is that, all evidence to the contrary, good, honest people still believe there’s something “in it for them.”

Alas, politics is no place for the good and the honest. They quickly become lamb cutlets for hungry wolverine fangs.

No, The Savvy Retiree Daily reader…when it comes to seeking a freer, better, richer life…you’re better off looking elsewhere. Turning to the government for help in achieving independence is like turning to an accountant for levity, or a DMV worker for wit.

And still…there it is. The modern political process in full swing. Billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man hours, all hard at work convincing whole nations of people that everyone may fairly live at the expense of everyone else.

True believers march off to the polls, attend rallies, wave flags, and recite slogans carefully prepared for them by marketing teams and pollsters and focus groups.

Otherwise intelligent individuals are convinced en masse to believe that their votes count…that to abstain is akin to a minor act of treason…that to chose “no evil” over the “lesser of two evils” is somehow tantamount to evil in itself.

And yet, preposterous as the whole scene is, we can hardly avert our eyes. It’s like watching Wile E. Coyote strapping himself to an ACME missile. We cringe and recoil. We fight the urge to yell, “Wait! It ain’t gonna work!”

And yet we remain glued to the tape, awaiting the next slide in a rolling, public disaster…

Before we left the U.S., newswires were abuzz with the announcement that Mr. Donald Trump was to be the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.

His lingering challengers, Messrs. Cruz and Kasich, “suspended” their campaigns after The Donald’s majority win in Indiana.

So unless something remarkable happens before he’s sworn in, a billionaire real estate magnate cum reality television star will lead the Grand Old Party into battle this November.

To say the clowns are running the circus might be an understatement.

On hearing the news, people on both sides of the aisle promptly threw a hissy fit.

For their part, GOP insiders—one half of what many are calling “the establishment”—couldn’t wait to denounce their own candidate.

Four of the last five Republican presidential nominees—Bush Jr. and Sr., John McCain and Mitt Romney—said they plan to snub the convention in Cleveland, where Mr. Trump is expected to be formally nominated.

They join a long and growing list of lawmakers, party operatives, pundits and prominent GOP donors to sign the “Never Trump” campaign…

Meanwhile, the left must be quietly wishing they could send bouquets to Trump Towers. In a single election season, The Donald has managed to do what Democrats have been trying to do for 160 odd years—tear the Republican Party apart at the seams.

If nothing else, Mr. Trump showed them that, with enough bluster and bravado, it was at least possible…

But the Dems have their problems too. Trump may well be the most disliked presidential nominee in history—as polls currently show—but Mrs. Clinton is not about to let that dubious honor slip through her fingers without a fight.

Incredibly, were Mrs. Clinton to win her party’s nomination—and all indications are that she will—the two candidates would be the most despised duo in American electoral history.

Currently with a seemingly unassailable lead, Trump earns a “strongly disapprove” demerit from 53% of likely voters. Clinton, though trailing at the moment, manages to inspire the same disdain from 37% of voters.

For comparison, Bush Jr. mustered a mere 32% “strong disapproval” rating in his bid for re-election in 2004…though one imagines he might have fared better (read: worse) were he eligible to run again in the 2008 race.

All of which is not to say voters’ ire and hatred can’t turn into election gold for the candidates. Au contraire!

In fact, reviewing the polls from the past eight presidential elections (that’s 32 years’ worth of big-top entertainment folks!), only one eventual victor was “less disliked” than his opponent during primary season.

That is to say, the most hated candidate at this time of the election race (who managed to secure their party’s nomination) ended up winning seven of the last eight presidencies.

(Only George Bush Sr.’s 1992 campaign managed to be both “less unpopular” in the primary season and still clinch the popular vote.)

So first, the general electorate decides the candidate on whom they will focus their strongest dislike. Then, six months later, they welcome that person into the highest office in the land.

No, The Savvy Retiree Daily reader…there’s nothing wrong with the world today.

As H. L. Mencken had it, democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want…and deserve to get it good and hard.

Whatever they get this November, voters will have only themselves to blame.

T&P Tool Shed

Mindfulness

By the Staff of The Savvy Retiree Daily

Just because the world’s going crazy doesn’t mean you have to. Why not take a break from The Hillary & Donald Show and take a little time to refocus on yourself?

Mindfulness is an easy-to-learn form of meditation, with an emphasis on focusing on yourself. Practicing mindfulness for just five minutes a day has been shown to produce a number of tangible benefits including reduced stress levels and increased happiness. It’s even being offered as an alternative to opioids in the treatment of chronic pain.

There are a number of different ways to practice mindfulness, but the goal of each of these techniques is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgement.

Basic meditation: Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing. Allow thoughts to arrive in your mind and let them pass without judgment. Some prefer to focus on a simple mantra instead of their breathing.

Body sensations: Pay attention to subtle body sensations (like an itch or tingling sensation) without judgment and let them pass.

Urge surfing: This is helpful in coping with cravings, urges, and other addictive behaviors. Acknowledge your cravings as they enter your body and let them pass. Instead of wishing for the craving to go away, acknowledge your craving in the certain knowledge that it will subside.