AS LONG AS THE NAME’S SPELLED RIGHT

1. It’s Monday, June 13, 2016.

2. It’s hard to think about much else after the horror that occurred early yesterday in Orlando. I can’t fathom being a member of a family who learned with horror that he or she would never see a loved one alive again. And why.

It seems small to say that your thoughts are with those who lost loved ones. The pain must seem like an abyss. I hope there’s a way to peace for all affected.

3. On June 3rd, I made a promise that I wouldn’t mention the name of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for 10 days. I kept the promise – check last week’s blog posts if you don’t believe me.

If such a moratorium seems silly or arbitrary to you, let me explain my rationale.

There’s a school of thought among people perversely egomaniacal: There’s no such thing as bad publicity. As long as they spell your name right, whatever is said helps keep the name out there.

So saying a judge is biased because of his ancestry or saying Muslims should be barred from the country or mocking a disabled reporter accomplish your goal. So would saying unicorns are turquoise, let’s have demo derby days on interstate highways and puppies are delicious.

4. The idea is to be in the news every day. Every day. It doesn’t matter what the news is. It doesn’t matter how outrageous it is. Just be in there. If not, there’s a risk you’re no longer front-and-center in the public mind, and then there’s the risk that, God forbid, people forget about you.

But the rest of us have a country whose present and future are at stake. And that’s what an election is supposed to be about.

5. So, for the past week, I’ve tried to think about issues. About what needs to be done. Because that’s what the candidates for president should be talking about.

For all the intensity of the Democratic primary campaign, neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders ran a negative ad about their opponents. More than 200,000 TV ads ran, not one of them talking about personal matters.

Yes, American history is replete with elections that focus on the personalities rather than the issues. But the 2016 horse race is out of whack with reality.

6. There are things Americans really care about. Three of them rose to the surface yesterday in Orlando, and with a fury. Terrorism. LGBT rights. Gun control.

The Republican presidential candidate tweeted this on the Orlando incident: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”

It isn’t enough that he tries to capitalize on people’s fears after a horrific incident. He also wants us to believe that others are telling us how great he is for understanding it as an important part of his reaction to the tragedy.

An election should be about the issues. It should not be about an overgrown tumor of an ego stoking fear.

I’ll go back to saying Donald Trump’s name in this blog. And yes, because it matters so much to the fate of our nation, I’ll call out the times I think he’s more of a horse’s ass than usual.

But there are matters I want to see addressed in the 2016 election. In the next few days, I’d like to share my thoughts (and hear yours) about them.

We would all be better off if that’s how we looked at this campaign. What kind of a country do we want? And how do we get it? 

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