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Wednesday, 16 November 2016 15:49


It's been nearly a quarter of a century since foreign correspondent David Aikman wrote a novel about a second American Civil War, with a government led by urban socialists going to war with heartland conservatives.
Alas, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
About a year ago, the bitter political events unfolding on cable news channels made it rather clear that it was time for a new edition of that post-Cold War thriller, "When the Almond Tree Blossoms."
"No matter who wins ... there are people out there who think we are headed toward some kind of civil war," said Aikman, in an interview just before Election Day.
"It's disappointing that our nation really hasn't come to terms with all of its internal problems. Right now, it feels like it would take a miracle -- some kind of divine intervention -- to heal the divisions we see in American life today."
Aikman was born in Surrey, England, and studied at Oxford's Worcester College before coming to America in the 1960s to pursue a doctorate in Russian and Chinese history. After contemplating a career in diplomacy -- he speaks German, French, Chinese and Russian -- he moved into journalism and became the senior foreign correspondent at Time magazine.
Among his many adventures, Aikman witnessed the 1989 massacre in China's Tiananmen Square and introduced readers to a Russian politico named Boris Yeltsin.
Ironically, Aikman wrote "When the Almond Tree Blossoms" -- the title is rebel code drawn from Ecclesiastes -- while preparing to become a naturalized United States citizen in 1993. In the novel, the liberal "People's Movement" -- backed by Russia -- rules the bicoastal power centers, as well as the industrial Midwest. The "Constitutionalists" control most of the Bible Belt and have dug into the Rocky Mountain West. But who will the pragmatic Chinese support?
Aikman said he wouldn't "change one iota" of his vision of Russia evolving into a totalitarian regime run by a strongman. On the other hand, "China has actually become much nastier in recent months, especially on religious issues," he said.
Aikman built his fictional civil war primarily on political and economic trends, along with a dash of conflict about morality and culture. Decades later, it's clear that cultural tensions -- often linked to religion and sexuality -- are creating deep cracks in American life.
Rather than violent conflict, "I think we're going to see an 'OK Corral' shootout between state courts and legislatures over decisions by the Supreme Court and executive orders from the White House," he said. "It seems that Congress has lost the ability to find compromises on our most divisive issues."
For example, what happens if other states join Massachusetts in declaring religious sanctuaries "public spaces" under that state's new transgender anti-discrimination law? At some point, clergy may need to start adding "trigger warnings" to their sermons, offering outsiders an opportunity to leave their services if they do not believe ancient doctrines affirmed in that body of believers.
Obviously, said Aikman, the U.S. Supreme Court is not through dealing with hot-button cases involving religious liberty and the Sexual Revolution.
In the newest edition of his book, Aikman also added a postscript highlighting themes in the novel that have, if anything, become more relevant through the years.
For example, he wrote: "A major component of the book -- the People's Movement's hostility toward Israel and indeed toward American Jews -- has been expressed so far only by fairly far-left elements of the American political scene. There nevertheless remains a serious danger that anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments within the United States itself could at some point develop into a major internal ethnic squabble in which Jews are blamed for many things wrong with American life."
Over the years, readers have asked Aikman why he ended the book at a crucial turning point, as an action by China created a new dynamic in the war.
The short answer is that he wanted to produce a sequel, but instead turned to writing a number of nonfiction projects, such as his books "Jesus in Beijing" and "One Nation Without God?"
"I have an outline and I know the rest of the story," he said. "I have to admit that I find it surprising, and rather sad, that the topic remains so relevant."

Terry Mattingly

Stark, white marble headstones dot the lush, green grass, forming uniform rows as far as the eye can see in nearly every direction.
Names of servicemembers are carefully carved into each piece of stone.
This is a place of honor, prestige and remembrance – a resting place for those who served their country.
For more than 150 years, servicemembers from every military branch have been laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, located on 200 acres of land in Arlington, Virginia, across from the Potomac River.
Among those servicemembers are Coast Guardsmen Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, the Coast Guard’s most recent combat casualty, Commodore Ellsworth Bertholf, the Coast Guard’s first commandant, and Cmdr. Elmer Stone, the Coast Guard’s first helicopter pilot who went on to fly the first trans-Atlantic flight.
In addition to the more than 400,000 servicemembers buried there, the site is also home to numerous monuments, one of which is the Coast Guard Memorial.
The memorial, located on Coast Guard Hill in the cemetery, commemorates two tragic events in Coast Guard history during World War I. The first occurred Sept. 17, 1918, when 11 shipmates from Coast Guard Cutter Seneca perished when the torpedoed British steamer they were assisting sank in the Bay of Biscay. Just nine days later, Cutter Tampa was sunk by enemy submarine UB-91 in the British Channel, and all aboard Tampa were lost.
Another memorial on Coast Guard Hill is the final resting place of Lt. Jack Ritticher, a Coast Guard aviator who volunteered to deploy as part of the Rescue and Recovery Squadron operating out of Da Nang during the Vietnam War. Within a month of arriving he earned three Distinguished Flying Crosses for his rescues of downed aviators – all in combat conditions under fire. Sadly, after only two months in theater, his helicopter was hit by enemy fire while trying to rescue a downed U.S. Marine Corps pilot. Before he deployed to Vietnam, Ritticher’s brother asked him why he had volunteered for service. Ritticher told him, “This is what I am. I’m an air rescue pilot and I’ve got an obligation.”
With so much to see at Arlington, it could be overwhelming. To assist visitors, there is a free Arlington National Cemetery app available on the cemetery’s website, on-site kiosks and for download through app stores.
The ANC Explorer app allows visitors to locate gravesites and places of interest, obtain walking directions and photos, as well as find events and other points of interest.
The latest version also includes self-guided tours, easy access to general information, and provides the ability to save searched burial records to a mobile device.
One of the self-guided tours available is a U.S. Coast Guard tour. The tour focuses on points of interest relating to the Coast Guard, Coast Guard aviation and other notable pioneers of naval aviation. Points of interest include the Tampa and Seneca Monument, the USS Serpens Monument and the graves of several past Coast Guard commandants, aviation pioneers and Coast Guard heroes.
­The tour has 20 different stops and is an estimated 3 1/2 miles. Each stop has a brief history or biography attached to it. You can also use the app to select certain persons of interest and it will provide directions to the site.
“For those who live in the Washington, D.C. area or those visiting the nation’s capital, I would encourage you to visit Arlington National Cemetery and pay respect to those who came before us,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Liam Williams, the aircrew programs manager at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “The history and stories are both moving and awe inspiring.”

PA2 Connie Terrell

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 15:42

Be a Change-Maker: Elect Yourself to Be in Charge

Now's a good time to talk about change. Not change for the country -- though that is surely coming, I mean personal change.
Healthy lifestyles don't just happen, the way dust balls do. It's up to you to carpe diem, to let go of old habits so you can dance with new ones -- two steps forward, one step back -- until the new ones become a juicy and joyful part of your life.
It all begins and ends with you, your readiness, your determination, your support system, your willingness to do something as silly sounding as keeping a journal.
As the country gets ready for this change, let me share a user-friendly, three step plan for you to consider when it comes to making a positive change in your own life:
STEP ONE: DECIDE ON ONE THING. Keep it simple. Pick one goal, something that will spark joy and satisfaction when you reach it. Be specific. Don't just say something like, "I want to get in shape." That's not a goal; it's a prayer. Goals that motivate are SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
Maybe you want to comfortably walk a 10-mile trail with a 20-pound backpack. Or get certified in scuba diving. Or -- I'm cheering for this one because it saves so much money and weight gain -- learn to cook simple, tasty meals using real food.
(Your goal is 100 percent your choice; I'm just tossing stuff out here.)
Just remember this No. 1 rule from the Making Change playbook: You can't change because someone else wants you to. You can't stop smoking, start jumping rope, learn to meditate, or "just say no" to chocolate chip cookies because your spouse, your children or your doctor wants you to. It's a decision you must make for yourself -- honestly, fearlessly and authentically
And if you're not really ready to give up cigars, limit sugar and find ways to be physically active 30 minutes a day: Don't beat yourself up. Accept yourself as you are, because it's from that place of kindness and self-confidence that change ultimately can happen.
Setting too high a goal will be counterproductive. Better to be successful at a small, doable goal than fail at something impossible. Translation: Better to train for a 5K and triumph than plan for a marathon and suffer.
Once you decide on your one goal, write it down.
STEP TWO: KEEP A JOURNAL. Stop that groaning. Keeping track of your journey by writing stuff down is a time-honored way to help you succeed at making change. We forget. We lose focus. We need reminders of how far we've come.
So write your goal in your journal, and on the next page, write "Week One," with the dates and days included.
Detail the three actions you'll take in the next week to move toward your goal.
Be specific. Write out your action steps.
Here's an example from someone who wants to get back in shape: "I will take a 6 p.m. yoga class at Yoga Source three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and strength train with weights at home for 30 minutes on Wednesday mornings from 7:30 to 8 a.m."
You can check back with your action steps weekly or daily, but daily is best.
STEP THREE: REVIEW AND REJOICE. At the end of every week, review how well you did moving yourself closer to your goal. Be kind. OK, maybe you said you'd do three workouts and you only did two. Or you promised to eat no sweets whatsoever and you found yourself tearing into a forgotten Snickers bar in the bottom of your gym bag. No shame, no blame.
Just take it as it is, focusing not on failures but on what went well. Stay strong and confident. You can do this!
And every week for the next 12, begin again.
If you can find a wellness coach to work with you, that's ideal. If not, stay the course, and when the 12 weeks are over, give yourself a reward -- a massage, a golf lesson (maybe that's not a reward) -- just for showing up.

Marilynn Preston
healthy lifestyle expert,
well being coach

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 15:40

Are You Curious?

On November 4th, Space 39 Martini Bar and Lounge presented the awe worthy "Body of Difference" exhibit during the Art Walk held in down town Fort Myers on the first Friday of every month.
Featured artisits Michelle Caraway, and Jesi Cason (with help from Tony Myles) created this introspective project that combines various distinct, traditional visual art media to represent the beauty of diversity and gender expression in honor of the Love Your Rebellion Curiosity Bazaar to be celebrated on Nov 19th from 12 to 5 o clock at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center.
Love Your Rebellion is a Florida based feminist collective driven by community outreach, education, and art diverisity founded by Angela Page, but grown by many.
This intersectional feminist activism group is passionatley dedicated to the empowerment of marginalized populations, and accomplishes its vision by organizing donation based promotions of small independent business, social education that takes place on the web, and among many other projects, offers diverse, informational, and artistic outlets in the community such as this upcoming event.
The Curiosity Bazaar welcomes all artists, vendors, performers, art allies, or those simply curious to attend a free class to come out and utilize this exciting oppurtunity.
Among the many vendors that will be displaying thier unique, and stimulating collections, there will also be a spectacular showcase of live performances ranging from singer/ song writers, hula hoopers, LED spinners, Staff art, and live body painting.
Free classes include but are not limited to Self Publishing via Ebooks, Intro to Cosplay, Reproductive Health and You, Dowsing for Fun, and Intro to Song Writing.
Come. Listen to your inner artist and quench your curiosity.
Visit to view the detailed description of this event.

Alexandra Sargent
Kelly’s Treats, Lani Kai

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 15:38

World Leaders Chime In

Having openly endorsed Hillary before the election. French leader, Francois Hollande, said “it's a time of uncertainly for relations between Europe and the US.”
Other world leaders immediatley chimed in as news of Trump’s victory spread.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump on being elected the United States’ 45th President. “President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region.”
The U.K.’s new Prime Minister Theresa May said in a Facebook post. ”I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next President of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign.
Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”
“Brexit’s” Nigel Farage — who endorsed Trump on the campaign trail tweeted: “I hand over the mantle to @RealDonaldTrump! Many congratulations. You have fought a brave campaign.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "Germany and America are connected by values: democracy, freedom, respect for the law and for the dignity of human beings, independently of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views." adding "On the basis of these values, I am offering the future president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, close cooperation." saying “the partnership with the U.S. "is a foundation stone of German foreign policy."
President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, tweeted “a Letter to congratulate @realDonaldTrump & an invite him to Europe for early summit to chart EU-US relations next 4 years “
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his country will work "as closely as ever" with the United States under Donald Trump's new administration.saying "politicians and governments, congressmen, senators, prime ministers, presidents come and go according to the will of the people of Australia and the United States, but the bond between our two nations, our shared common interests, our shared national interests are so strong, are so committed that we will continue to work with our friends in the United States."
The Vatican's Pope Francis did not mention the U.S. elections during his Wednesday audience, but secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, offered Trump congratulations in a statement to Vatican Radio that "his government can be truly fruitful." saying the Vatican offered its prayers "that the Lord illuminates and sustains him in service of his country, naturally, but also in service of the well-being and peace of the world."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes Donald Trump's election as president marks a new era in the United States that he hopes will lead to "beneficial" steps for fundamental rights, liberties and democracy in the world. Addressing a business group in Istanbul on Wednesday, Erdogan also said he hopes the election result would also be auspicious for the region. Erdogan said: "Personally and on behalf of the nation, I wish to consider this decision by the American people a positive sign and wish them a successful future."
The former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, tweeted his “Respect the will of the American people, Congratulating and wishing President-elect, @realDonaldTrump , all the success.”
The Republic of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame congratulated Trump tweeting “Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump for a well earned victory.Looking fwd to continued good relationship w/ United States&new administration”

Vladimir Putin wants Russia to restore fully fledged relations with the United States after Donald Trump’s victory, the Russian president said on state television.
(Trump) “Spoke about resuming and restoring relations with Russia. We understand the way to that will be difficult, taking into account the current state of degradation of relations between the US and Russia. As I have repeatedly said, that is not our fault that Russia-US relations are in that state. Russia is ready and wants to restore the fully fledged relations with the US. I repeat we understand this will be difficult but we are ready to play our part in it.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping phoned Trump to congratulate him on winning the U.S. presidency, state TV reported Wednesday. “I place great importance on the China-U.S. relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Jinping said
Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said “It is important that the transatlantic bond remains strong”, he said, adding that “US leadership is as important as ever”.
Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, who supported Hillary Clinton offered his congratulations to Trump “in the name of Italy” said he was convinced that the friendship between Italy and the US was strong and solid. “It’s a new political fact that along with other things demonstrates that we are in a new stage,” Renzi said. “Who would say that Trump would win? It is that way and we respect it, we will cooperate with the new American president and have a
relationship between the EU and Italy.”
And so, America moves forward, cautiously.

Al DiPasquale

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 15:35

Media Failed But The People Prevailed

When I opened the doors and published the first issue of The Sun Bay Paper 20 months ago, the Presidential election was already in full swing throughout the media. It has been a circus and now we are witnessing the tears of a clown from the mainstream American Media.
For the better part of two years the media has been trying to dupe and deceive the American people to protect the establishment and status quo. Last night their arrogance, hypocrisy, spin and outright lies became evident for every- one to see.
Not only were all the media "polls" wrong, they were egregiously so in some instances. And when stretching the facts alone wasn't working, the media resorted to character assassination. The so-called last minute "discovery" of sexist Trump audio tapes is the best example. The establishment has become so accustomed to using the media to drive the vote they couldn't see the forest for the trees; they couldn't see what so many everyday Americans saw - the sheer disgust with the career media and politicians who have been selling us out like hotdogs at a Saturday ballgame.
Well the jig is up. Never again (or not for a long, long time) will Americans trust or believe the media spin on politics particularly at the national level. We do have to watch carefully at the local level though for here the game is harder to see being closer to the vest.
Right here in Lee County all our print media said Trump couldn't win Florida and certainly not the Nation. All but The Sun Bay Paper. I - We - have steadfastly without reservation called for a Trump win and this is not my verbal assertion for if I had not committed our editorial view to the written word over the past 20 months, other local media would be trying to tell you we were just jumping on the bandwagon. But be assured that is what many who did not support this needed change in the Presidency are now going to try and convince you they did. They are going to try and "spin" it so you think they had some of it right. But they clearly did not so don't be deceived.
If there is one great lesson we, as voters, need to take away from this election it's that selective character assassination is one way the establishment has been holding on to power in a flagrant display of cronyism. It is my guess this lesson WILL trickle down to the State and Local level and soon.
It is not easy for me to take down print and broadcast media so hard. After all, I've published newspapers in Lee County for over 16 years and have been writing politics over 30 years. I value the written word, but my vantage point has led me to the inescapable conclusion that credibility has largely been lost and that is one of the biggest reasons newspapers have been in such decline. A good, honest paper can still thrive but the people have had it with the spin. The only thing keeping many of the larger papers alive has been their proven ability to manipulate elections and that has now ended.
You can expect a renewed decline in print media with only a few newspapers flourishing. We at The Sun Bay Paper believe readers know full well how truthful we've been with them and that they will show their support for that honesty and vision.
Political correctness has had it's day; it's wreaked it's havoc on the social fabric of our Nation and families. In some instances people have suffered tremendously because the dared to speak the truth and stand their ground on principle. They should be smiling now for the voters have spoken and a new era has just been inaugurated on the American political scene and for once, in a long time, I'm hopeful again.

Carl Conley

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 15:31

At The End Of The Day, Let’s Be Americans

­ Floridians, the United States and the rest of the world woke up to the dawn of a new Era Wednesday morning. The American people had spoken through record voter turnout.
While every poll had him trailing, some by as many as 14 points, the one-time longshot scored major victories by sweeping the five important swing states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina, eventually getting 50% of the vote in Arizona, and just squeaking by in Michigan as well.
President elect Trump at the age of 70 became the oldest person ever elected to the White House, as we, here at The Sun Bay Paper, have been predicting for over a year.
This election while not as exciting as game 7 of the World Series was more like a roller coaster ride, with passionate followers, distressed commentators, incredible turnouts at Trump rally’s, poor turnouts at Hillary rally’s, savy political scientists, October surprize scandals on both sides, outright media collusion at the direction of the Democratic Party, surges in poll numbers and setbacks in the same polls a week later, staged violence at rallies just to name a few peaks and valleys of that ride.
Fueled by a high blue collar support base, Donald Trump persevered to gain the office, proving once again, that media polling at every level is totally worthless, not one poll had him leading in the country let alone winning by such a margin.
Unfortunately the left hates democracy when it doesn't go their way, violence immediately erupted Tuesday night throughout the state of California and Oregon with Hillary supporters burning Flags, shouting "F*** Donald Trump" "He is not my President". Demonstration also erupted at the University of California, where students blocked streets marching and chanting anti Trump slogans. One young student was reportedly run down by an SUV and severely injured during a march in Berkeley with a witness claiming the crash seemed intentional.
And so it begins, the misguided passionate turmoil following this election we all feared if Donald Trump were to be victorious, set in motion by anti Trumpers long before this week's election.
In her concession speech, Wednesday morning, Hillary Clinton said “I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.” hopefully quieting down her unsatisfied rebellious followers. Only time will tell.
It's going to be a long hard road ahead, now is the time for us to remember we are all Americans! and come together as a Nation.

Al DiPasquale

71% of the voters have chosen to expand medical marijuana in Florida by voting yes on Amendment 2, even though the PAC Drug Free Florida had raised almost three and a half million dollars to fight the passage of this amendment.
"Although the 2014 measure and the 2016 measure we're both designed to legalize medical marijuana, there are some differences between the two proposals. The 2016 measure clarifies requirements for parental consent for the use of medical marijuana by minors and also further defines what is meant by debilitating illnesses that would qualify for marijuana as a treatment option. The 2016 measure also addresses concerns regarding caregivers by making it clear that doctors would not be immune from malpractice claim for negligent prescribing of marijuana and by limiting how many patients and caregivers can treat with marijuana." ballotedia explained
Over 325,000 Voters in Lee and Collier County voted yes on the Amendment
The Amendment calls for legalizing medical marijuana for individuals with specific debilitating diseases or conditions as determined by licensed state physician and will allow licensed physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for their patients who have one of the following diseases:
Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ayotraumatic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Multiple sclerosis.
The amendment will allow caregivers to assist patients' medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health will register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue ID card to patients and caregivers.
It's also important to note that this Amendment applies only to Florida law and does not immunize violations of federal law on any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.

When no means yes,
Amendment 1

The misleading Amendment 1 proposed to our state constitution was voted down, as we reported last week, a no vote, was pro-solar and a yes vote, was pro big utility.
The measure needed 60% approval and only managed to get 51%, which is still too high, meaning that the 20 million dollars spent by big utilities almost fooled enough people to pass this, luckily enough of us knew better. Floridians dodged a bullet that would have seriously hampered the ability of solar power expanding in our state.

Well done.

Now, hopefully, pro solar advocates and lobbyists will go to work to get better tax deductions for homeowners and incentives for expansion in renewable energies.

Al DiPasquale

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 15:06


Never in history have more people predicted a leading presidential candidate would quit the race, and never have more people been wrong. As Donald Trump wraped up his final days of frenzied campaigning, and voters have gone the polls, (It's worth noting how many times over the past two years there were people who said this day would never come.)
First, of course, there was a near-consensus among the commentariat in the spring of 2015 that Trump, despite having hired a top operative in Iowa and having spent more time in that first-voting state than some high-profile candidates, would never actually run. The denials that Trump would get in the race continued almost to the moment, on June 18, 2015, that Trump formally announced his candidacy.
With that began the reports, speculation, and predictions that Trump would drop out.
It started slowly, and a little tentatively. On July 13, 2015, Atlantic's James Fallows published "Three Truths About Trump," the second of which was that he would quit the race. "We know what will happen -- that Trump will drop out -- even though we don't know exactly when," Fallows wrote. "Everyone knows, for certain, that he will fade as the novelty of his histrionic act gets old."
"There is a fair-to-good chance Trump will drop out or cease active campaigning at some point," said University of Virginia political guru Larry Sabato on July 15.
On Aug. 20, Stuart Stevens, a top Mitt Romney aide in the 2012 campaign, wrote a piece for the Daily Beast headlined, "Why Trump Will Never Make the Ballot," predicting Trump would drop out before the first vote was cast in the Republican nominating campaign. Trump was destined to lose when voting began, Stevens wrote, so therefore he would drop out before that happened. "Donald Trump believes losing makes you a loser," Stevens declared. "And he will do anything to avoid that label."
"My latest sit-down with Donald Trump and his surprising comments about what it would take for him to drop out," teased Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" on Oct. 4. 2015, Trump said pretty much the same thing to Todd that he had said to Harwood, leading to interview after interview in which Trump was asked if he would drop out.
"No, no, I'm not getting out," an exasperated-sounding Trump told CNN a short time later. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm leading every poll. I'm leading every state. I'm not going anywhere."
But the talk went on. As January 2016 arrived, looking ahead to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, Chuck Todd was back at it, with another Trump interview.
"You know there's this running conventional wisdom about you with some in the establishment that now say, OK, he's here to stay but if he doesn't win Iowa, he'll leave the race."
"No, I'm not leaving," Trump answered. "No, I'm not leaving."
Trump, of course, did not win Iowa, finishing in second place to Ted Cruz. But he didn't leave.
Talk of Trump quitting would flare periodically for the next few months. It settled down a bit when Trump captured the nomination with a win in the Indiana primary on May 3. But it was back before Trump went to Cleveland for the Republican Convention, which began July 18.
On July 7, the New York Times published perhaps the weirdest scenario yet: Trump would finish the campaign, win the White House, and then quit. The headline was, "Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the Election? He doesn't Rule It Out."
The Democratic Convention immediately followed the GOP gathering, and brought with it the Khizr Khan controversy, which prompted a new round of Trump-quits talk. On Aug. 3, ABC ran a story headlined, "Senior GOP Officials Exploring Options if Trump Drops Out." The story said top Republicans were "so frustrated -- and confused -- by Donald Trump's erratic behavior that they are exploring how to replace him on the ballot if he drops out."
On Oct. 7, the Washington Post published the Access Hollywood video. Some Republicans, who had up to that point stayed at least nominally in Trump's camp, ran away. There were calls for him to drop out. On Oct. 8, Trump tweeted: "The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly -- I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!"
Indeed, Trump didn't drop out. And come Election Day, Trump's name was still on the ballot.
So there was wishful thinking about Trump dropping out when he was leading the primary polls, and there was wishful thinking about him dropping out when he was far behind in the general election polls.
Perhaps that is just what human beings do. Many people, journalists included, believed a Trump candidacy, much less a Trump presidency, would be a dreadful scenario. And when confronted with a dreadful scenario, people often just wish it would somehow go away. That's what they did with Trump.
The bottom line is, over many long months, the political system occasionally lost its collective head over Trump, imagining all sorts of wild scenarios, that seems unlikely to change.

Byron York

Saturday, 27 August 2016 11:00

Zika Virus Scare. Real or Not?

Nothing that is going on with the Zika Virus is making any sense

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