As the season turns, so do the political tides
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, December 3, 2015


So glad I grew up in a time and place that, in retrospect, made sense. The Monday after Thanksgiving was the opening day of buck season. The boys got out of school to hunt with their dads; we girls had art and reading. Yes, I read “Bambi” at some point in my childhood; but it didn’t melt my brain.

I guess it’s more a “place” problem, because little has changed in western Pennsylvania; in my hometown the schools were closed Monday, and girls go hunting with their dads now too. When the hunters get their deer, it’s tied to the hood of the car and taken home to hang on the clothesline hooks in the yard as it’s dressed, then grilled, roasted or smoked, and shared with friends who hadn’t been fortunate that year. At this point it’s called venison, aka “meat,” like what’s bought in the grocery store.

Here in eastern Massachusetts some animal-rights activists are protesting a more controlled and shortened hunting season to address deer overpopulation in the little patches of woods we have; they want the deer given birth control instead. That seems unnatural to me; I think the alternative to hunting is wolves and more coyotes. Or more human birth control, so fewer people build towns that overlap, which surprised me when I moved here.

As world leaders hold high-carbon-footprint meetings on climate control instead of fighting terrorism, I read somewhere that 75 percent of us are living on the seacoast, therefore at risk if the sea level rises. However, many like me are living on top of a hill, so I don’t think we’re in imminent danger.

Right now I’m happy with the climate, which has changed since last year; my son and grandson are skiing this week, there is snow in the High Sierra again! And no snow here yet, which is fine. I love it when the climate changes in November and I can see the true shape of my trees again. Chip has a fire in the woodstove. Autumn is over, fall is here, life is good.

So I can/t resist looking for trouble, in the form of the Republican primary: Here is my latest look at the candidates. Since my last columns on the subject, I have changed my mind several times, from my early support for Rand Paul, to John Kasich, back to Rand Paul again, now ...

Glad to see Chris Christie getting the Manchester Union Leader endorsement, which should put him on the next debate stage. I like his attitude, as I did when he came here to support Charlie Baker at a rally.

I’m so impressed with Carly Fiorina’s focused, rational presentations. I would really love to see her debate Hillary Clinton; as another woman, she wouldn’t have to pull her punches.

Chip sent a contribution to the Cruz campaign and got two very substantial, made-in-America, Cruz 2016 coffee mugs: “Courageous conservatives Reigniting the Promise of America.” I am open to him; suspect that he is too intelligent to be as socially conservative as he sometimes sounds. There may be no other way to get through a Republican primary, in places where we independents can’t vote to balance some of the single-issue Republican voters, than to carefully fake it sometimes.

So I distinguish Ted Cruz from Marco Rubio, who, along with the otherwise impressive Scott Walker, made a point of answering an inappropriate question about abortion in the first Republican debate. When asked by a trouble-making (Democrat-supporting) media type if they’d allow abortion to save the life of the mother, Walker said no; Rubio chose to agree with him.

Regardless of how some voters feel about letting a woman die in childbirth, possibly leaving her other small children motherless, any candidate who says this cannot win an election for president in this country. Though few seemed to discuss this after the debate, we all know the response was recorded and will be part of anti-Republican ads during the general election. Wise heads saw to it that Walker disappeared; but Rubio is getting some new traction against Cruz.

Were it not for the religious “let mommy die” fundamentalism, Rubio is impressive, with an intelligent answer to other questions, a nicer way about him than the otherwise well-qualified Cruz can summon. But when Independent, not to mention Democratic women, see that ad, Rubio cannot win; and win we must. We can’t afford four more years of the legacy of Barack Obama, who thinks climate change is the greatest threat we face.

I do love Ben Carson, but not for president; some Cabinet post. I keep forgetting to mention Jeb Bush, which I guess is the problem with his candidacy in general. Time for Santorum, Huckabee and Graham to leave the race, in that order. Which brings us to ...

Donald Trump. It surprises me that I knew so little about him until this campaign; all I noted over the years was the gossip part about his divorce that occasionally came up on talk radio shows. I was glad to see him in the race, fighting political correctness, abject apologies, and unfair media types, setting the stage for the “real candidates” to run more authentic outsider campaigns.

Then Monday night Chip and I watched “The Making of Trump” on the History Channel, at 9 p.m.; we were riveted for two hours, as we learned why he has such self-confidence, and that this is not a late-life hobby: He has been thinking about becoming president since he was in his 20s (like Bill Clinton). We learned that he contributed to Ronald Reagan’s campaign. This is not a man we had thought might be just paving the way for Ted Cruz: He is going to run.

And while some of us might deplore some of his rhetoric and exaggeration, it is important to note that these are not normal times: America made a big mistake in electing Barack Obama and may need something truly bombastic to fix that error. I’m more open to voting for Donald Trump than I was last week. But I still like some of the others too, so, I’ll try to get back to you on this.

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a weekly columnist for the Salem News and Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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