THE LONG VIEW: Trump still in the running, despite himself

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Pat Grimes New pic.jpg

There are about nine weeks until the presidential election (which cannot happen too soon, if you ask a growing number of citizens who have had it up to here). Every other day or so, the news includes poll results predicting who will occupy the White House for the next four years.

It is the peak of harvest time for political surveys; pollsters must make hay while the sun shines. The New York Times lists findings from 10 different polling organizations, while Real Clear Politics is following tallies from more than 20 polling firms.

There are about nine weeks until the presidential election (which cannot happen too soon, if you ask a growing number of citizens who have had it up to here). Every other day or so, the news includes poll results predicting who will occupy the White House for the next four years.

It is the peak of harvest time for political surveys; pollsters must make hay while the sun shines. The New York Times lists findings from 10 different polling organizations, while Real Clear Politics is following tallies from more than 20 polling firms.

The different surveying entities seem to be coming up with different results. Most of the numbers have Hillary Clinton in the lead, by as many as 18 percentage points. But depending on where the question is asked, the occasional sampling has Donald Trump with a similar advantage. This baffles me.

Who are they speaking to? No one I know has mentioned participating in a poll. Are these surveys, even in aggregate, giving us an accurate prediction of what the voting populace will do?

If the polls are accurate, they are among hundreds of thousands of voters who want him as President. But how in the world do they believe he is even remotely qualified for the job?

There is a long list of reasons to be wary of either major party candidate, but the Donald’s lack of credentials seems the longest. The man is completely without experience in policy making, let alone governance. His record includes multiple bankruptcies as well as the tendency to use the courts to avoid paying debts or to harass business rivals. He comports himself as a blustering boor, which, in a world of uneasy governments and apprehensive financial markets, may not be the demeanor most conducive to a stable world or country or economy.

Still, he won the nomination of what is left of the Republican Party and will be on their ballot. Thing is, the closeness of his challenge according to the polls makes me darn nervous.

I’ve been surprised before. When George W. Bush was first elected President, I figured it was a reaction to his predecessor and to voters not knowing just what they were getting. When he was reelected, however, I was positively flummoxed.

How did the majority of voters not see what seemed so obvious to me, that the man was not very good at his job? Why, despite clear evidence of divisive partisanship, indifference to many Americans, and incompetence at leading the government to address the nation’s problems, did people put him back in the Oval Office? These questions grew more mystifying as W’s second term went on.

Soon, though not soon enough, the electorate will make their choice. Until then, the polls, colored by political preference as much as any party or news organization, will keep me on pins and needles. I fear the negative consequences of electing someone wholly unprepared (and reluctant to learn how) to be the President .

We all want what’s best for our nation. The choices may not be perfect, but here’s hoping the voting public is genuinely paying attention.

Pat Grimes, a former South Bay resident, writes from Ypsilanti, Mich. He can be reached at grimespat19@gmail.com

THE LONG VIEW:  Trump still in the running, despite himself