This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
August already and I've so far avoided Lyme disease by staying indoors with the windows shut and if I need to go someplace, I take the car. And I never offer rides to deer. Headaches, fatigue, painful joints, diarrhea, nausea, facial paralysis: it's not worth it. If you need wilderness, Ansel Adams took pictures of it. And you won't wake up the next morning feeling like you're 87 years old. Unless, of course, you happen to be 87.
Just because it's summer doesn't mean we should be sitting beside a pond writing profound thoughts in a journal, like Thoreau. One of his profound thoughts was "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." And right there you have the campaign motto of the Republican nominee. He dreamed of being saluted by uniformed personnel other than doormen and chauffeurs and now he's advancing confidently in that direction.
Thousands of commencement speakers have admonished the young to dare to march to their own drummer, quoting Thoreau, and now we have a generation that wears headphones wherever they go, bobbing their heads to their personal beat, ignoring the people around them and texting somebody somewhere. As Thoreau said, "U gottta be U. Nuts to the norm. School is out, bro. Go 4 it." Well, I've seen a lot of individualism and it's okay in the movies but in real life I prefer people who Work Well With Others.
My parents were not Thoreauvian. Self-realization was not their thing. They taught humility, kindness, caution, hard work, self-control, and hard work. This was back in the Eisenhower years, which pop culture remembers as the Beat years and Elvis years, but actually were more about Ike. He was the CEO of the Normandy invasion and the Allied campaign in Europe that defeated the Third Reich. He was an organization man. He didn't write poems about setting out on a journey to find himself, he got the Interstate Highway System going, which enabled romantics to take a journey and find themselves in a Holiday Inn in Omaha.
The race between Madame President and Il Duce is a classic duel between the organization woman and the visionary who imagines himself on a white horse waving a flaming sword. Madame is an ambitious nerd like the small-town church women I knew in my youth who did good works in behalf of civility and learning and now she's up against the Leader of the Pack, revving his engine, the dude with Flashiest Chick, Hottest Car, Coolest Clothes. Her speeches tend to disappoint people because they're not All About Her. She doesn't seem to have had a profound spiritual crisis that gave her a vision. Instead of a vision, she had a strong mother.
I go to a woman doctor and this may be one reason the thought of Hillary Clinton in the White House does not fill me with blind rage. My doctor is smart and crisp in manner and she has performed intricate non-invasive procedures on me that have made my life better, meanwhile I know men who stuck with their old golf partner Earl who is also a urologist and those men get up thirteen times during the night to pee and must wear dark trousers.
So I look forward to January. The last time we saw Mrs. Clinton on Inauguration Day at the White House, she was standing beside Bill, welcoming George and Laura. As I play that scene back in my mind, knowing what we know now, I wish it had been Laura taking the oath and George taking charge of table decorations. Laura Bush is secretly a Texas Democrat, just as Hillary Clinton is secretly a moderate Republican. I think Laura Bush would have seen through Dick Cheney and all those old draft-dodgers eager to prove their manhood by sending other people's children off to war.
A great many menopausal white men like myself have a problem dealing with smart ambitious women. They like waitresses. Waitresses know this. They know not to make old men feel stupid, especially the ones who are. That's the side the bread is buttered on.
Senator Lindsey Graham said, "There'll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary." We shall soon see if that time has come. Meanwhile, no matter what happens, I do not have Lyme disease. I intend to never have Lyme disease. It is preventable if we will just follow a few simple rules. See paragraph 1.