By Patrick F. Cannon
I started blogging last year about this time. I looked at my file and counted 51 previous blogs. I should mention that the count doesn’t include a couple of pieces that I reprinted from another source. Anyway, this is number 52, so I’m declaring this the First Anniversary of Cannonnade. In the past year, I did not miss a single week. Whether that has been a blessing or curse, I leave it up to you to decide.
While I didn’t actually do a count, words totaled about 40,000. Some of the early ones were a bit long. In the future, I’ll try to limit each to about 600 words. That way, if you don’t like a particular piece, you don’t have to wince for too long. A few I would probably take back, but I’ll mention only one.
Just like most of the “experts”, I minimized the Trump phenomenon. Early in the campaign season, I noted that he was only getting a little more than 20 percent of the primary votes, with more than 70 percent of voters opting for one of the other candidates. I thought he had reached his peak, but lo and behold, he kept getting stronger as the other contenders dropped off one by one. As the old saying goes, the number of folks who got it wrong about Trump “could fill Yankee Stadium.” I’m not even sure it would be big enough.
I’m reminded once again of Pauline Kael’s remark (she was the longtime film critic for the New Yorker, and a paragon on the New York liberal intellectual establishment) upon the election of Richard Nixon. Presumably never having left Manhattan Island, she remarked: “I don’t understand how he won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”
I do know some people who voted for Trump, and actually understand why, mainly having to do with Hillary Clinton. But larger numbers, the actual margin of victory, voted for him because they felt that both political parties had failed them and they were willing to take a shot. I think they made a mistake in choosing Trump as their savior, but there’s nothing we can do now to change the reality.
In the coming year, I’m going to largely stay away from politics. You’ll find that the pundits who were wrong about Trump won’t be dissuaded from filling in for me. In the meantime, one of our good friends, Judy Higginson of Redlands, California (where she fled to be warm instead of cold) has asked me to write something about horse racing, my favorite sport. Once also America’s favorite spectator sport, the spread of legal gambling has reduced its popularity, but not its charms. I’ll try to convince you of that next week.
Copyright 2016, Patrick F. Cannon