I’ve always been keenly interested in horse racing. Some of the most spine-tingling moments in media coverage of sports are in horse racing. Anybody who’s ever watched a race will probably remember when the announcer said “And they’re off!” as the starting gates swing open. Another thrilling moment is when the horses make the final turn and head down what’s known as “the stretch”, the final straight stretch of track in which clearly dominant leaders have often kept and perhaps lengthened their lead — or in which “middle of the pack” or even “dark horse” contestants establish leads and win the race “at the wire”. Different announcers articulate this latter moment different ways, but it’s always something like “and now it’s down the stretch!”
I decided to pick up on this terminology as a name for my final seven posts from now to November 8 because this race for the presidency started with a total slate of candidates [“the field” in horse racing] in the same range as the field in major horse races, and because it has been [and is, and I believe, will be right into Election Day] about as unpredictable as a horse race. Each of these posts will be named Down The Stretch, followed by a declining number indicating the number of days left to Election Day.
In each of these posts, I will pick one major point of emphasis, one major theme, from either the posts I’ve made since starting this web site and blog a couple of months ago or the pages of the web site. If there is news unfolding during this time that warrants additional content, I will include commentary about that as well.
So here goes … the major point of emphasis for today is “It’s not about the people who are at the top of the tickets of their respective parties — it’s about the platforms [ideologies] of the parties they represent”.
It’s Not About The Candidates — It’s About The Party Platforms
This election is a clear choice between two ideological extremes, the tenets of which are expressed in the platforms of the Democrat and Republican parties. If votes for candidates other than Trump or Clinton are insufficient to result in a Twelfth Amendment process for selecting the President and Vice President, those casting them [or refraining from voting] will have essentially voted for either Clinton or Trump, and there is no way they can predict in advance which one they will have unwittingly voted for.
Even if the Twelfth Amendment process is the outcome on November 8, the ultimate outcome will be the same — either a Republican or a Democrat will be the next President, so the ideological choice will still have been made.
The rationale behind all of this is contained in previous blogs. If you haven’t read them, please do so.
Charles M. Jones