Guest Column


Where Golf, Tacos and Politics Meet

By Denny Freidenrich
By Denny Freidenrich

After a spirited round of golf at The Ranch with my friend Bill S. we ended the day eating tacos at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in town.  About half way through dinner, Bill admitted he planned on voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson for president.

Why, I asked?  He doesn’t have a chance of winning.  Why throw away your vote?

I was especially focused on this last point since Bill is a resident of Nevada — a state whose final vote tally could determine the outcome of the 2016 election.

Bill’s response was typical of his lawyer-schooling.  “First, I will not be voting for Trump under any circumstance,” he said.

“Second, I don’t trust Hillary.  And third, I want this country to have a strong third-party alternative,” he added.

When I asked Bill why he doesn’t trust Hillary, he sounded more like The Donald than the educated voter I know he really is.

“She’s been in office 30 years and hasn’t done anything.  It’s time to put an end to the Clinton political machine,” Bill said between bites of his taco.

Having followed this presidential campaign daily for more than a year, I have heard this “30 years of nothing” comment from Trump dozens of times.  Here’s what I told Bill:

“If you’re going to make that claim, at least get Hillary’s years in office right.  Her time as First Lady doesn’t count.  She was elected to the Senate in 2000.  Eight years later, she joined the Obama administration as secretary of state.  If you’re going to be critical of her, at least focus on those 12 years, not her so-called 30.”

Silence.  I could tell Bill was thinking.

“You know, I never thought of that,” Bill said.  “I need to dig into this more,” he admitted.

Yes, Bill, you and millions of voters need to do your homework.  Just because Donald Trump claims something is true doesn’t make it so.

And that part about your voting for Johnson to make a statement, I urge you to consider what his Libertarian vice presidential running mate William Weld, who now supports Hillary, just said:

“Every citizen must be aware of the power and responsibility of each individual vote,” Weld writes.  “This is not the time to cast a jocular or feel-good vote for a man whom you may have briefly found entertaining.”

To the extent that I am entertained by what the candidates say on the campaign trail is one thing; but, I take my vote seriously.  I hope my good friend ends up feeling the same way I do.

Denny Freidenrich lives Laguna Beach.




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