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Questions and Answers

Question: What’s the definition of a contest?

Answer: Easy. It’s an event in which people compete for supremacy in a sport, an activity or some other particular quality. It could be a competition, a match, a tournament, a game, a meet, a trial, a bout, a heat, a race, a deathmatch.

Question: Of course, there are contests and there are contests. What makes for a really exciting contest?

Answer: Not so easy to answer this one.


I love sports, but I’m kind of choosy. Not just any sport, but the great championships. Example: This time of year I watch the NBA playoffs and championship best of seven series. I also like the Super Bowl, the World Series, grand slam tennis and grand slam golf tournaments. The NCAA season ending championship basketball and football are pretty terrific too.

But not even those events or series automatically qualify as a really exciting contest—no matter how incredible the world class athletes involved are.

Take the two NBA playoff games this past Sunday. Cleveland against Atlanta and San Antonio against Oklahoma City. Cleveland swept Atlanta 4-0. Boring. San Antonio was leading Oklahoma City 2-1 and favored to win the fourth game and take an historically near insurmountable 3-1 advantage. But Oklahoma City–the underdog–came from behind to win. Exciting from start to finish.

As much of a sports fan as I am, there are only so many hours in the day. I record these games on my DVR player and then watch the recordings before knowing the real time results. I spent 30 minutes watching the 2.5 hour Cleveland Atlanta game. In contrast, I spent about 90 minutes watching the San Antonio Oklahoma City game, everything but the time outs, the commercials, and the half-time pundit filler. (Being a dyed in the wool Los Angeles Lakers fan, I had no skin in the game; I was just after a great game, and I got one.)

The 2016 Presidential Election

Why am I telling you all this? Because U.S. presidential elections come around only once every four years. I’m as much of a political junkie as I am a sports junkie, even more so because the stakes are so much higher. Yeah, I may have a favorite (in this instance, the one I dislike the least), but I want an exciting race, akin to San Antonio and Oklahoma City, not Cleveland and Atlanta.

Right now, all the pundits, all the experts, say that Hillary is going to slaughter Donald, worse than Cleveland beat Atlanta. Hillary says that (duh!). The Democrats say that (duh!). Much, if not most, of the Republican “leadership” says that (not so duh!). Most of the political media says that (so what, what they say and a dime will get you whatever you can buy for ten cents).

How could it be otherwise? Women hate Donald, right? Hispanics hate Donald (referring to those who are eligible to vote), right? The gays hate Donald, right? The Muslims hate Donald (referring again to those who are eligible to vote), right? The blacks are not far behind either, right?

So, how could Donald possibly give Hillary as much of a run for her money as Atlanta didn’t give Cleveland?

Well, free of charge, I’m going to let Donald in on how he can make this a more exciting contest, not because I’ve yet made up my mind who would be worse for the country, but because if each of them is likely to do a poor job, I’d at least like to have an exciting contest to watch, not one where I just speed through my DVR recorder on fast forward.

Here’s precisely what Donald has to do to get in the game and make it interesting. He needs to listen to me carefully. He needs to heed my advice. Soon, if not immediately.

Play the Martyr Card

First, he has to play the martyr in terms of our anti-Trump GOP “leaders.” He can actually work to his advantage this unusual upside down phenomenon where party leadership does not support the presumed party nominee. That is, if he does this well, and quickly.

Catch Hillary Off Guard

Second, he has to identify who his vice presidential running mate will be and, if he wins in November, who his entire Cabinet will be and who his next four Supreme Court appointments will be (subject of course to applicable Senate approvals). Unprecedented as this would be (and what about Donald being where he is today is not unprecedented?), the point is to publicly disclose now many well qualified, respected, superstar women, Hispanics, blacks, and Asians, conservatives, liberals, and even a token Dem or two, who will accept his appointments and (other than his Supreme Court nominees) aggressively back him in the upcoming general campaign and election–demonstrating tangibly that Donald is not bigoted, not an incompetent clown not to be taken seriously, but one who in the eyes of these who join his team is steeped in principles of meritocracy. (By the way, I didn’t say also mention males in the preceding list of his selections, but Donald can pick some of those too.)

It remains to be seen whether Donald can actually attract enough such stellar people. I’m betting my DVR recorder that he can. (Editor’s note: As I prepare this blog, the day before you will have the “opportunity” to read it, Donald has just announced that he has appointed Chris Christie to head his kitchen cabinet transition team to help him with his appointments. Christie of course accepted the appointment without hesitation. The GOP “leadership” notwithstanding, the Trump bandwagon starts here.)

Play the Humble Card (I Know, I Know, But Does He Want to Win or Not?)

Donald has to be humble (no easy task for The Donald, to be sure, but, remember, he presumably is . . . in it to win it). He has to confess that he is still learning on the job, that he is still feeling his way, and will change some of his earlier positions when he discovers a mistake or two, but he must also emphasize, most importantly of all, that if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that a good leader surrounds himself with stars and then listens to them, even if and when they will occasionally contradict his own instincts on . . . “How to Make America Great Again.”

Your Move, Hillary (And Our GOP Leadership, Scurrying Every Which Way To Figure Out What is Best For THEM)

How will Hillary react to moves like this on Donald’s part? She will have to follow suit or look weak, unprepared, and secretive. Some of her choices may not be what she would otherwise truly want them to be. She will have to move to the right a bit. In this regard, Donald may prove more of a hero to the GOP than all of those “sage” GOP backseat drivers. (Editor’s Note: As I prepare this blog, GOP Convention Chairman Paul Ryan has just offered to resign his convention chairmanship if that’s what Donald wishes.)

Be The Bigger Man; No Other Martyrs Need Apply

Donald should quickly announce that he likes Ryan and has no desire whatsoever for him to step down. Donald doesn’t need any other martyrs in the game.

P.S. And, as I finished up this blog last night, both NBA playoff games went right down to the wire, tied at the end of regulation, and decided in overtime, Miami over Toronto and Golden State over Portland. My DVR recorder was on steroids. Now those two games were contests! Are you listening, Donald?

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