WASHINGTON – This political campaign has already become too long and too arduous for campaigners and voters alike. Dare I say it? Politics as practiced in America is in danger of becoming a health hazard. I can see it now. There may well develop a movement among forward-lookers to limit the length of campaigns. You doubt me? Think of what the forward-lookers did to cigarette smoking. There was a time in the 1920s, as I remember, when all forward-lookers were ardent supporters of the right to smoke in public, especially the right of women to smoke in public. Smoking was actually viewed as being very salubrious, particularly for the vocal chords. Every singer worth their salt went through a pack a day.
Then the moral restlessness that grips forward-lookers everywhere began its episodic work. It struck their old certainty about tobacco. Was it really so healthy to hold a cigarette between one's fingers? Did the dubious cigarette not leave stains? And think of the stench! Cigarette smoke was an allergen and left many people with watery eyes. Presto. Every liberal in the country became an opponent of the dreaded cigarette. Soon, they not only opposed smoking in public places but also in private. What's more, they opposed cigarette smoking even as they began to advocate marijuana smoking and marijuana eating. The liberal's moral restlessness is rarely disciplined by consistency.
At any rate, I am anticipating a move among the general public to ban political campaigning beyond a certain point. There was a day when presidential campaigns did not begin until Labor Day, and I can see a return to those days. Donald Trump can return to Trump Tower in peace. Hillary Clinton can float around on her rubber raft in the swimming pool at her Chappaqua, New York home. All will be quiet until Labor Day. If the forward-lookers get to work quickly, it could possibly happen this election year, which would give us at least a couple of weeks of normalcy.
Now, I know that Trump supporters will not be happy. He has been putting on a good show for them, and we all like a good show. Yet, Clinton will surely be relieved. She is not having a good time on the campaign trail. She appears labored. She is accused of lying, and she does not like that. What is a lie anyway? She is accused of mishandling intelligence documents on her server, and she seeks the refuge offered to her by James Comey, the director of the FBI. Comey said she was insufficiently "sophisticated" in handling intelligence documents. (After 40 years in public life?) She agrees to a lack of sophistication. It beats fighting a felony charge. Finally, she is accused of commingling her work at the State Department with her foundation's money-grubbing. This charge cannot sit well with her.
So I say it is time to limit the time spent campaigning for the presidency. How about spending only the first six months of an election year on the primaries? Then, take the summer off, except for each party's national convention. The candidates can have at each other after Labor Day. Roaring at each other every day throughout summer and fall cannot be good for their health. In fact, Trump seems to have put on some weight during his raucous campaign, and Clinton does indeed look terrible. The National Enquirer -- my political Bible -- reports that she has gained over 100 pounds, and I believe it. Actually, this week it was reported that Bill Clinton is in early stages of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Which one will get him first? At least he has escaped an embarrassing sexually transmitted disease.
Yet if we do somehow limit the candidates from campaigning before Labor Day, how will the government enforce this new law? We do know that Clinton does not live by the law, as you and I do. She has always put herself above the law, from her days as a member of the Nixon impeachment staff to her days in Arkansas to her White House days and, more recently, to her days at the State Department. She is our first career criminal to run for the presidency. She did it in her usual ham-fisted way last month, having her husband meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac in broad daylight just days before Director Comey outlined a list of flagrant violations against her and then gave her a pass.
So any reform of the election laws will not hinder Clinton's quest for the White House. Our last hope is the electorate. Will it stand in her way?