Last week the Democratic presidential candidates got together and contested the issues in front of a national audience. Because there are 25 candidates throwing their hat into the ring, each one had to answer the questions in 60 seconds, and they had to have a tiny hat. Most answered in 140 characters or less, and that’s why some saved time by saying “U” instead of saying “you,” or “2” instead of “two.” Why are there so many candidates for the Democratic nomination? The short answer is that it sounds better to be considered a “Presidential hopeful” than to be considered hopeless at whatever you’re doing now. An even shorter answer is “The.”

Another reason is that right now the bar for being a president is set pretty low. You can’t even limbo under it, you have to just hop right over it. So everyone want’s a piece of the action, and it’s a diverse field, so diverse that no one knows how to pronounce anybody’s name. There are women, there are old men, there are black people, beige people, medium sepia people, Native American people, gay people, transgender people and people from Mars. I’m just kidding, there are no transgender people. Last I heard, anyway.

What are the issues? Immigration is one. Trump says the country is “full,” and doesn’t want it to get a stomach-ache by ingesting any more immigrants. He also wants to build a wall across the southern U.S. border to prevent American companies from moving to Mexico. The Democrats say a wall is stupid, and favor a huge set of Venetian blinds.

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Global warming will continue to be a flashpoint for Democrats, and despite its recent popularity on the debate stage, it’s nothing new. Climate change science dates all the way back to 1963, when Martha and the Vandellas accurately predicted, “It’s like a heat wave, burning in my heart.” Trump has reduced the existential threat to the planet to a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, and to address the issue he’s placed a tariff on all hoaxes coming into the U.S. from China.

One thing Democrats aren’t talking about is the economy, which is certainly at a high point. Trump has to get some credit for that. And if he doesn’t get enough credit he can certainly apply for more at Deutsche Bank. 

What should you look for in the next debate? Beats me, I was watching a debate once because “Forensic Files” wasn’t on for some reason, and President Obama was calmly dismantling his opponent’s argument, point by point, and I’m thinking, this guy has actually brushed up on the subject. And then I read the next day that the “pundits” said he lost the debate because he wasn’t “fiery.” Fiery is a synonym for “annoying” and has nothing to do with anything. Remember when Trump stalked around the stage behind Hillary Clinton at the debates trying to get himself into every shot? Your goofy kid brother did the same thing and ruined all the family photos, and no one ever accused him of being presidential material. After every term I’d like a phone call from the President that says please take this short survey so that I may better serve you, and then I can have the satisfaction of hanging up as usual.

If the Democrats win the election, who will be the next First Lady? Or who will be the first next lady? Will the First Lady be a man? Will he or she embrace the role? The elegant Melania Trump initiated an initiative called “Be Best,” which focuses on getting people to, well, I actually have no idea what it’s for. “Be Best” might not be the most grammatically correct initiative, but don’t worry, it’s only a shortened version. The full name of the program is “Be the Bestest As What You Can Doing.” 

Will the next president undo all of Trump’s Executive orders? “Executive” and “order” don’t have much in common these days. The next time Trump signs an Executive order and holds it up to the camera as proof that he wrote something, take a good look at his signature. It looks like the results of a polygraph test that he himself flunked.

The Democrats have a long road ahead of them. Some say there will be a “civil war” within the party but I disagree. There will be a war, all right, but I doubt it will be very civil. Some of the candidates moved so far to the left during the contest that they came all the way around on the other side of the stage.

The next two nights of debates are scheduled at the end of July, and to be in them you must have at least one percent of support in three qualifying polls AND have a pulse rate of over 20 beats per minute. Anything over 60 will be seen as showing off, and could affect your popularity. Supposedly there are TWELVE debates scheduled. By that time the candidates will be arguing over whether they heard “laurel” or “yanni.”

Join Rick and the Trillium vocal group for some melodies at the Downtown Peekskill Summer Music Series Sunday evening, July 14, at 5 p.m. on North Division Street

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