An evening in Washington with my good friend Nancy Youssef is not only great fun–it’s also a learning experience. She read me the top of her latest scoop, the amazing number of generals in Iraq compared to the “small” number of soldiers–here’s her story, read it and weep–and she gave me the first positive interpretation of the madness of the presidential campaign.
Watching the campaign insanity from the Mideast has been both disturbing and infuriating. And now the possibility that a declared racist and obvious ignoramus might be elected president…it’s beyond belief. It looks like the whole system is falling apart.
Nancy agrees up to a point, but she adds this fresh perspective: Millions of Americans feel left out of the system, and they’ve been clamoring for change for decades. That’s how Barack Obama got elected, for example. But Washington isn’t listening. So now we get Donald Trump.
But what this really means, Nancy says, is that people have not given up. They are still engaged in the system, looking to make their voices heard–even if the voices are sometimes extreme. At least they’re still involved, and that means there’s hope.
I added that as frightening as Trump is, he’s not the worst of the candidates–and it’s possible that a tyro like him, who has no knowledge of anything important for the running of the country, might be guideable in the right direction by those around him. That might be wishful thinking, but other extremists in the race would not be as pliable.
So as always, spending time with one of the best reporters in Washington, recalling our time in Cairo and sharing our experiences since then, is good for my head…and good for my soul. Thanks, Nancy!