I must stop thinking about the election.  It is simply too depressing to pay attention to.  I am confident that Hillary will win.  No country can elect Obama twice and then elect Donald Trump.  This country has elected bad people like Nixon and George W. Bush.  It has elected stupid people like Ronald Reagan.  But it has never elected a real live douche bag.  There was a time when men knocked themselves out of the race with a small error.  Howard Dean made a funny noise on TV and the media crucified him.  He was done in a day.  Edmund Muske shed a tear on stage.  He was done in a day.  George Allen used the phrase "Ca Ca" to refer to a black man and - boom - he was out.  Not Trump.  He has called women dogs and pigs.  He said that Hillary shouldn't be president because she didn't look like one.  He advocated war crimes - killing the families of people suspected of being terrorists - and the media let it slide.  He is truly a horrible person.  Which fine.  It's a free country.  You get to be horrible.  But tens of millions of people want him to be the president.  That so many of the people in my own country can be so stupid, so silly, and so evil depresses me.

Back from Europe.  It was definitely a very good excursion.  All trips with Road Scholar are more excursions than vacations because you work, walk, and focus more on RS trips than vacations.  I really like sun and sand vacations with Adele.  On them, I usually walk for an hour or two every day with my feet in a couple inches of water.  For both of us, such walks are meditative and salutary.  RS trips though are more like brief college courses.  This trip to eastern Europe, for example, included a tour of Auschwitz, nobody's idea of a good time.  I worked hard not to vomit. Yet, I will remember the details of this trip much longer than I will those of our wonderful trip to Grand Cayman.  Even so, I am delighted to be back in my comfy chair with my computer, books, journals, and dogs around me.

This has certainly been a bizarre election year, made most different by the revolt of the pissed off white men who haven't entered the modern world.  I read this morning the most disturbing and illustrative metaphor of the 2016 election as experienced by conservatives.  It is being called the Flight 93 election, referring to the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11.  I guess many conservatives have so little confidence in America that they see their best chance of surviving is to attack the cockpit using Trump as a ram rod.  The probability of surviving such a gambit are low, but the alternative is to be ballast as the current demons in the usurped pilot's seat carry out their own selfish, deluded, and evil agenda.  Or so it seems to them.  Wow.  I am once again thrust into my oldest and least well answered question: If that is the way some people understand this part of the world, what in God's name must the rest of the world look like to them?