It is entirely possible that the gentle reader knows what is not known when these words are set down, that is to say, who will be the next president of the United States. The 2016 election has been the most divisive, aggravating contest in living memory. The campaign had pitted to remarkably flawed people for the office of the most powerful person on the planet.

Hillary Clinton, former first lady, senator, and secretary of state resides in one corner. She has an impressive resume that, unfortunately, is sullied by unrelenting corruption, ineptitude, and pure evil.

She started her career by destroying the life of a 12-year-old rape victim in the 1970s. Clinton is now mired in a federal investigation concerning a pay to play operation that rewarded contributors to her family foundation with favors from the state department.

In the other corner, Donald Trump lurks. Trump, a mercurial real estate tycoon, and reality show star, is a vulgarian tainted by frequent expressions of racism and sexism. He has anger management and self-control issues that have manifested themselves from time to time on the campaign trail.

He is a political chameleon, who just a short time ago was a liberal before a late-term conversion to a kind of mélange of populism and conservatism.

As Henry Kissinger once said about the Iran-Iraq War, is there any way for both sides to lose?

Of course, either Clinton or Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. Evan McMullin is a good man and may have a future in politics, but his quixotic gambit to become Utah’s favorite son is bound to fail.

On balance, Trump would likely make the better president. All he has to do is to name competent people to his administration, stand fast with his agenda, and (please God) maintain the kind of self-control for the next four years that he has managed for the past two weeks. If Trump wins he may yet become an imperfect vessel for American renewal and change, Stranger things have happened in this weirdest year of 2016.

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