OK, Who’s the Time Traveler?

Having just finished reading Stephen King’s “11/22/63,” I wonder if someone recently went back in time and changed some big historic event. How else to explain the seemingly topsy-turvy political world in which we find ourselves?

In King’s novel (spoiler alert!), the hero prevents JFK’s assassination, but returns to the present to find that saving the president in 1963 had resulted in 50 years of race riots, nuclear wars, economic collapse, and Canada annexing New England. The novel’s hero returns to the past to “reset” history on its proper course. (No word if New Englanders regretted losing their ready access to a decent healthcare system.)

So what historic event got changed that could explain why the current US presidential election seems to be the product of some alternate universe? A major political party upended and at war with itself, puerile behavior by candidates who are nominally adults,  school-yard taunts that would make a fourth-grader blush, omens of protest and violence at the conventions. We’re more than a year into the campaign and most voters probably can’t identify the policy positions between which they are supposed to choose. But we know what “small hands” means.

Is this reality? Can the smart aleck who must have changed something in the past please return there to reset things on their proper course? I’d like my normal presidential campaign back. You know, the one where we get to pick between two well-qualified, mature, dignified, empathetic leaders.

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