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The cloud that looms ...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Last Wednesday night, with one of the greatest decisions in a long time about to occur, a great cloud loomed over that opportunity.

The Indians of Cleveland and the Cubs of Chicago were bringing an epic finish to, well, an epic finish in the 2016 World Series.

The skies opened up with rain – briefly delaying history. But a night-ending storm was bearing down the western skyline. How could the gods foist this on such a great showing?

Alas, they didn’t. The Cubs instead opened up. The Indians did, too. But they came up a little short, and history was written.

Now, a great cloud looms again.

Tuesday will be an epic finish to one of the epic election seasons ever. Like the World Series, this election, too, is one for the ages – but for all the wrong reasons.

Two of our most disliked leaders ever – before they even get to make a presidential decision – have a chance to become “the leader of the free world.”

I can’t get comfortable with either person.

I will have to in the coming day, and I will live with my choice. I’ll also easily accept the results, regardless of who wins. That’s the Irish part of me – the grandson of a County Cork lad who crossed an ocean hoping for a better life. I’ll hope with this election, too.

Whoever the winner, I won’t unfriend anyone. I won’t stand at the opposite end of a room. I won’t find a new dry cleaner.

But what makes me most uncomfortable in all of this is, can enough of America accept the same? Can Washington, too, accept?

The country is as divided as I’ve seen in my life. So are the political parties. And within the Republicans themselves, there is essentially a civil war.

I don’t expect there will be wars in our streets or at our polling places over this.

But to that end, this was an odd discovery this week:

Bill Kotsatos is a Warren lad and proud Valley son. His Twitter profile page brags of both.

His life has been spent photographing the hottest world tensions – including typhoons; tornadoes; coups; Rwanda; Pakistan; Philippines; Syria; Ferguson, Mo.; Baltimore; Occupy Wall Street and more.

Find his work online and be taken away to some unreal events and places.

This week, he is in the U.S., and his target is the elections and U.S. militia groups.

So is that really Tuesday’s outcome?

I have the privilege by this job of connecting with great minds in the Valley. I asked that above question to some of them. Here are two observations to close today:

From a Vindy fan, what happens next is:

“Russia will become increasingly aggressive, as our divided nation will, and do-nothing Congress presents little concern to shirtless Vlad.

“Congress will move toward a single-payer health care system less effective than the Affordable Care Act because it’s easier to pay too much using tax dollars taken from a confused public.

“And greed will continue to drive investment bankers in creating another meltdown of the housing market and lost faith in the stocks and bonds necessary to finance start-ups and other companies that actually create value and jobs.”

From an academic friend:

“I remember the 1960s and ’70s. That era was much more violent, angry and disruptive than this one.

“The rhetoric of some of the protest leaders then was worse, as was the response of the authorities. Yet somehow we survived and moved forward.

“Looking back, the intensity of the era might have been necessary to bring about change. So while the country seems angry and divided – and it is – it’s been worse.”

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at tfranko@vindy.com. He blogs, too, on Vindy.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.