Hillary, Donald and the Simple Things

I spent half the afternoon watching last night’s US Presidential Election Debate on You Tube. I’m a political animal and would have stayed up half the night but had been up almost all night the night before so sleep won.

It  was very strange to be sitting in my kitchen here in the South-East of Ireland, watching Hillary and Donald do battle. I had made a point of not listening to any analysis of the debate until I had seen it for myself.

It was intriguing viewing and I couldn’t keep myself from thinking about the human beings that lay behind all the talk. Nor, could I stop myself from wondering if anyone in America would have the remotest interest in watching a Presidential type debate (or a Prime Ministerial one) from Ireland. I can’t imagine how that would come across to an American audience!

Yes, the human stuff!  How nervous were they?  To what extent did they feel an ironic sense of being in the same boat. After all, even though they are on absolute opposing sides in political terms, they had a lot in common last night as they ‘shared’ that stage being watched by millions and millions of people from all over the world.  In overall terms, I felt that had I been unaware of the background to this debate and just arrived from Mars, I would have thought they were both pretty articulate, civilised human beings. (I never, ever thought I would be writing such a thing!).

The debate certainly dealt with BIG ISSUES ~ world matters; stuff that marks a moment in global history.

It stood in stark contrast to a chance meeting I had this morning with a man who comes to stay in Tramore for the summer months each year. We stopped to have our usual chat and I was sorry to hear that he’s packing up to go back up country this weekend. He’s a fine cut of a guy; well into his seventies and looked a million dollars in a pair of shorts, bare tanned top, and a his wide brimmed sun hat.

He’s known hardships in his life but is always on for a laugh, as well as down-to-earth honesty. After our ‘hellos’ he pointed out to the dancing sea and then up to the beaming sun and just said: It’s the simple things …’ 

I’ve been thinking about his words in the context of all the hullabaloo about the US Presidential debate and, what I’ve found very odd, is that I haven’t been able to identify anything that I feel I could call ‘simple.’

I was looking through a heap of photographs to find an image of ‘simplicity’ and this is the one that keeps pressing forward but I hesitate to agree with it!

‘Solitude’ up the Comeragh Mountains, Co. Waterford






Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

17 thoughts on “Hillary, Donald and the Simple Things”

  1. Jean, thanks so much for giving a perspective from Ireland! While we are interesting in the elections in Ireland, I doubt that many would watch a debate if it was available. I watched it also and thought for the most part they were civilized but then I have seen and heard most of the outrageous things Mr. Trump has said and the insults he had for all. Hillary is not the perfect candidate but she is the best qualified and we can count on her to be civil and represent us internationally. The simple things matter in the long view!

    1. Hi CC, you’d be surprised at the level of interest in the US election here in Ireland ~ not least, I suspect because of the fact that Donald Trump has a Golf and Country Club here and we’ve been kept abreast of all his utterings!
      Also, the Clinton’s were signficant during the peace process in Ireland and there is a definite sense of thanks to them for playing a role in something so important to us.
      Interesting, for us, as we have had two female Presidents of Ireland. There was a time when that looked very unlikely but they really shook up the role and were a wonderful breath of fresh air.
      The next two debates should be equally interesting. Meanwhile, enjoy the ‘simple things!!’

          1. I think some people watch because train wrecks and reality tv are popular. I have stopped watching the news. I think it’s pretty clear who both of these people are. Both are liars and cheats. I don’t think anyone will argue that fact. It sines down to which liar and cheat you want to vote for. Sad, isn’t it?

  2. Remaining out of the political squabbling, although it is my belief that one of the candidates in this years US election could very well be the harbinger of WW3, I must agree with you on the notion of simplicity.

    I often stop to think, when pursuing meaning in my everyday life, about how everything around us is made of atoms.

    There’s something inherently wonderful in feeling part of everything.


  3. It is interesting to think of them as people with their own nerves and concerns when they’re built up into something not really human! As for the simple things, I think the world is most likely both very complex and very simple at the same time – we just don’t see the ‘simple’ most of the time.

    1. I agree that they are built up into being ‘somethings’ and certainly not humans.
      As for complexity and simplicity, I think I’ve gone a lot more towards the simplicity side of the scale as I’ve got older.

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