"The Race That Stops A Nation" isn't describing the Presidential race, its the Moniker of The Melbourne Cup, a horse race first held in 1861 on the first Tuesday in November. Cup Day is a state holiday and most people try and make it into a long weekend as the seemingly endless stream of SUVs towing boats and camper trailers past our front gate on Friday afternoon attested. Cup day is a day when non gamblers have a bet on the horses and non drinkers can be seen with a glass of champagne. Right across Victoria people hold parties and dress up in their Sunday best, praying that our spring weather won't collapse back into winter. Most of the rest of the country will stop to listen to the race, such is the interest, my father told me ,that during WWII Australian Army signals nets in the Pacific overloaded on race day and urgent operational traffic couldn't get through.
This year we enjoyed ourselves in a week long series of parties and revels that concluded yesterday which I think we thoroughly deserved after a winter of chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiotherapy and the wettest winter since 1905. We are now forswearing alcohol for a month and preparing for what lies ahead. For my partner it is a breast reconstruction now that her cancer appears to be in remittance. For me, it is farm work to make up for the time lost in endless hospital waiting rooms and doctors offices. It is not all bleak. I am now a grandfather to a baby girl who is cute as a button and I await the future with hope rather than sinful despair.
Part of that hope is the possibility that an end may be in sight for Americas self inflicted woes, but we shall see on Tuesday. I attach a link to John Michael Greers summary of the situation - that Trump at least offers hope of principled change for the better while Clinton does not seem to offer anything new.
"..Donald Trump, by contrast, has been arguing against several core elements of that consensus since the beginning of his run for office. Specifically, he’s calling for a reversal of federal policies that support offshoring of jobs, the enforcement of US immigration law, and a less rigidly confrontational stance toward Russia over the war in Syria. It’s been popular all through the current campaign for Clinton’s supporters to insist that nobody actually cares about these issues, and that Trump’s supporters must by definition be motivated by hateful values instead, but that rhetorical gimmick has been a standard thoughstopper on the left for many years now, and it simply won’t wash. The reason why Trump was able to sweep aside the other GOP candidates, and has a shot at winning next week’s election despite the unanimous opposition of this nation’s political class, is that he’s the first presidential candidate in a generation to admit that the issues just mentioned actually matter. "