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Spare us the 'breaking news'

Ahead of our national political conventions and in the midst of new incidents of racist violence and terrorism, the country seems to be in a weird state of suspended animation.

What new calamities are about to beset us?

When are things going to simmer down?

Please, can we do without more “breaking news” reports for a while?

This month, delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions will choose their party’s presidential standard bearers and the platforms and principles on which they will run.

We’ll find out who the vice presidential candidates are and our ridiculously long presidential campaign will roll into its final months.

Rather than clarifying the issues and presenting a strong, unsullied candidate to lead the country forward, the conventions are likely to exacerbate the tensions putting us all on edge.

There will be strong protests against the racist, ultra-nationalist agenda of Donald Trump on the outside of the GOP convention and ideological battles inside. I hope the street protests will remain non-violent and the police reaction restrained.

Meanwhile, the Democrats will cope with squadrons of Hillary haters on the outside and last-minute maneuvering by Bernie Sanders supporters inside. It will be interesting to see how accommodating or inflexible the Clinton machine will be to Sanders’ more radical proposals.

There will be plenty of drama at these conventions without the addition of any new mass murders or atrocities, thank you very much. I’m sending that little prayer out into the ether in the hope it gets to whatever spirit or power runs this crazy world.

My fear is inter- and intraparty acrimony will continue into the final campaign, alienating voters and intensifying the divisions among us.

Trump has earned his negative ratings among Latinos, African-Americans and women by his sexist, racist and xenophobic rants. It’s hard to imagine a worse candidate for president than Trump. He is stupid, self-absorbed and mentally unstable.

With such high negatives in so many key voting groups, Trump is likely to lose the race but not before inciting greater fear and resentment among people eager to blame someone for their troubles.

In contrast to Trump, Clinton promises to build bridges rather than walls. But her success as president depends on whether she has the coattails to increase the number of Democrats in the House of Representatives and lift fellow Dems into the majority in the Senate.

Clinton’s decision to use her own email and non-State Department server as secretary of state, while not illegal, reveals a casual disregard for rules and a sense of impunity about her behavior. Ditto the arrogant, tone-deaf behavior of Bill Clinton in meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch just days before the findings on Hillary’s email use were released.

Despite her royal airs, I will vote for Hillary Clinton. She is much more qualified to be president and her policies will do more than Trump’s to move our country forward. Her choices for the Supreme Court will have a positive influence for decades to come.

Yet a Clinton victory will lead to more intransigence by Republicans, whose Hillary-hating knows no bounds. They’ll fight her tooth and nail just as Dems would fight tooth and nail against Trump. Consensus seems impossible in this country right now.

Stay tuned for more breaking news…

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