Sharp words continue to puncture Clinton’s, Trump’s campaign slogans

Everybody deserves a sick day or two — especially if you are facing pneumonia. My guess is Hillary Clinton will heal and be fully engaged on the campaign trail by the full moon Friday.

What is not going to heal as quickly are these problems:

▪ Clinton knew as early as Friday, Sept. 9, that she had pneumonia. Why not come out and tell the world before you collapse on the street? Who wouldn't forgive her for getting sick? And would not this have explained her cough? She could have put speculation about her “illness” — and herself — to rest and bed rest and bounced back when she felt better. Toughing out a cough or cold is one thing, trying to ignore pneumonia is not smart on any level. This is a serious matter and trying to hide it is another indication of Clinton's unwillingness to come clean.

▪ The bigger problem Clinton faces is trying to find an antidote for her broad, sweeping and elitist statement about half of Donald Trump's supporters belonging in “a basket of deplorables.” It is obvious Clinton believes that because she said it and now she is going to have to own it. It is fine to question your opponent, but attack voters at your own peril. And this leads to a couple of other problems that both Clinton and Trump will face should they win the White House.

▪ Clinton and Trump still trend against transparency, and we need a jolt of it soon. We need independent health assessments from both candidates and their running mates. We need Trump's tax returns. We need all of this before the first debate, Sept. 26.

▪ Some of the latest polls suggest the winner of this race may claim ‘victory’ with as little as 40 to 45 percent of the popular vote. That means 55 to 60 percent — a majority of the country — will begin 2017 with someone in the White House they did not support. Though this has happened before, it never bodes well. Given Trump's My-Way-Or-The-Highway style and Clinton's deplorable opinion of the folks who do not support her — I don't see us breaking into a chorus of Kumbayah any time soon. Do you?

We have known for months Americans struggle with Clinton and Trump as candidates. Their slogans of “Stronger Together” (Clinton) and “Make America Great Again” (Trump) are betrayed routinely by sharp words that puncture these precepts.

It is shocking that — just 15 years removed from 9/11 — we find ourselves at this juncture. When it is all over I hope we can be the United States of America and not the United States of Animosity.