I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and what he shared was insightful.  He revealed he’s been a Democrat his entire life and has never voted for a Republican.  He went on to add that he would never vote for Hillary Clinton, even if she was the party nominee in the fall presidential election.  He also claimed he would vote Republican for the first time if Mrs. Clinton won the nomination.  I asked why he felt that way.   He claimed: “Hillary Clinton is even scarier than Barack Obama.”  He said Clinton would take away his vast collection of guns and that he’s a patriotic individual who doesn’t want to see his country destroyed by socialism.

Needless to say, my friend had never discussed politics before – even though he knew I was a columnist who wrote about such things.  I could tell he was quite concerned.

I went on to ask if he would consider voting for Donald Trump if he was the Republican nominee.  His answer was: “If it’s between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump I’d rather not make that choice.”

A few weeks back I had a conversation with a lady who told me if Hillary Clinton becomes President she’ll move to Borneo – I hear it’s nice in the fall there.

It would appear 2016 has become a year of “Anything Buts.”

“Anybody but Hillary Clinton” isn’t a pretense anymore.  Maybe that would explain why Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old socialist senator from Vermont, has won seven of the last eight primary contests over the former first lady.

Conventional wisdom has it that the Clinton influence, by superdelegate persuasion, will make it anything but a successful year for Bernie.

Then on the other hand, there are thousands who subscribe to the #NeverTrump.

It would appear 2016 is also a year for “Anybody but The Donald.”

By Donald Trump’s own admission, he’s only been a politician for seven months.  His brash personality is appealing to many, that anything but for others.  You could say, many think he has a personality like sandpaper.

Reality stars like Trump love to make headlines and so do rock stars.

Bruce Springsteen recently canceled one of his concerts in North Carolina, as did Bryan Adams in Mississippi.  Both performers canceled those events because they were protesting what the media calls “The Bathroom Laws” that were recently passed in those states.

The rock stars were complaining that those states are discriminating against gay people by passing those laws.  The law in essence says if you were born a male, or female, you can’t use the restrooms of the opposite sex.  Many of the transgender persuasion want the ability to either have a bathroom of their own or the ability to go in any bathroom of their choosing.  States are drawing a line in the sand with that.

It would seem 2016 is a season for forced lifestyles as well, where laws are anything but.

This year may be recorded in the annals of time as “Anything but a year of civility” too.

When George W. Bush beat Al Gore to become the President of the United States he understood the electoral college and prepared for it.  Al Gore won the popular vote but didn’t succeed in the electoral college process.  Gore in turn claimed the presidency was stolen from him.

Some want the rules to be anything but rules.

Donald Trump is echoing the same sentiments of late.  He said the Republican process is fixed and unfair.  One of Trump’s political strategists recently said Ted Cruz uses gestapo tactics to achieve his means.

The Cruz campaign replied by saying: “The rules have been in place for months.  Written in words anyone can read.”

Though Mr. Trump still holds a delegate lead in the GOP presidential primary race, his Achilles heel has been a perceived weakness in his ground game.  Seeking to capitalize on that, Cruz has outmaneuvered Trump in the behind-the-scenes battle for delegates.

Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist, said: “Every delegate that is picked off is a win for Cruz and makes it harder for Trump to be the nominee.”

I’m of the mindset it’s looking more and more like a year of anything but.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org.

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