One of those short videos came up on my social media feed this week made a realtor whose content I always find interesting. She was speaking to the reality that, in buying a house, the three major components are location, amenities and cost.
Basically, if one wants to buy a house with all the desired bells and whistles in a particularly desirable neighborhood, then be prepared to pay for it. If the cost is out of one’s budget and there’s no flexibility on the neighborhood, then the house is going to leave a little something to be desired. A house with all that was hoped for might be available at one’s price point, but it won’t be in that neighborhood. Sometimes we just can’t have it all.
The videos reminded me of hearing something years ago about the relationship between availability, cost and quality when getting work done or buying a product. If one wants it now and wants it really good, be ready to shell out the dollars. Proceeding immediately without the bucks means the quality will be compromised. Anyone who has ever waited for something to go on sale or postponed starting a project until a better price is available knows that we can often get what we want at a price we’re willing to pay, but we just won’t get it today. Sometimes, something’s gotta give.
When it comes to the struggle to have it all, women have been dealing with that at least since more career opportunities opened up to them in the last few decades, and in some cases, even longer than that. (Funny how I don’t remember anyone ever talking about men facing a challenge when it came to “having it all.”) With marriage equality and the expanded opportunity to have children, same-sex couples found themselves balancing on that same highwire. All types of parents make all types of choices, including postponing the pursuit of a career, to make it all work.
Meryl Streep may be the only person I can think of who seems to actually have had it all at a particularly high level. She has a husband of 45 years, four children, three Oscars out of 21 nominations and arguably the most astounding and consistent acting career since Thespis first walked on stage. Of course, she is Meryl Streep, so if she doesn’t have it all, she could sure as hell act like she does, and none of us would know the difference. Would we?
How we vote has, or should have, three components as well. Namely, how we feel about the candidate, what policies we want to see enacted in general terms and if the person we are leaning toward can actually get elected to the office. But as Bill Clinton famously said, “In every presidential election, Democrats want to fall in love. Republicans just fall in line.”
Going into the election of 2016, it was the Republicans who had the really crowded field. As the debates went on and the news media’s addiction for covering his campaign (easy ratings?) continued to provide free press, Trump knocked out four sitting governors, four sitting senators and a host of political has-beens and wannabees. Once he became the presumptive nominee, most of Trump’s opponents did what Republicans usually do—they fell in line and endorsed him. He famously won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote. Elected, but not selected.
Fast forward to 2020, and the shoe was on the other foot. Except for those Democrats who were solidly behind Bernie Sanders (I had met a woman with his face tattooed on her left breast, which was somewhat unseemly), many were having flirtations with the whole range of candidates. Some even fell in love, as Democrats sometimes do. But, love or no love, the majority of Democrats were prepared for a political marriage of convenience if that’s what it took to deny Trump another term. Once Biden trounced Sanders in the South Carolina primary by nearly 30 points, the die was cast. For once, Democrats fell in line.
And here we are today. Trump is running for his third nomination, and his competition for the slot is weaker by far than what he faced eight years ago. His poll numbers look strong, and he may very well be “cruising to the nomination,” as I heard one pundit say this week. But many of us have been watching politics long enough to know this is one arena where nothing is inevitable.
But what about electability? If 2024 is headed for Biden vs. Trump, will a rematch provide the same outcome as before? No, silly, I don’t mean that Biden will orchestrate an insurrection with a mob of folks in pink pussyhats trying to stop the certification of the Electoral College. Biden won the election, don’t you remember?
But Trump has a plan for having it all. Remember 2016. To paraphrase Cole Porter from “Anything Goes”—”Could Donald Trump get reelected without having been selected and get four more? He’s done it before.” Ask yourself.