Batavia, New York
The presidential campaign just ended was mercifully lacking in the ghostwritten platitudes with which Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan lull readers of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations to sleep. Hillary Clinton’s only memorable utterance was her defamation of one quarter of the electorate as a ‘basket of deplorables’ — a curiously clumsy locution that effectively conveyed her contempt for American prole-dom and sunk her candidacy. Donald Trump’s best line was his dismissal of the foamingly bellicose Republican senator John McCain, who has built a career on his stint as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. ‘He’s not a war hero,’ said Trump. ‘I like people who weren’t captured.’ That outrageous exercise in lèse-majesté, and not his lurid remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico, was the first real sign that we were dealing with a man who could walk through walls.