A long time ago I started work in a new city. I needed work on my little VW convertible, and my boss said to go to a local guy, Denny. He was gruff, but once I told him my boss sent me, he agreed to look at my car, and he did good work for not too much money.

At that time, I would run every day, and near the end of my run, I would pass an auto shop near my house with signs about specializing in electrical work. The owner would always give me a smile, a wave and a happy word as I went by. One day when I had trouble starting the car, I took it to that nearby shop. They replaced the battery. It still had trouble. They replaced the alternator. It still had trouble. They replaced – I don’t know – something else. Finally I took it to Denny and told him what the other shop had done.

All he said was, “They’re searching.” I asked what he meant. “They don’t know what’s wrong, so they’re just replacing things.” He fixed it.

It has occurred to me that after all the talk about white anger, a lot of Americans have done just that by electing Reagan, then Clinton, then Bush, then Obama and now Trump. We know there is a problem, and keep thinking we can solve it by replacing the sputtering president with a new one.

But it hasn’t worked. And now we have a hell of a four years ahead of us.

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