Back in Kansas City, as revealed last week. Beautiful trees (not many pines), rolling hills, heat and humidity.

Just to make it more exciting, and we all know how much fun moving is, I had a little surgery, or “procedure,” as all the doctors say now.

After more than a year of a diminishing turn, wayward, short shots and, oh yes, sleepless nights, I had my neck fixed. The procedure is called an anterior (front) cervical (neck) discectomy (take old stuff out, put in new stuff, bolt together — ask a doctor).

I’m told it took three hours, yet here I am at home, and the only real pain is a sore throat where the anesthesiologist apparently shoved in a garden hose.

So far, so good. Remarkably short recovery time, I’m told. Golf in a few weeks. I can already feel a 67 coming on.

Meanwhile, the country continues on an accelerating course to disaster. I don’t think that is too strong a word. I refer back to Peggy Noonan’s recent description of this election as a contest between “a criminal and a crazy man.”

The crazy man has been working hard to blow himself up. I know there are dedicated Trumpistas out there, and for a while I had hopes that he might demonstrate something approaching rational political competence. He even fired the pushy guy, but I have about given up.

I am pretty much resigned to at least four years of President Hillary unless one of two very unlikely events occurs: She is actually indicted for something, and there seem to be plenty of opportunities but for the Obama Justice Department, or the Republicans figure out how to nominate someone else.

I actually emailed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and asked if the RNC could cancel the convention and choose a nominee itself. I’ve had no reply. So much for research.

If you’re someone like me who believes that what can’t happen won’t happen and that therefore our national fiscal profligacy is unsustainable; that the Constitution has been shot through with enough holes to appall the founders; that our children and grandchildren are obliviously voting against their own futures; that the world is laughing at us and figuring out how to exploit our self-inflicted stupidity, then there is really nowhere to go in this election.

Hillary will only lead further into the acrimony and division of the last two administrations; heaven only knows what Donald will do. Change Washington? Well, maybe, but into what?

I suppose there have been similarly divisive periods in our history. The Jacksonian era, Haymarket Square and of course, the Civil War.

People of opposing viewpoints, and there are progressively fewer in the collegial center, simply cannot have a political discussion. It turns quickly to shouting and red faces until somebody leaves or changes the subject.

This is not going to solve anything. In fact, there is nothing presently imaginable that is going to solve anything. Look for low turnout and lots of unhappy citizens.

Me? Well, under no circumstances will I ever vote for Hillary. Donald will have to reinvent himself convincingly at age 70, about a 1 percent chance. It looks like the Libertarians may have a big day at my house. Only a protest, I know, but what are you going to do?

The political landscape looks just as depressingly familiar from Kansas City as it does from Pinehurst. Perhaps I can devote some future columns to more pleasant subjects: a cultural tour of Kansas City, the friendliness of flyover country folks, an in-depth analysis of the Kansas City Country Club golf course.

But first we have to get this debacle over with. Take a deep breath; November is closer than you think. Of course, that is only the beginning — or the end.

Longtime columnist Fred Wolferman recently moved from Southern Pines back to his native Kansas City. Contact him by email at

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