Don’t Change Horses in Midstream – Especially with A Donkey

By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon

“Change horses in midstream- to choose a different leader or policy during a time when serious problems are being dealt with.”

Don’t change horses in midstream means don’t alter your course of action, plan, or leader in the middle of a project, don’t change your mind at an inopportune moment.” Google

Symbols are used by parties in their campaigning and printed on ballot papers where a voter must make a mark to vote for the associated party. One of their purposes is to facilitate voting by illiterate people, who cannot read parties’ names on ballot papers. Google. An elephant is the Republican party symbol. It represents strength. Donkey is the Democrat party symbol. You can guess what it represents.

The phrase “change horses in midstream” has been generally attributed to President Abraham Lincoln. On June 9, 1964, a delegation from the National Union League had come to the White House to congratulate him on his nomination for a second term as President. Lincoln REMARKED: “I do not allow myself to suppose that either the convention or the League have concluded to decide that I am either the greatest or best man in America, but rather they have concluded that it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river, and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a botch of it in trying to swap.”

Legend has it that the phrase originated in England where a man was crossing a river with a horse and a donkey. The horse that he was riding on was floundering. Bystanders shouted: “Change your horse, change your horse.” He changed from the horse to the donkey. The donkey could not carry the man. They were swept by the current and drowned. The horse successfully crossed the river.

After the Philippines was liberated from the Japanese, the U.S. 5th Air Force expanded the airport in Laoag, our hometown, to make it the biggest airbase in the Philippines. It would be the launching pad for the invasion of Japan. I worked without compensation as a “tent boy” helping with the household chores of the airmen whose tents were set up across the river from the center of town. It was a “status” symbol. Many applied, few were chosen. The retreating Japanese had blown up a span of the bridge from our town to the tent grounds. Bamboo poles were laid down in order to bridge the span so people could cross. It was risky and the height to the river below was dizzying. One afternoon an airman offered to let me ride on the amphibious vehicle that operates on land and water (amphibian) that they regularly used to cross the river. When we were midstream, the amphibian’s engine stopped. The driver’s efforts to restart the engine were unsuccessful. The current was carrying the amphibian downstream to the South China Sea (before China claimed it as its own).  “Do you know how to swim?” asked one of the airmen. “Not really,” I replied. He gave me the interior of a tire. Another amphibian must have seen us floundering. It came to help us. I did not change my amphibian in midstream.

Why should we change President Trump? He is not floundering. He is strong. As I write this article on October 12, 2020, I am watching him campaigning in Florida. He is more vigorous than before. He is the epitome of “vim, vigor, and vitality”. His crowds are enthusiastic, Thousands are cheering him “We love you.”

President Trump just recovered from corona virus (aka China virus). On Friday when he was diagnosed as positive for corona virus we prayed: “Father, heal thy son.” On Monday the Father answered: “He is healed.” Is there any doubt that God is with him? Of course, anything can happen between now and Election Day on November 3. Satan and the Demoncrats could prevail. That would be the beginning of the Decline and Fall of America – like the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire when “barbarians” prevailed during a time of political instability.

Have you seen Biden lately. He looks listless. He is forgetful. He said he was running for the Senate. He is gaffe-prone. Listen to Hannity on FoxNews 10/12/2020. Have you seen his rallies, if any?  Have you seen people shouting, “We love Joe?”

Just look at President Trump and former VP Biden. A Filipino observer remarked: “Sa ichura lamang, talo na si Biden” (By their looks alone, Biden is a loser). If you want to stay awake, listen to President Trump. If you have insomnia and want to sleep, listen to Biden.

“I have done more in 47 months than you have done in 47 years,” shouted President Trump in his debate with Biden. The record supports President Trump’s declaration. The record – or non-record – supports Trump’s claim that Biden has done nothing, nada, awan, wala. Biden promises 4 million new jobs, clean and green America, etc. Why did he not do these things during the 47 years he was in office. The Democrats controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress for many years.

Promises. Sounds like a Don Juan Tenorio trying to seduce women.

His motto was “Tan largo me lo fiáis” (“What a long term you are giving me!”) – implying that there is still life left in him and he can still do it.  During the 1918 Spanish flu Don Juan served as a metaphor for the flu microbe – “the braggart microbe”.  Davis, Ryan A. (2013). The Spanish Flu: Narrative and Cultural Identity in Spain, 1918. Don Juan has been portrayed as a servant of the Devil sent from hell to seduce a young woman before her marriage. See Ingmar Bergman’s The Devil’s Eye.  According to Anthony Powell in Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant  Don Juan “merely liked power” and “obviously did not know what sensuality was”, whereas Casanova  “undoubtedly had his sensuous moments”. Juan.

For Filipinos, especially those in our homeland, will President Trump protect the Philippines if China invades? Absolutely. He has stood up to China. He has already sent ships to the West Philippine Sea. As for Biden, he will not stand up to China. He is a friend of China. Ask his son if he received money from China. Read “Riding the Dragon: The Bidens’ Chinese Secrets.”

The President is using all available means to ensure safe vaccines and therapeutics. Diagnostics are developed, manufactured, and distributed in unprecedented time. White House Briefing. July 27, 2020.  He stopped travel from China to stem the spread to the United States of COVID-19. He denounced China as the origin of the virus while Democrats and media cowered. White House briefing, Aug 10, 2020. In his February 4th State of the Union address, President Trump pledged to “take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from the virus”. The Administration established guidelines for nursing homes and expanded telehealth opportunities to protect vulnerable seniors. The President ensured that uninsured Americans can get the care and testing they need. He launched the Paycheck Protection Program – helping save 51 million American jobs. He secured direct payments to help Americans who are suffering from the pandemic. He provided support to help states safely reopen as soon as they were able.

Biden opposed stopping travel from China calling it “xenophobic.” During the debate between Vice President Pence and Democrat Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala (don’t call her Kamalala) Harris, she was asked what Biden would have done. Harris replied: Biden would enforce wearing a mask, social distancing, more testing, developing a vaccine. VP Pence retorted: We are already doing that. Sounds like plagiarism, about which Biden knows something about. VP Pence was referring to a number of plagiarisms committed by Biden. See Jeff Wilser’s “The Book of Joe”. Biden withdrew from the 1987 Democratic presidential primary when Michael Dukakis exposed Biden’s plagiarisms. Writers hate plagiarists. They steal ideas and writings.

The value of many stocks has doubled and tripled during the Trump administration. For example, Google in 2015 was valued at $528. Today it is valued at $1,569. Even Hawaiian Airlines valued at $4.92 in 2007 is valued today at $13.17 despite the pandemic.

Nearly 7 million jobs have been created nationwide since President Trump’s election. The unemployment rate is 1.4% lower than the CBO’s pre-election projection.  Nearly 2.5 million Americans have been lifted out of poverty, including nearly 1.4 million children. The poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanic Americans hit new lows in 2018.

“Take care of our people first”. That is the credo of President Trump. He wants our country to adopt an immigration system that serves the national interest. To restore the rule of law and secure our border, he is committed to constructing a border wall and ensuring the swift removal of unlawful entrants. To protect American workers, the President supports ending chain migration, eliminating the Visa Lottery, and moving the country to a merit-based entry system.

The President wants to prevent illegal aliens from coming to the U.S. who will get our jobs, go on welfare, get free health care, and commit crimes.

Taxation. President Trump enacted the biggest tax cuts in history, cutting over $5.5 trillion in taxes over ten years. Every taxpayer benefited, rich and poor alike. He doubled the Child Tax Credit and saved nearly 40 million families an average of $2,200. More than 3.5 million American workers working in more than 300 companies have received bonuses and pay raises.  Many companies announced new investments and new hiring.

Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) (aka Obamacare), P.L. 111-48, was enacted on March 23, 2010 by the Democrat controlled Congress. If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you may pay a fee called the individual Shared Responsibility Payment when you file federal taxes. (“penalty,” “fine,” or “individual mandate.”) On September 16, 2019, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the individual mandate on the federal level.

Obamacare is hurting American families, farmers, and small businesses with skyrocketing health insurance costs. Soaring deductibles and copays have made already unaffordable plans unusable. Replacing Obamacare will force insurance companies to compete for their customers with lower costs and higher-quality service. In the meantime, the President is using his executive authority to reduce barriers to more affordable options.

Trump ran in 2016 on the promise to “Make America Great Again”. For many, America is our country of choice. For those who want to change America, they should leave America and go to another country. We do not want to change America. We love America as it is.

ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is co-author of the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws” pub- lished by Rex Publishing. He writes columns for Filipino-American newspa- pers and co-hosts “The Tipon Report,” Honolulu’s most witty and useful radio show. He practices law in Honolulu, Hawaii, focusing on immigration and other federal laws. Tel. 808-225-2645. E-mail:

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