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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Most Important Election of Our Lifetime - or is it!?


I have wanted to write something about the election, our candidates, and our “choices” in the upcoming election for a while. I waited as I watched, read, listened, and tried to get a handle on what I actually want to write. With that introduction, here I go.
Every election since the1990s has been presented by one or both parties as “the most important election of our lifetimes. We are again faced with “THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIMES”! Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. The bottom line is, we have survived all the other votes and will survive this one as well. The real danger here, as I see it, is the lack of empathy, understanding, and acceptance of those with thoughts other than your own. I have seen more name calling and hatred in this election cycle that I think I have seen in at least any other two cycles. There has always been rancor and name-calling, but most were in understanding that it was an election, and life must go on afterwards. Now seems more of a “scorched-earth” policy has taken hold of the populace. “If you want any candidate other than the one I support, you are not worthy to even have an opinion!”, seems to be the mantra. This is accompanied by the thought that if you do not elect my candidate the country is doomed. Let me just say, I have more faith in our country than that. Yes, the President has a lot of power. However, the Constitution is specifically set up to limit that power. It has served that purpose for well over 200 years. Unless we toss it aside, it will serve us for many more.
As for “the most important election…” end of the world predictions: In the past 14 Presidential elections we have never had over 64% of the eligible voters* to actually vote. In addition, we have averaged around 70% of potential eligible voters** to even register. These “most important elections” are being decided by under half of the people that potentially could (and should?) vote! This is one of the biggest problems I see. The majority of the voters and potential voters out there don’t really care. There are two classes of these IMHO: 1) those that get “paid” by the government and just don’t want anything to happen that would stop the funds from coming, or 2) those that think their vote wouldn’t mean anything anyway. (that being said, I just thought of a third – 3) those that don’t want to vote or even register as they are just living their life and don’t want the government to know who or where they are!) I will admit I have what some consider radical ideas about who should and should not be allowed to vote, but that is for another time. I also believe in the rule of law and eligible voters are specifically defined by law. So, we should work on getting our eligible population to vote. They need to be made aware of the issues, the platforms, and then they should vote. Having our government decided by less than 50% of potential voters is a travesty!
Now to the election of 2016. Our obsession with news 24 hours a day, our short attention spans that are always looking for the next thing, and our social media addiction, has led us to this point. We have two greatly flawed candidates. Trump is an egotistical, narcissistic blowhard that believes water was made for him to walk upon. Hillary is a sociopathic, lying megalomaniac that feels the job is “owed” to her. We deserve better choices. That being said – those are our choices. Oh I know we have Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in most states, but let’s get real. A vote for either of those is no more than a protest vote. (which this year, if any, I can understand!)
I was going to do a bit of a campaign commercial now, but in the interest of this getting read and spread around more I decided to not do so. I just ask that you look past the media, the “leaks”, the Facebook posts, and all the other “noise” and vote for who you truly feel will do the country less harm. Yes, that is all I really can hope for – less harm. Look at the party platforms. Go to the actual websites and campaign propaganda both candidates have put out and see what THEY actually have said, not what the media reported. Then VOTE your conscience.

      * eligible voters in this discussion means meeting any legal requirements such as proper registration

     ** potential eligible voters in this discussion means of legal age and meeting any residency requirements