The end is nigh. The chickens are coming home to roost. The fat lady is singing, and the witching hour is now upon us.
The 2016 United States Presidential election is finally at our doorsteps, leaving a rancorous, swampy, diseased trail in its path. There have been accusations of sexual assaults, careless and illegal handling of classified information, racism, xenophobia, tax-dodging, primary-rigging, miscellaneous business and personal failures, sexism, homophobia and ripping the tags off mattresses.
We have watched political talking heads turn into shrieking heads every time a microphone is thrust in their faces, seen friends rip each other to shreds over which candidate that person is supporting and been exposed to stories from previously-obscure websites that, to be kind, have been bald-faced lies. We have seen the media be blamed for everything from showing favoritism to stealing the Lindbergh baby, and watched our two major political parties potentially set themselves up to become four or five smaller political parties in the future.
But it’s all coming to a head next week. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the voters of this nation will make their voices heard on who will be the next leader of the free world — it will either be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, in no particular order.
Yeah, that scares me, too.
I’m not here to endorse one candidate over the other. The truth is, I can’t. There are reasons I could go on for days as to why I personally don’t consider either one of them particularly worthy of leading our government, and it would leave a bad taste in my mouth if I was able to convince even one person to change his or her mind to a candidate I don’t believe in myself.
So, I endorse voting your conscience.
If you believe in Hillary Clinton’s ability to lead us, by all means vote for Hillary Clinton. The same goes for Donald Trump. Or Gary Johnson. Or Jill Stein. Or Darrell Castle. Or Evan McMullin. Or Yosemite Sam.
We own our personal votes, the same way we do our dreams, imaginations and opinions. Person A might be living in abject poverty, alone and worrying about how he or she will keep the heat on this winter. Person B could be living in a mansion with a loving family and a private solar farm to heat and cool his or her home comfortably and efficiently. It doesn’t matter. Both votes count the same, and should be cherished with the same fervor.
We. All. Get. A. Voice.
And that is the one thing that does get me excited this election season. If you are eligible, and have taken the steps to become registered, then you have the right to have a say in the election.
If you don’t like either of the main candidates, do research on those representing smaller parties. Or write in a candidate you feel would do the best job. Many people like to complain about the two-party system limiting our options and voices, but that’s on us. We are the ones who ultimately decide. We are the ones with the true power, and we are the ones that scare politicians more than anything else.
For the record, none of the other smaller-party candidates particularly excite me, either, so please don’t think I’m trying to push you in that direction. I’m just pointing out options, like a blindingly-handsome, option-giver-outer.
People, you get this wisdom for free. And you know what they say, you get what you pay for.
Regardless, this election will be over soon, and maybe we can return to a bit of normalcy in this nation with its departure. Oh, there will be complaints of how Donald Trump governs if he’s elected, and the same goes for Hillary Clinton. Many of those complaints will be justified, as I’ve yet to see a person lead anything perfectly, and some will just be because Trump or Clinton is of a different political affiliation. That comes with the territory, as well.
However, what I would like to see, and what I do fully endorse, is respect. If Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, then I would like to think every non-Trump supporter would hope he does a good job and treats his position with respect. If Hillary Clinton is elected, I would hope that everyone is united in giving her the best opportunity to lead our nation forward into the future.
You don’t have to like the individual, but I’m a big believer that we should all respect the office. There will be another election in four years, and we will all have the opportunity then to decide again. Let your vote do your talking for you.
This has been an acrimonious and long campaign. As citizens of this amazing nation, we have been put through a lot this election season, and have put each other through even more with divisiveness and, sometimes, hate.
Whoever comes out of this with the win needs to focus first on pulling all of us back together, including people from all backgrounds and situations in the decision-making process and do our nation proud.
Let’s hope that person makes for a better president than candidate.