No Choice 2016

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


A day has passed. I watched the final presidential debate, listened to the after-action pundits, and I took the time to seriously examine my thoughts and feelings about the upcoming election.

With the exception of that disorderly portion of the Republican Party that has been deservedly called “Deplorables,” I believe that the majority of American voters will cast a ballot for
Hillary Clinton. No amount of whining about imaginary “voter fraud” or “biased media” will convince thinking voters that Donald Trump is the right man for the Oval Office. “Tempermentally unfit” is simply polite phrasing for a laundry list of character flaws that Mr. Trump would bring to the presidency. He’s narcissistic, hateful, crude, mercurial and abusive, certainly not the qualities that American citizens want in their most visible and powerful representative.

Regarding Trump’s statement that he may not concede the election if the vote goes against him, “unfit” is grossly inadequate to describe such disrespect for American voters and values.

The Republican Party has only themselves to blame for being unable to stop a damaged and dangerous outsider from co-opting the candidacy for president. The party truly had no one better to offer, nor did they. The backlash from their own constituency should be telling Republican office holders that inaction, belligerence, and right wing fanaticism is not a substitute for progress, or more simply, doing the job that they were elected to perform. If the Republican Party is facing its demise, it will not be a murder, but a suicide.

On the other hand, Hillary, burdened with baggage, is arguably one of the most disliked presidential candidates since Richard Nixon. However, she’s well-qualified, experienced, stable, studious, hardworking, and believably interested in positive change. She can do the job, and do it well.

Regardless, Hillary will enter the Oval Office with one of the lowest approval ratings of any president in recent memory. Baggage must be carried, and it’s never easy. More troubling, she has still not learned that being secretive about information and actions that should be shared publicly will continue to foment voter distrust, and may cripple her ability to get congressional support for her political agenda. Her presidency may be short-lived (no second term) if she does not comprehend that, excepting national security concerns, America only trusts verifiably open government.

Hillary will not be the first president to begin an administration at a disadvantage (Gerald Ford, one easy example). However, her first hundred days may be a wash unless the Democrats take control of the US Senate. The Republicans are desperately, desperately, DESPERATELY hoping that on November 8th, ticket-splitting ballots will prevent this from happening.

We’ll see.

Regardless, the description “deplorable” has been undeniably misused by both the candidates and the media. It applies to this entire presidential campaign, and honest voters know in their hearts that this is a self-inflicted injury. We have done this to ourselves.

I have no qualms about voting for competence versus crass showmanship, but I will do so taking no pride in this presidential campaign or our political parties. I will cast my ballot knowing that with a combination of laxity toward civic responsibility and a failure to compromise for the common good, We the People have failed ourselves, and
We deserve better.

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