The Unites States Presidential election takes place one week from today. Based on everything I’ve seen for the past several months, I anticipate seven full days of anger, name-calling, ad hominem
attacks, distortions, misrepresentations, threats, and outright lies. And that’s just from the candidates. Their followers on social media are, inexplicably, even more poorly-behaved. I don’t need a week of that.
I expect the week after the election to be even worse. I foresee seven days of unrelenting negativity including gloating, accusations of election fraud, smug self-righteous I-told-you-so’s, calls for secession, threats of violence, or even actual violence --plus everything in the previous paragraph. Again, I don’t need a week of that.
So I’m taking two weeks off. Maybe more. We’ll see.
There were a few things I wanted to say before I left, though. Take these for what they’re worth.
1. Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.
Yes, I know that today’s poll numbers show Donald Trump with a one point lead over Clinton. Doesn’t matter. Polls don’t decide the Presidency--the Electoral College does. And Trump can’t win enough of the battleground states to earn the requisite 270 electoral votes. One report I read today shows likely electoral votes based on states that are solidly in favor of, or leaning toward, one of the two candidates. In this scenario, Clinton already has 263 electoral votes, while Trump has 180, with 95 still up in the air. That means Trump has to win at least six of the following seven battleground states: Nevada, Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, and/or Florida. (And that’s assuming he wins Utah, which is no certain thing at this point.) Sorry, folks, but that ain’t happening. Trump is toast.
2. I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton.
It’s not because I dislike her, or because I think she’s untrustworthy. Although, to be honest, I don’t like or trust Secretary Clinton, the main reason I’m voting against her is because I disagree with her vision of what government should be. She stands for bigger government--more government involvement, more government interference, more government control. She thinks only the government can solve all of the problems of America and Americans. There’s no doubt that there are problems to be solved. But I don’t think bigger government is the answer. Isn’t our government big enough and intrusive enough as it is? Realignment and restructuring? Absolutely, and the sooner, the better. But expansion? Again? No thanks. Any government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have.
3. I will not be voting for Donald Trump, either.
Yes, I am a Republican (RINO, in the eyes of some) and have been since I first registered to vote back in 1986. But Party loyalty is not reason enough to vote for Donald Trump. Even if I thought Donald Trump were an actual Republican (which I don’t) or agreed with his policies, such as they are (which I don’t), the simple fact is that the man is not qualified to be the President of the United States. His shortcomings are numerous and well-documented, and I have no wish to spend the next two hours listing in detail all the reasons he is not fit to lead any nation, never mind the United States. I will simply say that Trump shows no signs of being able to handle the day-to-day rigors of being a world leader. He lacks the knowledge, the experience, the temperament, and the self-discipline to be the President.
4. A vote for a third party isn’t a ‘wasted’ vote.
I’ve heard all manner of “A vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Clinton”, as well as the inverse. It’s all bovine scatology. It’s vote shaming. It’s bullying in the classic sense: the use of threats or intimidation to coerce someone to comply with one’s own will. Sorry, kids, but I’m too old and too smart to fall for that. I will vote for the candidate I think is the most qualified, conventional wisdom be damned--and I encourage everyone else to do the same. The only ‘wasted’ vote is one that doesn’t represent what you really feel is best for the nation.
5. My one vote isn’t going to affect the Presidential election in the slightest.
Since I don’t live in Nevada, Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, and/or Florida, I know that my single vote will not influence the outcome of the Presidential race one iota. That’s just how the system works. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Now, does that mean my vote doesn’t matter? Absolutely not! By voting for a third party, I might just help someone other than House Donkey and House Elephant get a seat at the table in future elections. What might happen if someone other than a Republican or a Democrat gets some electoral votes next week? How would it shape future races? Imagine what the election process would look like if the candidates actually had to earn their votes amid a multiplicity of choices, instead of just pandering to one side or the other! The Two Party System™ is long past broken; it’s time to raze it to the ground and build anew. Voting for someone other than Trump or Clinton is a good place to start.
6. I’m not worried about Hillary Clinton stacking the Supreme Court with ultra-liberal judges.
This has been floated as one of the main reasons to vote for Donald Trump in spite of his many glaring flaws. This is a scare tactic by the GOP. The fact is that Clinton could nominate Bozo the Clown to the Supreme Court, but he won’t become a Justice until he’s confirmed by the Senate. Remember Merrick Garland? Yeah, he’s the man President Obama nominated to replace Justice Scalia back in March--more than seven months ago. Why isn’t he on the Supreme Court? Because the Senate not only hasn’t confirmed him, they haven’t even talked about him (although he’s likely to be confirmed quickly once Senate Republicans realize that President-elect Clinton could withdraw the nomination in January and replace him with someone they find even more unpalatable. Heck, President Obama could do the same thing the day after the election!). The way to keep the Supreme Court ideologically balanced, in this circumstance, is to keep the Senate in the hands of the Republican Party. That’s where the GOP should be focusing their efforts, because Trump is frankly unelectable. If the Republicans lose the Senate as well as the Presidency, well, they’ve got nobody but themselves to blame.
7. The Presidential election isn’t the real issue, anyway.
Do you want safer neighborhoods? Lower property taxes? Better schools? More responsive government? Because the President doesn’t have anything to do with any of those things. For that matter, neither do your Senators or Representatives. These issues are decided locally by mayors, school boards, and state legislators. Local ballot initiatives will also be important. These are the elections that will affect our lives the most on a day-to-day basis. Most of us, however, know little or nothing about these races. So forget about the national elections for a week and concentrate on the local races. You (and your community) will be glad you did.
That’s all I have for now, I guess. I’ll see you all again on or around November 15th. Try not to yell at each other too much while I’m gone.