I’ve been listening to an audiobook about Ronald Reagan, and it mentioned the 1976 Presidential election between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Reagan narrowly missed out on the Republican nomination that year, and it was also the lowest voter turnout in decades, mainly because voters didn’t care for either Ford or Carter.
Sound familiar? Might that happen again this year in the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? I hope not, but it certainly seems like a possibility; both candidates turn off voters for different reasons. My students recently blogged about the election, and I saw many comments about how they’re glad they can’t vote because it would be impossible to pick who would lead our country better.
Let’s break it down. Clinton is seemingly dishonest and possibly a lawbreaker. Trump is a bigot and sexist who doesn’t think before he speaks. So, if elected, Hillary might work behind the scenes without following the laws and the Constitution while Donald might say the wrong thing to the wrong person and sink our country into war. Of course, they might not. Ha, ha…
I tire of seeing people who choose their candidate based on one issue only. There are so many problems facing our great country that you have to take the whole picture into account. Plus, there isn’t much that can get done without the help of Congress and/or the Supreme Court. Two issues stand out here. One is abortion. Some people think that a Trump victory will mean Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Not so fast. It would take a Supreme Court decision, and even then would likely fall back to individual states to make a decision.
The other is gun control. There are those who think a Clinton win will mean everyone will lose their guns. Slow down on that. First, if Obama didn’t take your guns away in an era of horrible gun violence, Hillary won’t either. There is the matter of the Constitution to deal with here and the Second Amendment. The President can’t just change that. It would again take every state to pass a new amendment, and that’s not going to happen. Might it become tougher to get assault weapons? Sure, but you’re not going to lose the ability to go hunting or protect your family.
One of the real problems is the Electoral College. Many people don’t consider a third party candidate because it’s essentially a wasted vote. It seems unlikely that enough people would vote for Gary Johnson, for example, in enough states to get the electoral votes needed to win. However, if the election were determined by a straight vote total, it could happen. Voters might decide that their votes are much more powerful than under the electoral system. Just look at when Jesse Ventura became governor of Minnesota. Plus, we wouldn’t have to watch the news folks declare someone a winner quite so quickly, before the polls have even closed in all the states. Add every vote and count them equally. The Electoral College is a joke.
Here’s the other problem with the system: the money spent. I’m staring at a pile of campaign literature that I’ve received in the mail. With a week left in the election cycle, I’ve gotten about 60 mailings from state office candidates. Now start multiplying that by every household in each district. Think of the money spent on that, along with newspaper, radio, and TV ads. Couldn’t that money be better spent elsewhere? Does anyone really make up their mind based on these?
Of my mailings, over half are dealing with Patti Fritz. Some are for her and others are against. But isn’t name recognition a determining factor in voting for some voters? By putting Patti’s name in front of these voters more, you might be hurting your own campaign. I haven’t read any of these (like most of you), and they’ll just hit the recycling bin.
I’d like to see laws limiting candidates in what they can say about an opponent. Really, I’d like just one piece of literature or one TV show which shows each candidate’s views on various issues. The length of the election cycle seems to grow. In some countries, you don’t get to start campaigning until the first day of the calendar year of the election. In some, it’s an even shorter time frame. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Let’s take that money and use it on roads, education, and food shelves. If you would promise that, you’d have my vote in an instant. Of course, good luck getting Congress to go along with it.
Please vote on November 8. Even if you, like me, are struggling with how to cast my vote for President, we have plenty of local elections, including our school board and city governments, which are vital. Thank you for exercising your Constitutional right to vote!
Word of the Week: This week’s word is sheeple, which means people who unquestioningly accept what is said by a political leader, as in, “The sheeple who blindly followed the candidate despite (his/her) past helped plunge the country into chaos.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!