For the first time in history, more people will vote against a candidate for president, than will vote for a candidate. It’s not even a decision to vote for the “lesser of two evils.” There is a large group of the electorate who, while they see Trump as unqualified, so dislike and distrust Clinton they will express that feeling by voting for Trump. Likewise, there is a block of voters who, while they are turned off by Clinton, are so fearful of Trump’s antics, they will vote for Clinton. This year’s election is a little like the condemned man being given the choice between execution by hanging or firing squad.
There are those who will argue that there is another option – maybe the best one – and that is to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee. But that is not much of an option either. Johnson is more like the reincarnation of Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine. You may not be old enough to remember the, “What me worry?” mantra of Alfred E. Newman, but Johnson blithely wanders through the campaign demonstrating a total lack of awareness of the world around him and sees no reason to worry about it.
As bad as they are, let’s explore the options we have …
Hillary Clinton may be the luckiest person to ever run for president. If Clinton were pitted against anyone other than Donald Trump, she would have little hope of winning. As it is, despite all her real deficiencies, it is highly likely that she will be the next president.
Among Hillary’s many problems is that she is the embodiment of the status quo, at a time when people want change. A vote for Clinton signals satisfaction with the way things are and a willingness to accept the same in the future. Nothing underscores this more than her cozy relationship with and support of the moneyed elite in the country. Want evidence of this? Just ask yourself: When was the last time you saw the Republican big money, the banks and Wall Street line up to support the Democratic presidential nominee? They would not do so if they were not confident that Clinton would support the status quo.
But there is are even more compelling reasons to vote against Clinton, even if you don’t like Trump. Clinton lacks the ethical principles of effective leadership and has exhibited the propensity to say what she has to say and do what she has to do to further her career. Clinton is the type of politician who is for something till she is against it. Over and over Clinton has demonstrated the willingness to change her views in order to tack into the winds of political expediency. The best example of this attitude was the way she has responded to the long string of sexual indiscretions by her husband. Rather than maintain her own self-respect, it is apparent she reached an “arrangement” with her husband that allowed her to remain on the public stage. It was one thing to “reconcile” with her husband, but to attack the women he was involved with was intended simply to protect her political ambitions.
The long string of controversies and scandals that follow in the wake of the Clintons are evidence that they have always operated in the dark gray area of ethics. Maybe their actions have not been illegal, but they have certainly been smelly and sleazy. When you put all this together it is easy to see why so few voters are inspired, motivated or happy to vote for Clinton; except to vote against Trump.
As for Trump, aside from Clinton, he is the luckiest person ever to receive the nomination for president. If he were running against any other Democratic nominee, he would have little hope of winning. All too often, people will say, “I am not all that comfortable with Trump, but I just hate Hillary.” Trump is the living caricature of the bombastic, boorish, egomaniacal, ethically challenged business entrepreneur. He has an overactive libido for doing the deal – no matter what it is. No rational, thinking person can, with a straight face, claim that Trump is qualified to be president of the United States; at least by the definition used up till now. The only qualification favoring Trump is that he is viewed as a “change agent” at a time when people are hungry for change.
Trump has intuitively struck the cord of change that has been magnified by the fact he is running against an anti-change candidate. This would normally be a winning strategy for a candidate, but while Trump has talked of change, he has failed to identify the specifics of change and how it will be accomplished; both of which are essential, if a change agent is to be successful bringing about change.
The final decision as to whom to vote for comes down to two options: Are you willing to vote for someone you don’t like or trust, but you know their election will continue the safe sameness of the past? Are you willing to vote for someone you don’t like, but you know their election will bring about change; even if you don’t know what that change might be? The truth is there are no good choices as to how to vote.
But there is a strong clue to the outcome: While people clamor for change – especially when things don’t seem to be going well for them – in the end they accept the status quo – even if it is not in their best interests – rather than face change that is unknown.