This election season has been something of a doozy, to say the least, and now that the last presidential debate has concluded, many should be starting to feel the early calls to relief after a long, bumpy road. The voters’ minds are made up. Everyone knows who they are voting for, if they vote at all. But, if most are like me, that relief quickly returns to concern when we realize that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two leading candidates for what is arguably the most powerful position on the planet.
No matter who wins, this will be a historical election. Either we’ll have the first female president or set the record for the president with the tiniest hands. The debates consisted largely of insults and perhaps even a threat or two, rather than of composed arguments regarding the substantive issues the country now faces. Sure, political competitors need to throw some jabs here and there, but it is all in good fun. They need to reason, respectfully, against the other’s policies and whatnot. This time, however, we have seen an escalation from a few jabs directed at opposing political views to a war against one another’s character. Moreover, this war is being waged between two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in our nation’s history.
There is no question that these campaigns have been devoted to convincing the public of the lesser of two evils. The question has not been “who is the better candidate?” but rather, “who is the worst?” A CBS poll reported that Americans dislike Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton more than any other candidate since polling began back in 1984. An ABC News Washington Post poll found that Clinton had an unfavorable rating of 59% while Trump stood at 60%. Even Nickelback has a lower unfavorability rating than either presidential candidate at a meager 39%.
While there are third party candidates, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and “Deez Nutz,” the truth is the American people, from both sides of the political spectrum, have nominated candidates that the majority dislikes.
So it’s time for Plan B. Let’s take a vote: either we continue forward with Election Day as usual, or, and hear me out here, we put an end to both campaigns and just start over with completely new people. People we all like! Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Murray and Oprah Winfrey. We just won’t have a president for a little while. It’ll be fine. We should have hit the reset button months ago, when people both home and abroad first began to ponder the peculiarities of the election season.
The fact is that there is not much confidence invested in either of these candidates. Many are uncertain about whether or not our next president will be a good one. In any case, let us hope that we do not find it necessary to implement a “Plan B reset button” into our electoral process after being along for the ride that President Trump or President Clinton will take us on. Perhaps things are not as turbulent as the polls seem to suggest. We can say all we want about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who said what and who did this or that, but in the end, we are the voters. When the rest of the world looks on at the U.S. presidential campaigns, when they look on, dumbfounded, they want to ask us, you and I, the American voters, about what is going on. Unfortunately, if you are like me, you don’t have an answer for them. You don’t know how we got here, and maybe that is the problem. Perhaps we all need to be more involved and better informed about the American democratic processes. How can everyone be represented if only some of us participate?
Photo Credit: Associated Press