Monday, November 07, 2016

This Election Sucks

This presidential election, I am guaranteed to be relieved and horrified once the votes are counted tomorrow.

Obviously, I'll be relieved that the voters rejected a clearly unqualified and untrustworthy candidate for the Oval Office.

I'll also be relieved that the inept Obama presidency will be nearing the end point. President Obama's major achievement was demonstrating that America would elect an African American. That was significant as an act of blazing a trail for African Americans. And that was achieved the moment he was sworn in. Since then it has been almost uniformly downhill from then.

And just as obviously, I'll be horrified that voters selected an unqualified and untrustworthy candidate for the Oval Office.

The only suspense is whether the horror or relief will kick in first and how long the first reaction will dominate until the other emotion surges through that background relief.

And then I'll pour out my troubles to Mr. Beer.

And remember, we did this to ourselves. Not even Putin's FSB could engineer this kind of Hobson's Choice election where we must choose Trump or Clinton (a two-person basket of deplorables)--or nothing at all.

I think I shall take tomorrow off from blogging to drown my sorrows in protest of the horrible choices we've managed to give ourselves this election.

Well, I'll take the day off unless the Russians invade someplace.

I'm conflicted this election. I've never been unsure the day before an election about who I would vote for. I generally know many, many months before the vote.

I start with the bedrock that Hillary Clinton is unacceptable. Her level of corruption is scary. Indeed, if she was a Republican, Democrats would have screeched that she was bought by the wealthy and untrustworthy. As Bernie Sanders' supporters claimed, actually.

Sure, there is the first woman president thing. I have a daughter. I want the world open to her with no limits. In an abstract sense, it is a good thing to blaze that trail. But after getting 8 years of President Obama as the price of blazing another trail, I'd rather not grasp at the first candidate to lay claim to that honor given her grotesque level of corruption and ability to lie through her teeth.

But my only alternative is Donald Trump. I despised him when he was a clown Democrat. And I despise him now when he is a clown running as a Republican. Has he said disgusting things about women? Yes. I don't like it. But he says horrible things about everybody, it seems. So his comments about some women is bouncing the rubble on my view of him.

Yet I don't despise the people who back Trump. They have legitimate grievances that both parties have not addressed. These people are not "deplorable" for wanting someone--even one as flawed as Trump--who will address their problems. As much as anyone else, these are good people trying to live their lives. As I wrote earlier on this topic, I grew up in "Deplorableville." First in family to go to college, and all that. As a friend once commented about me, living in Ann Arbor for so many decades has had remarkably little effect. I have not joined the granola and organic coffee set. I'm proud of what I achieved. I'm not ashamed of where I came from.

These people who back Trump are good people. They deserve better leaders than we've gotten. I don't think they deserve Trump, but what other choice do they have this election? Democrats (and our media) demonized the Tea Party movement that wanted reform and was neat and polite as it went about rallying for real change. And now people who didn't get that reform turned to Trump in desperation.

Good God, the left was eager to understand "why do jihadis hate us?" after the 9/11 attacks--as if it was America's fault--yet can't spare a bit of compassion to understand why Trump supporters feel left out of our political and economic system.

It intensely pisses me off to see the level of intolerant rage that our open-minded and compassionate left has directed at Trump supporters. I'm tempted to vote for Trump just to direct a middle finger at that kind of unjustified hatred.

But good God, I'd be voting for Trump. Who I despise.

But Trump is the only realistic chance of defeating Clinton. Who is unacceptable.

Yet my vote is unlikely to matter given that my state of Michigan is almost certainly going to vote for Clinton (unless polling is really off, and I seriously doubt that). So perhaps a protest vote for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is in order.

But that isn't the middle finger gesture that might be the only meaningful thing I can do this election.

So I will vote tomorrow. And I will vote for a presidential candidate even though nobody running deserves that honor--and we sure as Hell don't deserve to be led by either.

But perhaps I'll never reveal who I voted for, telling anyone who asks that I cherish my right to a private vote. Which will frustrate people who must know if I'm one of "them." Even if I don't vote for Trump, I damn well have the right to vote for him and I do not accept the moral superiority that Hillary backers have demonstrated.

I'll just let everyone assume the worst. That's a middle finger at what we did to ourselves on both sides of the aisle.

May God bless America. We're going to need it whoever wins.

UPDATE: Way more Clinton backers have a "hard time" respecting Trump backers than Trump backers have respecting Clinton backers.

Clinton supporters keep using that word "tolerant." I don't think that word means what they think it means.