Having worked in politics for several years and previously having been a political news junkie in what feels like another life, I now cringe when I turn on my television, open social media, or read the news.
Election 2016 feels as though it’s some kind of twisted, sick joke on America. I have remained largely silent in expressing my disgust, because I have felt no need to weigh into the largely appalling discussions.
As the hilarious Kathleen Madigan once said about American Idol, I’ve been treating this like “the jackass game show that it is.” That said, I’ve seen enough in the past week to make me use my words—words I’ve kept mostly to myself and close friends throughout this entire debacle. These words come on the heels of seeing very heated discussions on the pages of my friends.
My two-cents follow. Take them or leave them. I don’t work in politics anymore (thank goodness), and I don’t really want to spark a debate.
We, as the American people, should be enraged right now. Truly, we should be angered that these are the choices set before us. Both of the leading candidates have said and done truly despicable, deplorable and heart-wrenching things. In my opinion, both lack the trustworthy nature we should expect from our leaders. Both are bad choices—terrible choices, even.
We should be enraged by both, and that’s truly the point of this post. I have been most angered by seeing responses to posts, claiming one is worse than the other. People have somehow decided that calling one or the other candidate out on their atrocities is an open endorsement for the other. False. They are both appalling. Truly appalling. And I believe it is our right to call them out on these situations, without being casted as either liberal or conservative.
My friends, these are not liberal or conservative issues at the heart of this election. They are human issues—issues about how we view, treat, and interact with one another. These are issues that will shape our nation’s future. And this election has served to bring to light some of the most devastating truths about how our nation is full of hatred and lies, how quick we are to devalue anyone on the basis of who they are, and how sickeningly easy it is for people to overlook these harsh realities or excuse them in the name of politics.
I cannot stand by Clinton’s words or actions. I cannot stand by Trump’s words or actions. She is what’s wrong with government, and he is what’s wrong with people in general. It shouldn’t have come to this, but it has. I will leave this post without talking about my voting plans, but I will say this: we should all be calling out both of them, and we should all be demanding more from our “Presidential Candidates.”
I’m tired of hearing how one deplorable word or action is worse than another. These instances are not jokes. These are paving the way for the future of our nation, and I’m tired of the hatred spewed on posts from friends when one calls out Trump’s heinous words or actions, or when one calls out Clinton’s heinous words or actions. Speak up, freely, and call them both out for what they are. Our nation's future hangs in the balance, with all of the economic and foreign turmoil in the mix. As we were taught from the time we were children, two wrongs don’t make a right. Nor do two wrong and unfit candidates make a presidential election.
Vote. Vote your conscience. Vote your choice. Some of you may well like one of these candidates and fully back them. Some may be voting on the basis of “the lesser of two evils.” Some may be writing in or voting third party. Whatever your choice, I do not blame you for that. In fact, I simply have overlooked most political posts this election season, because this choice on Election Day is breaking my heart.
I expected more, like so many others. I longed for another choice. Yet, here we are. Vote Trump, vote Clinton, write-in, vote third party, or do whatever you feel is right. Whatever you do, just make sure you can stand your choice, and stop attacking others for what they believe. Stop belittling atrocities in the name of supporting your candidate of choice, please. These words and actions on both parties are still awful, and still rightfully deserve to be called as such.
Clinton being terrible does not make Trump less terrible, and vice versa. Stand up for what you believe in and call out evil in all forms—regardless of whether they have a D or an R in front of their name. The next generation is watching, and they deserve to be taught the truths of right and wrong.