| Back to gregoryharms.com |

November 8, 2016

A brief comment on Election Day

We will continue to be told we're divided, and to a certain extent this is true. A division of sorts does exist, but it's artificial. When we enter into the political arena, we enter into a polarized environment that partitions people into ideological camps. The result is the abandonment of our true political wishes.

The presidential candidates for the two dominant political parties are an expression of this reality. However, owing to its severe movement to the right, a rift has formed in the Republican Party, and its future has never been more uncertain. Its candidate, reviled by many within the GOP, is a byproduct of the party's white working-class constituency being weary of the "establishment" failure to produce anticipated results: jobs and a stable economy.

But due to adherence to the party line, the preference (chosen from an underwhelming line-up of Republican primary candidates) is instead for a perceived renegade who speaks to their lower instincts, while bloviating a message not unknown to history: "I know what you're going through, everything (everything) is a mess, you know whose fault it is, and I alone am going to fix it."

At present, a large segment of the population seems to have trouble differentiating between bad and far worse. Voting for Trump simply because "I hate Hillary" indicates a preference for far worse over bad. When we consider the data clearly indicating what most Americans actually want from a president, Clinton comes closer to the mark. She is by no means ideal. She is, in fact, far from ideal. Clinton is a career politician who is attentive to which way the wind is blowing. She is operationally a Republican. She is Wall Street friendly. And her foreign policy will likely be violent; the Middle East will surely be in for more of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama procedure.

As for her opponent, about his personality we know much and his politics little.

In this election I have two priorities, and they are, for me, of equal weight: (1) a third party that is left of the Democrats gaining ground, and (2) the GOP not entering the White House. The first one I can act on. Living in a solidly blue state, I have chosen to vote for Jill Stein (Green Party) in hopes that increased support for a third party will help influence the Democrats, just as popular support for Bernie Sanders influenced Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The second one I can only hope on. Yet, my hope is not abstract. Specifically, I hope that women, African-Americans, and Latinos get to the polls in large numbers, especially in swing states. Trump has insulted you for a year and a half. Of course, he has insulted and belittled many others (including his core supporters, but their devotion seems unwavering for the time being). But, looking at this practically, there are simply more of you. And in sufficient numbers, you can stop this from happening.

And should Clinton win, we can then go back to having a president who is simply bad. And from there, hopefully we will do a better job of reaching across the artificial divide, while advocating for better candidates.

Blog Archive