Elections are stressful and this one more so than other recent ones. It is that way predominantly because of Donald Trump who is everything normal candidates aren’t. He is a bully, openly racist, sexist and misogynistic and has given permission for some Americans whose instincts are the same to voice their feelings publicly.
Then the Clinton emails. While she has acknowledged this is a self-inflicted wound and apologized for it their continuing impact is compounded by the constant drip of hacked emails from WikiLeaks. While for many years the media was not so willing to use stolen material today there is no such self-control on their part. Steal it, leak it, whatever, it is all fair game.
Add to this the all-pervasive social media on which individuals write about everything as if it’s important without regard to it being true. Many confuse articles written for the satirical ‘Onion’ as the truth. One can easily understand how some feel totally stressed out trying to separate what is real from what isn’t.
There is the constant focus by news outlets on the ups-and-downs of national polling. The reality is a Presidential election, like it or not, is fifty-one individual elections. Simply ask Al Gore who led in the national vote but still lost. The only determinate of a winner is getting 270 electoral votes. The focus of campaigns must be on the individual elections in the fifty states and the District of Columbia which has three electoral votes.
Then we have cable networks trying to fill twenty-four hours of time. Remember when the world news and Presidential elections were covered by the three major networks; ABC, CBS and NBC in a half hour every evening? So even accepting there is more real news today which many think questionable; being generous the cable networks have two hours of news to report and an additional twenty-two hours each day to fill.
Most of what cable networks put on in those additional twenty-two hours is biased opinion; focused more on sounding like headlines in the National Enquirer designed to attract viewers. Whether their anchors report the news accurately, and they often don’t, whether their guest “commentators’ tell the truth or blatantly lie no longer seems to matter. We know they pay these commentators who often just lie to viewers. We have gotten so far from cable channels like CNN caring whether we hear the truth from them they hired Corey Lewandowsky, when he was still on Trump’s payroll, to be a ‘commentator’. So he is being paid by both the candidate and the station to report on the election. If one doesn’t laugh one would have to cry. The biggest losers are the American people.
In what was once considered a ”normal’ election there would be a debate on the policies of the candidates and what direction they want to take the county. That seems to have gotten lost in this election. While Hillary has a position on nearly every issue you can think of from fighting the opioid epidemic to climate change; Trump has only a few actual policy positions. We do know he wants to take the Supreme Court to the far-right and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He uses the line ‘repeal and replace’ but has yet to offer a clear vision of how he would replace it and how that would maintain the benefits of the ACA everyone likes such as guaranteeing insurance for those with pre-existing conditions or those under 26 who can now be covered by their parents policy.
In less than one week the majority of American voters will head to the polls. About a third will have voted early. The one thing most of them have in common is they are all thankful the election is coming to an end.
As a strong Hillary supporter my recommendation to fellow supporters is to remain calm; VOTE, volunteer to knock on doors and make calls into battleground states. To those who have yet to decide I urge you to take a look at the candidates’ positions. See who you agree with the most on issues relating to healthcare, the economy, education, climate change, immigration, LGBT and women’s rights, and gun control among so many others.
Donald Trump thinks climate change is a hoax; Hillary believes we need to deal with it now. Trump thinks it’s ok if Saudi Arabia, Japan and North Korea have nuclear weapons; Clinton believes we need to not only prevent other nations from getting them but rid the world of nuclear weapons. Trump wants to take the Supreme Court to the right and nominate judges who would reverse Roe v. Wade and marriage-equality; Clinton will nominate judges who will protect both and vote to overturn Citizens United.
The emails are simply a distraction as they will in no way influence or impact your future. Don’t get caught up in the idea of a protest vote either. No one will listen to the protest and reality is any vote not for Hillary is a vote for Trump. If that is what you intend OK, if it’s not then don’t do it.
Take the time, even during this stressful election, to research the positions of the two candidates. They are diametrically opposite in most cases and each would lead the nation in a very different direction. It appears Hillary wants to lead us toward a better future; Trump thinks a better future leads us back to the past.