One of the things future historians will argue over is whether the presidential election of 2016 gave Americans their worse choice ever. I don’t have to look far from home to find people saying they are being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. Matter of fact, I can look inside my home and find this sentiment. To some degree it is how I feel.
From day one of the primary season I did not want anyone named Bush or Clinton in the mix and I especially didn’t want either to win their party’s nomination. My hope was that a couple of new names with new faces might help curb some of the divisions names Bush and Clinton evoke.
Well, that’s not to be. We got ourselves a Clinton and a name that makes me wish we had a Bush. Donald Trump’s success at winning the GOP nomination has and will continue the growing division between our people. Trump is anything but a healer, anything but a uniter, and anything but an honest, transparent, full disclosure candidate.
Trump’s favorite nickname for Hillary is “Crooked Hillary.” But the charges and claims against Hillary have not held up. After years and millions of tax payer dollars the charges and claims have been proven to be political motivated. Just recently the FBI concluded she has broken no law other than lacking technical astuteness.
On the other hand, Trump has lied about his charitable donations, he has balked at paying his employees, he used illegal immigrants to build his buildings, he has cost his debtors and investors millions through his several bankruptcies, he openly took advantage of people’s misfortune during the financial crisis of 2008, he is currently trying to stop the release of evidence in the Trump University criminal case facing him, and he has refused to release any of his financial and tax information.
This electoral elimination process began with well over twenty names in the hat. In neither party was I overwhelmingly pleased. I found all the Republicans to be too socially conservative and some to be fiscal butchers.
The Democrats gave us six to choose from and at first I didn’t get teary eyed over any of them. I would have liked to have seen Joe Biden jump in because of his great domestic and foreign affairs experience. Plus, I just like Biden. He’s got a great smile, great personality, and he can laugh at himself after the occasional foot in his mouth gaff.
When Biden decided not to run and I read Bernie Sanders’ platform I decide he was the person America needed. He was socially liberal and, genuinely concerned for the working people, and he favored a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth. I loved his refusal to cow tow Wall Street, the PACs, and to run a populous campaign. While I knew several of his goals might have been difficult to achieve they represented a direction we could work towards.
Unfortunately for me and the country’s future, Sanders came close but didn’t get the brass ring. So here we are, facing two evils. The good thing for me is I have no problem knowing which is the lesser evil. In my seventy-four years of living and my professional knowledge of American Political History we have never had a more unprepared and potentially dangerous presidential candidate than Donald Trump. In the words of Hillary Clinton, “Donald Trump is an unqualified loose cannon.”
America has known Hillary since the presidential election of 1992. Good, bad, or otherwise she is a known quantity. We have also known Donald Trump for decades and he is what he’s always been, constantly changing, constantly egotistic, constantly greedy, constantly bellicose, constantly bullish, constantly dishonest, and constantly wrong about so many things.
I am a social liberal and I want equal treatment and justice for every American, including Mexicans, African-Americans, and Muslims. I want America to be the friendly state and not that one that builds walls to isolate itself. I believe in capitalism but not the kind that allows billions for the Trumps and next to nothing for the working poor. I want an America that doesn’t allow people to die or end up on the streets because they can’t afford decent medical care. I want a nation in which people have a better shot at getting the education that suits their needs and matches their abilities. While neither of the two evils will make this happen over night the lesser, Hillary Clinton, will at least give consideration and effort to moving us in these directions.