I don’t think I’m alone.
I can’t wait this election over, but I’m also dreading the next four years with whoever wins on Nov. 8.
I don’t like Hillary Clinton and I like Donald Trump even less. I still can’t believe one of these two is going to be the next most powerful person in the world.
It really should have been Paul Ryan for the GOP and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats. The two guys have polar opposite ideologies and would have given us a clear choice on the direction they would take the country. And neither of them, as far as we know, stole anything or groped anyone or strong armed foreign countries for cash or declared bankruptcy and really don’t make you want to move to Canada.
They are opposites but they are honest as far as politicians go and they stand by their beliefs with at least a shred of dignity and decorum.
Instead we have Clinton and Trump. Two of the worst candidates in history.
What is even more disturbing, though, is how blinded their most ardent supporters are to their most glaring character flaws – and how much they hate the other candidate.
And I thought the country couldn’t get any more divided after the Bush/Gore hanging chad debacle of 2000. I doubt whoever wins in November will do so with a mandate, so we will have four more years of the country sliding further apart.
Basically, I think Clinton has used her position as Secretary of State to generate money for the Clinton Foundation and to line her own pockets. And I honestly don’t want to see her husband back in the White House. Didn’t he do enough to disgrace the office the last time he was there?
Enough of the Clintons, already.
And Trump is a bigoted, narrow minded big mouth who is running for president to feed his insatiable ego. I don’t think anyone knows what he will do if elected, including him. I would rather not find out. It’s going to be hard enough getting through Clinton’s tenure – yes, I do think she’ll win.
For years I have used this space urging people to vote. It’s not only a right, it’s our obligation as citizens to take a few minutes to get to the polls and vote for someone … anyone.
At one time, when abysmal voter turnout was gnawing at my being, I advocated for mandatory voting like they do in Australia. In the land Down Under, you have to vote or you get fined something like $100. Not surprising, turnout hovers around the 95 percent rate for each and every election. In non-presidential years we average less than 50 percent.
This year, though, I don’t blame anyone for not casting a vote for either Clinton or Trump.
Personally, while I generally don’t say who I am voting for, I’m flipping a switch – or filling in a bubble – for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate. He didn’t grope anyone or steal anything. Plus, he climbed Mount Everest. And, really, who knew where Aleppo is until Johnson didn’t?
If nothing else, maybe it will send a message to the major parties that we want something or someone better.
Now, just because the major party candidates understandably might make you want to stay home on Election Day, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other important races featuring fine, upstanding candidates.
A seat in the U.S. Senate is up for grabs between Chuck Shumer and Wendy Long and there is a barn burner for the House of Representatives between John Faso and Zephyr Teachout. The entire state Legislature is also up for grabs and there are a number of judicial and local races as well.
I won’t go into all the candidates or the races, but you can check out the rest of spotlightnews.com for a full run down.
It’s those candidates who have put their name on the line and spent who knows how much time, energy and resources campaigning who deserve a vote. Even a vote for their opponent. For months they have been actively engaged in the democratic process and the least you can do is take a few minutes and stop at your polling place on Nov. 8.
There are all sorts of rhetoric about this presidential election will put the fundamentals of our democracy in jeopardy. It’s nonsense, of course. The only way that happens is if people don’t vote.
So, I don’t blame you for ignoring the top of the ticket, or if you vote for a minor party candidate, or if you even write in your dog.
It’s the smaller races that deserve your time and energy on Election Day. And it’s those races that still make me believe every citizen in good standing should be required to make it to the polls on Election Day or get fined.
All you really have to do is show up and write in “Rover.”
Jim Franco has covered the Capital District for more than 20 years. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 878-1000.