Perfection in politics will never happen, or even come close. I compare it to a smudged mirror. Mirrors don’t look nice with smudges so we’ll wipe them away and polish until the smears are gone. The result is a shiny mirror. The problem is, even if the mirror was much improved by cleaning, it’s not long before smudges reappear.
The 2016 election was an attempt to “clean the mirror”. Why there was suddenly an urgent movement to polish off the political dirt in this country, I will never understand. After all, dirty politics is not something new. Millions of people fell for an idea … the idea that putting a businessman instead of a politician as POTUS would get rid of grime and purge America of all things ugly.
To those people I ask, “How is that working out for you?”
In my mind, many people were intimidated by the prospect of a woman president in 2016. Some also just plain didn’t like the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, although she did win the popular vote. I still believe the election of Donald Trump was a fluke: a huge mistake, maybe the result of foreign interference.
And there’s the Electoral College, which should have been dismantled in 1969 when the House of Representatives came so close. At that time 80 percent of Americans were in favor of electing our President by popular vote. The constitutional amendment sent to the Senate came just five votes shy of becoming reality because of a filibuster. Perhaps it’s time to revisit a movement to abolish the Electoral College.
Whatever the reason Trump won the election we are forced to live with the consequences … and it’s been a hard life. I don’t see how anyone can deny that statement.
During election years we, the people, sometimes have to choose what some call the “lesser of the two evils.” We must choose Democrat or Republican whether we like either candidate or not. Too bad unaffiliated citizens like myself don’t have an ideal candidate of our choosing to run against both parties from the beginning. I believe it will be up to Independents, Democrats and reformed Republican voters to get our country back on track this time.
With that being said, IF a third person, any third person, should appear on the ballot this year, we independents need to think twice. We won’t be doing this country any favors by voting for an unknown. We all know that practice only serves to take votes from both Republican and Democratic candidates, possibly from the more deserving one. We must also avoid the temptation to not vote at all. At this point we have to vote for someone, not of our choosing perhaps, but the person least likely to divide us. I believe Independents will play a major role in this election. I think there’s a multitude of us and we can help wipe one certain smudge off that mirror.
In May this year a Gallup poll found that about 40 percent of Americans identify as independents. About half of those lean more towards the Democratic party. Only 38 percent lean towards the Republican side. It’s interesting that the same poll shows 31 percent of Americans are Democrats and 25 percent are Republicans. If these numbers are correct, I feel a bit better about the upcoming election, providing independents get out there and vote. Please do that! Vote early, vote by mail, vote at the polls on election day! Just vote!
Since I’m very opinionated I will state a few topics of discussion from my point of view, while not being totally keen for either party. There has to be a meeting in the middle at some point. I think the Biden/Harris team will try. That’s the way I lean.
Perhaps the most emotionally charged issue between parties is abortion. I believe as the Democrats do that women have the right to choose what happens to their own bodies. That sounds right. But I don’t believe abortion should be used as birth control. Late term abortion is completely out of my realm of understanding. Why not adoption as a choice for unwanted babies? The problem and reality is that if abortions are illegal there will still be abortions. I might add that our current president has been speaking out against abortion. He will get some votes that way. The thing is, abortion has not vanished during his nearly four years in office.
The gun thing … I believe as the Republicans do that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally own guns for hunting and self-protection. We all know that criminal types will have them regardless of any laws or bans. We need guns to protect ourselves from them. We have that right.
Same-sex marriage is OK with Democrats as a general rule. Republicans condemned the court’s decision in states that legalized same-sex marriage. I am not sure of the reasoning but if they are going by biblical authority, then I suggest they go by the good book on other issues like loving their neighbors and following the Ten Commandments as well.
That leads me to immigration. I’m with the Democrats here. They want to fix the problems in the system and give deserving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. The Trump administration’s fix is to build a wall. If immigrants make it in, cage them and treat them all as criminals without any human rights.
Room here does not allow for the other big divides, like climate change, Medicare and health care for all, Wall Street, and foreign policies, among other things.
One of the worst atrocities from both parties is the spending of enormous amounts of money to campaign when so many people are out of work and hurting financially due to the pandemic. I understand some advertising must be done to let voters know what the candidates stand for but I think all voters have decided by now. I hope most won’t base their decision on ads that make false claims.
I’m being honest when I say that I’ve seen far more lies and the spreading of those lies from Trump-obsessed Republicans. They just take what they hear from their leader and claim falsely that Democrats encourage racism, human trafficking, rioting and defunding police. I don’t personally know of any Democrats that go along with violence and hate. So, absolutely no Republicans are involved in riots, looting or other unrighteous conduct? Only Democrats? How many times have I seen on social media and TV that citizens will not be safe in Biden’s America? I ask you … is it safe now under current leadership? It’s a fact that some Trump ads have been proven as fear mongering and/or untrue. Some have been removed, but not before doing their damage. Think of the wasted money on those.
I must add with all sincerity that when I say, “Republicans” I do not mean every single one. I know good people who are of that party, Also, when I use the word “they” I do not mean every single one. I speak of the ones who parrot Trump’s words and actions and defend even the most disgusting of his lies. Why do lies not matter to these people?
There has never been a more important election year in my lifetime. Independents can make or break it in my opinion. We can hope for that mirror to shine a bit brighter after all is said and done; we just have to approach it realistically. That mirror won’t shine perfectly all of the time, but improvement is possible. Let’s remove some smudges on election day and keep polishing away at the others with recovery as our objective. I really do believe under better leadership we could meet that goal.
Author Carol Hartsoe lives in Bear Creek. She is a Tideland News contributor.