This is the most interesting and unnerving election that has happened in my lifetime. Unnerving for several reasons.
When I was young, my parents were very thoughtful and idealistic people. They instilled in me a wish to see our country have a president who was as great as some of the most noble men of the past. So each election, I have searched the candidates for someone who truly believed and lived the ideas for which he stands.
Sadly, such candidates never appeared.
Until this year.
This year, in a strange and miraculous change of direction, we had not one, but two such candidates: Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders.
Whatever you might believe about these two men, their ideas really matter to them. They really believe what they stand for, and they stand for something concrete and obvious. They are willing to suffer and be ridiculed for what they believe.
Ted Cruz strikes me as kind of the Tim Tebow of politics. The Conservative Christians love him and very few other people seem to get him.
Bernie Sanders is just the kind of man I would have loved when I was a young liberal. Someone who is not part of the inner circle political elect, just a regular guy who believes what he says.
A contest between those two would have been interesting and strange, quite unlike any previous American election. However, it was not to be.
Enter the opposition:
Trump—an outsider known for his rudeness, his buffoonery, and his ability to stick his own foot deep into his mouth—who nonetheless won the hearts of hard-working Americans by recognizing and addressing topics that worry them but which the press and Washington will not address. Whether it’s immigrants, terrorism, or vaccinations, if the main-stream press dismisses it without serious discussion, Trump’s on it.
Trump is an outsider who was strongly rejected by the Republican party elite, who won his way to the nomination entirely upon a populist vote.
Clinton—an insider known for being corrupt, careless with state secrets, and, possibly, a murderess (by proxy, if not by her own hand)—brought to the table many years of practical experience. Solidly behind her is the press and the DNC insiders, the elite.
Clinton is an insider, chosen and raised to her current place of power by the Democratic elite, to the degree that they apparently colluded in interfering with the campaign of her opponents.
So, now we are stuck with a populist vs. an elitist candidate, neither of whom really seem to properly represent a large portion of their supposed constitutes—who are left wondering why they should bother voting at all.
Somehow, the current two party system doesn’t quite seem to be working the way most of us wish it would.
Are there other options? The Libertarian and the Green party are a bit larger than others, but as someone who has often voted Libertarian, I will just say: I’m not that happy with what they have to offer this year.
So I got to thinking: What would the ideal election be like?
Ideal as in, you know, barring things like political realities and promises candidates made not to go maverick.
And I thought, to me, the ideal election would be if somehow, miraculously, Bernie Sanders had accepted the offer to take over the candidacy for the Green Party, and Ted Cruz accepted the nomination for the Libertarians or maybe the Constitutional Party.
So our choices would be:
(It was really hard to find a picture of all four of these guys that didn't make at least one of them look really bad. Best I could do.)
Trump – populist, voicing the unvoiceable (both good and bad)
Clinton – bringing experience and Machiavellian cunning (both good and bad)
Cruz – offering a choice to those concerned with morals and principles.
Sanders – offering a choice for those who are socially progressive.
Now that would be an interesting election!!
(Alternate, slightly less topical and amusing version for those who can’t reach Facebook.)
May God have mercy on our souls!
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