An Average Jane’s Thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election


*BARF*

Need I say more? Okay.

I typically don’t discuss politics “publicly.”  I’m not comfortable doing so nor am I any good at it.  However, sometimes thoughts and frustrations build up inside your head and you need to set them free.  If you don’t, they fester and rot.  Before you know it, you’re spewing your guts to your poor, unsuspecting cat who really just wants you to stop shouting and feed her the can of Fancy Feast rather than gesticulating wildly with it. So, for my own sanity and my cat’s digestive health, I will inflict my rambling thoughts upon the internet because, unlike my cat, you are not a captive audience and are free to walk away…”just walk away.”

In my opinion, from the biased news coverage to the shameful, crass behavior of political leaders to the gullibility of “We the People,” this has been one of the most dismal, classless elections I can remember in my lifetime. One might even go so far as to call it “deplorable.” Haha. That one’s for you Killary. And that one’s for you Trump. (I like to keep it fair.)

Regardless of how you identify politically (i.e. Fox or MSNBC), these days it’s even more difficult to schlep your way down the sewers of bias to the truth of the issues at hand – important, vital issues about which we need and deserve to know the truth.  Like the somewhat naive Mulder, I too used to believe the truth was out there, but not so after this fiasco of an election – if it is out there the truth has been lost forever, sucked into a black hole of accusations, hyperbole, lies, political pandering, venom, and vitriol spewed by political parties then scavenged by the media.

Honestly, during convention time, I found myself sinking into quite a dark place over the state of politics and the election in general. Perhaps the issue here was more about the choice of candidates and the behavior at the conventions by both politicians and private citizens.  I remember thinking at one point, “Is this it? Do we not get some kind of do-over?” Alas, I am told there is no such contingency plan in the Constitution; these are our candidates.

But more disturbing and disheartening than the bad behavior of the respective candidates and their camps, is how this election has divided this country further, more so than any I can remember in my lifetime.  I understand that mud-slinging is the constant companion of politics, but I do not recall witnessing such a hate-filled election and BOTH parties are guilty. What a depressing thought if this is the new norm in politics.

In elections past, things have been said – harsh, unpleasant things – about fellow candidates and parties; however, this election has taken it one step further and now voters are being insulted.  Not that I’m foolish enough to believe my vote actually counts for diddly-squat these days, but it’s nice to pretend it does, and it would be nice not to be insulted by someone vying for my vote to put them in office.  I expect that type of name calling from the preachy, oh-so-tolerant-as-long-as-you-see-it-my-way Hollywood elite, not those individuals seeking election to the highest office in the United States.

Again, I know elections get dirty and gross.  In the past, mud was slung but we knew when the campaigning was over and the votes were in, all, or most, would be forgotten; everyone would lick their wounds, the losers would endure some good-natured ribbing around the office, but then they would move on and settle back into daily life.  I don’t know about this election.  These two candidates seem so polarizing I wonder if ordinary people will get back to normal, will friendships survive their political differences? Perhaps that’s a petty thing to worry about, perhaps it sounds dramatic, but have you been on Facebook recently? Nothing very good-natured in some of that ribbing! Hopefully, I’m worrying too much and making the proverbial mountain out of a mole hill.

So, what’s the average Jane or John Doe to do? How do we survive this onslaught of he-said/she-said negativity and name-calling that, quite frankly, would put even the most meanest mean girl to shame?  How do we confidently relinquish the highest office of this land, an office of honor and power, to one of possibly two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in recent years?  I wish I knew! The best I could come up with is to quit obsessively following the election. I change the channel or turn down the volume during political ads. I’m still undecided about watching the debates as I think they’re going to be a shambles. I am simply resigned to vote against my least favorite candidate (that was a fairly simple decision) and then just knuckle down and buckle up, because either way, “we’re in for a bumpy ride.”

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