What a choice!

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I voted this week and it felt good to get that patriotic privilege over and done. And, no, I didn’t have to hold my nose when I voted!

I was proud to touch the ‘X” for my candidate and I don’t mind telling you who I voted for; just not in this space. Writing here is something I enjoy. Why would I want to go and spoil it by making anyone mad?

Now, if you want to talk to me about it outside of this hallowed space, I’ll engage you, but, even then, I don’t want to argue with you. It’s your privilege to vote for your candidate and I hope you’ll allow me my prerogative and we can remain friends. After all is said and done, we have to live in the same country, don’t we?

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Actually, I can find something to agree with in both of our major party candidates. For instance, one candidate says we are a divided country. That happens to be true. The other candidate says that we are stronger together. That’s also true.

The problem lies with what happens on November 9th, the day after the election. Can we all say “That’s that and over?” Will either of the candidates be able to bring the country together with their party’s victory? Unfortunately, I doubt it.

As I have written many times, I am a “glass half full” fellow. At the same time, I wasn’t born yesterday and the mood of the country does not seem to be united with either elephants or donkeys leading us.

As that seems to be the truth, does it matter whether one votes or not? I think it does. When a nation’s people no longer feel that they have a voice in anything, that their votes don’t matter, I think that nation is in danger.

I think our great nation, so rich in history and blessed from sea to shining sea, is in danger of being so fractured that “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty or Uncle Sam together again.” Neither can one man or one woman who might call themselves a president.

We need leadership, but leadership implies that there will be some “followership.” The way our 2016 candidates have sought to divide and conquer precludes the vanquished, those whose candidate lost, from following the winner.

Even though I have voted and was proud to do so, I probably am like most Americans, I ended up voting against someone rather than voting for someone. I don’t want to make any excuses for my voting that way, but the candidates, themselves, were so negative and seemed more interested in tearing down the other one.

It seemed to me that we would go for weeks where there was no mention of the serious issues that are facing our country. Even during debates, when issues should have been front and center, the time would devolve into the candidates calling each other “temperamentally unfit to be president” or the most “crooked person” to ever seek the office.

What a choice we have been offered! I can’t help but think of a famous closing line in a television comedy from the Golden Age of television. The show was The Life of Riley and the main character, Chester A. Riley, was always facing a dilemma of his own making. Most of the time he responded with the line, “What a revolting development this is.”

I can see Americans in their voting booths, looking at our 2016 choices and saying, “What a revolting development this is!”