This is a tough election year cycle for me.

If the presumptive candidates are Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, there just isn’t a clear choice for a disenfranchised voter like myself. I have always voted for the person I feel is right for the position, regardless of party affiliation. In most cases, that means a Democratic choice, but not always. I feel, before Republicans became the right-wing religious zealots they proclaim to be nowadays, the party actually supported some of the things I believe were the right things to do: fiscal responsibility, smaller government, less entitlement, more personal accountability, less power to unions (who, debate with me all you want, have become something that no longer protects the worker but rather, creates a sense of entitlement to the worker). Democrats are right about the bigger issues that concern me: environment, inclusivity (at times, to a fault), providing a framework for recovery to those impacted by poor economic times, less religion, more precise military responses and alternative energy.

So, having said that, my choice this year should be easy, right? Nope.

First, let’s look at Hillary. I don’t want another political dynasty in America; and while she is definitely not Bill Clinton, I don’t want another Clinton in the White House for the same reason that I don’t want another Kennedy, or Bush. The idea that “those in the know, know best” has clearly not worked in our favor because those types of thoughts have gotten us to the point where we are today in American history. And it’s not pretty. We are more morally, ethically, racially and religiously divided than at any other time in the nation’s young history. We need bold new ideas. Not an insiders assumption that they know what is best.

But beyond the Clinton name, I don’t trust Hillary. And it’s not because of the “30 years of Republican rhetoric” that Hillary keeps chirping about. It’s because of her own actions over the last several decades of changing her views on important political issues in a manner that is not consistent with an evolution of thought, or a gradual changing of ideas. She panders to whomever is in front of her at the moment, and the story changes. Environmental concerns. Gay rights. Our position with international partners. Off-shore drilling. The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Finance regulations. The list doesn’t stop there, but is reflective of the kind of sudden and alarming changes in position that Mrs. Clinton has been forced to address and, in my mind, has done so unsatisfactorily. Although cleared through investigations, there is still a dark cloud over her head, in my mind, regarding Whitewater and the death of Vince Foster. I believe she is deeply implicated in a way that cannot and will never be uncovered. And the night of the Benghazi attack? She told her staff: “…let me know if anything happens, I’m going back to bed.” Do we want a Commander in Chief that goes back to bed when her own staff is under fire?

Donald Trump. Consistently an idiot. But consistency has a virtuous quality. We can anticipate and plan for the eventualities of buffoonery. And Donald Trump, whether we like it or not, is an example of what we tell first-graders all the time: anybody can grow up to be president. So now, we are living through a situation in which that may come to pass, and we are collectively saying, “Well, wait. Not anybody can be president.” If Donald Trump has gone through the process of getting on the ballot, getting the votes and becoming the nominee, then he is a serious candidate. Do I think he is prepared? No. Do I think his choices will be good things? Depends on who he positions around himself as advisors. Do I think he ever, in his wildest dreams, imagined he would get this far? Absolutely not, and because of that, I think we will see him forced to address policy issues in a real and detailed manner. Donald Trump is something different, exactly at a time when the public and nation needs a significant political course correction. The election of Donald Trump may force that correction as a reaction to his nomination. I think, win or lose, the rise of Donald Trump will paint a very different future for American politics.

So: Donald Trump, the devil we know; or, Hillary Clinton, the devil in disguise?

Tough choices.

Hello Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate.



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