It’s very unusual that I post about politics. It’s not a topic I enjoy discussing and one that can lead to some pretty heated arguments. I have to say that this year’s presidential election seems like a joke to me. Over the years I’ve seen the campaign process get more nasty. Somewhere along the way it became less about candidates showcasing what they stand for and more about them smearing their opponent. It got to the point that I no longer knew who supported what but I knew their dirty laundry based on what was being aired during every commercial break.
Growing up I remember learning about democracy and the election process. I don’t know why but there were two things that stuck out in my mind:
- Any natural born US citizen could become president- It didn’t matter what political party they represented, their gender, or race. Anyone could run for president as long as they met the requirements (at least 35 years old, born in the US, and have lived there for at least 14 years)
- Any natural born US citizen could become president- I know, it seems like it’s the same as the point above, but I remember being taught anyone could become president. That meant it didn’t matter if you were rich or poor, you belonged to one of the two
majoronly political parties, you were a farmer or a career politician
The second point really stuck out to me. I remember thinking how amazing that was! Anyone could run. Now while that may be true, anyone can run…that doesn’t really mean much considering we haven’t had a president that wasn’t a Democrat or Republican since 1853. Not only that but what I didn’t realize when I was taught all of this is that it takes a lot of money to run a successful campaign. So in order for people to know your name you have to have people and corporations with money backing you up so that enough people can hear about you and vote for you. So instead of having the most qualified people running, the people that care about the issues and future of the country the most, the ones that are the most dedicated and invested, we are left with a choice between bad and worse.
So this year’s election really boils down to voting for the least worst option to keep the worst from taking office. Somehow I don’t imagine that’s at all what my 5th grade teacher was trying to teach me when she was so invested in my Social Studies class trying to make sure we understood the process and the importance of our vote when we got older. Fortunately, I also remember her telling us that we the people aren’t actually the ones that elect the president (how often is the Electoral College forgotten?) and one of the most important votes we can cast is who we send to Congress.
Of course you’re free to support and vote for the candidate you choose. I just can’t help but think how shocked I am that these are the real candidates. It seems like such an insult to the country that so many people are using their vote to show who they don’t want to be president rather than who they do. It’s an amazing notion that any US citizen can become president of the United States but the candidates of this year’s election leave little to be desired. Here’s to hoping the real candidates will step forward sooner rather than later…
What are your thoughts on this year’s US candidates? Are you satisfied with the choices? What do you think makes a great president? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please feel free to share in the comments.