The Choice We Face

Oh what a year it has been.

The culmination of the recent presidential election cycle has driven many conversations throughout our nation and the globe as to what the future of the United States will look like. The citizens of this nation face an interesting path regardless of the individual elected to its highest office.

The race of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has been a cacophony of advertisements and accusations swirling through our media sources. Each campaign trying their best to discredit the opposition. At its core, the race for President of the United States of America has been treated as a farce. As citizens we have been distracted in the same manner as parents placing their children in front of a television.

Month after month we have seen nothing in the way of legitimate policy discussion. Even during the primary race, candidates spent more time seeking ways to humiliate and chastise their opponents than to actually discuss the way they could contribute to the success of this country.

“Make America Great Again” is not just a slogan for the Trump campaign. The idea that we are in some way worse off than we were decades ago is an insult to the progress we have made as a nation. Unfortunately, the only manner in which politicians seem able to communicate is through lambasting any and all failures of other politicians. “Make America Great Again” is a summary of how our elected officials view the citizens. It implies that we are scared enough to believe that a Democrat will immediately take your guns from you or that a Republican will banish all freedom of religion and shove a cross down your throat.

Fear mongering and insult slinging has become the common currency of our media outlets and governing bodies. Trump’s rise to the Republican nomination is attributed to the distrust that many Americans feel in our government. While this distrust is founded, the desire to “shake up Washington” and other sentiments have left us with the disgrace we will see on our ballets this November. We need representatives that are able to make sober, level headed policy decisions for the nation as a whole. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are fit to represent the United States in this way. Each one has exhibited their lack of qualifications in their own manner, but the end result is the same and each are woefully unqualified.

We could continue the example provided by our elected officials and list each of the missteps taken by the candidates, but that solves nothing. The state of our nation is not a failure of our government. It is a failure of its people. We are the ones that ignore public policy discussion. We avoid learning of candidates running for smaller offices and blindly re-elect those who have done nothing in service of our communities. We have allowed ourselves to become the pawns of those who take the time to learn the system while we focus on mindless nonsense. If we all paid more attention to our government we might see the blatant manipulation by corporate lobbying, misguided foreign policy decisions for personal gains, and the pandering of each candidate to whichever group they believe will help them get elected.

We are treated as ignorant because we behave as such. Complain all you want. Criticize all you can. Nothing will be changed if the citizens don’t make the first changes. Take the time to educate yourself about the issues surrounding the country you live in. Be prudent in your ideas and don’t underestimate the power of conversation and compromise. What works for you may not work for your neighbor, but a middle ground exists I promise you.

This election cycle is a wake-up call. We are left choosing between a vulgar narcissist with thin skin and a corrupt career politician who places her personal gain over anyone else; both with a proven track record of poor decision making. I’ve said it before and I mean it: We are better than this. We have the means to live in a society that treats all of its citizens as equal and without ridicule. Take the time and do your part to better your world.

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