Please Don’t Vote

In Aaron Sorkin’s much vaunted and controversial “The Newsroom,” Mac exclaims that the most important element of a democracy is a well-informed electorate. When James Madison once thought about whether the Congress should elect the President, making it an effective parliamentary system like the United Kingdom, Gouverneur Morris instead favoured election by the people. When criticism came about that the people would be “uninformed,” he instead appealed to an American ideal of active political participation: “They will never fail to prefer some man of distinguished character or services; some man … of continental reputation. This process has worked out for the majority of American presidential elections. But then came Mr. Donald J. Trump.

Treating the primary election process of America as a media event is nonetheless exciting for those who have been disenfranchised by the process. Flipping on the cable news to find talking heads about the ways in which America is being hijacked by social justice warriors and the political correct culture may be affirmed by many of our deepest fears. This idea that America is being taken out, piece by piece, into a socialist dystopia for those who have no merit to inherit it is real. Mr. Donald J. Trump plays into those nightmares of millions of Americans who have voted for him, and the millions more who have been inspired by him.

Elitist liberals and conservatives blame the “other” for Donald Trump. However, the fault lies with us. The fault lies in our inability to vote, our inability to pay attention, and our inability to care. Education, tax policies, immigration, and congressional dysfunction are all culpable ingredients of our the political culture. But if we had just pushed out the vote a little bit more, cared about our neighbours a little bit more, dared to find minds different than our own a little bit more, maybe we could have improved things for the better.

But as it stands today, we haven’t earned the candidates we want but have deserved the candidates we have glanced upon. Maybe Mr. Trump won’t be a bad president after all. But we cannot say we did not see this coming.

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