Digging in One’s Heels This Election Cycle

Among foolish and silly people who engage with me on Facebook, I find that no revelations or considerate perspectives find any traction whatsoever with most of the people. I can only speculate on the causes for behavior as they pertain to this polarized, divisive election cycle, but it seems to me that we are currently relegated to letting the small minority of people who think independently to decide who our next President will be.

Ask a Hillary supporter what might cause him or her to pause and consider an alternate choice. S/he will be perplexed and then likely mention something that makes Trump reprehensible as a choice: pick your sin — callous, insensitive, juvenile, obstinate, or just plain untruthful.

Now do the same for a Trump supporter, and he or she will also likely be completely stumped. Of course, voting against Hillary will be elevated to a place of honor, but each faction will essentially concede that his or her mind is intractable, decided, and immovable.

It’s kind of sad, isn’t it, that all of these people declared an allegiance at some point in the past, and their best justification for a choice is that the other person is worse? Or consider those who are not simply casting a vote of opposition. Do we really want to vote for the amorphous, vacuous anti-establishment guy who will ‘shake things up,’ even as we note that all disruption is not equal, desirable, or effective? Do we really want to vote for someone because of her gender? Would it be okay for me to vote for Trump because he’s a man?

People have dug in their heels, and are even more inclined to hobble their own brains because they think sticking to their guns — in some respects, quite literally — is a way to save face, or at least less embarrassing than admitting to a mistake. In short, Trump’s disruption is is not desirable when he has consistently demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to maintain his composure, to exhibit sobriety and judgment, or to act like an adult. Hillary is not the ‘safe’ choice when she has recklessly and selfishly put her own interests above the people she served. And this is not the first, second, or third time. Her political ambitions and sense of entitlement have driven her to attack women who accused her husband of assault, to fire long time White House staff for petty reasons, to deflect attention to a video, for weeks, after an embassy attack.

Trump is unacceptable because he lacks the knowledge and wisdom to preside over our government. That in and of itself is not disqualifying, as we have elected businessmen and military men before, and those with desire and commitment to learn the processes were able do so. Trump has indicated no propensity to undertake the challenge of learning. Consequently, Trump does not deserve anyone’s vote.

Hillary must give everyone pause as well. Yes, she has been around the system, and participated in the process, for quite a long time. Yet her mistakes must compel people to question her judgment or her motives. If her mistakes were honest mistakes, her fitness is rendered dubious. If her mistakes were calculated, her fitness is in question.

These two candidates are defined by their pasts, no doubt. Do we have any concrete examples that suggest that either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton have been motivated by an altruistic or humanistic desire to serve their fellow man? Now consider whether we have reason to believe that each or both has been motivated by a thirst for power, wealth, and influence. Be honest, it is much easier to believe that each of these 1%ers are aloof, distant, and unlikable people because their status and their actions make it easy to think the worst of them.

Finally, understand that the republic will withstand either one of them. If the next President is truly as unfit and destined for mayhem as his or her opponent’s claim, there will be no second term. If s/he is more capable than the opposition suspects, there will be two terms, and a likely period of improvement.

So vote for whomsoever floats your boat, even if that means writing in a candidate, or choosing third party. Don’t fall for the fallacy that an alternate vote necessarily hurts one candidate and helps another. Don’t fall for the petty desire to WIN as a result of the choice.

The major parties have delivered unto us the most inferior Presidential candidates of my lifetime. This is supported by the size of the unfavorable ratings that each continues to generate.

Or you can continue to dig in your heels and defend the indefensible. Admitting a mistake may be tough, but following through with a mistake when you know it to be a mistake is pathetic.