Sunday, October 30, 2016

Blame the other guy

The final results of the 2016 Presidential Election are just around the corner and I think those results are just the tip of the iceberg. I've seen more than I care to on social media and the news covering this election and I'm quite ready for it to be over. I must admit this election feels like it has greater potential fallout than previous elections regardless of who ends up winning. 

Smear campaigns are nothing new to elections, but this time everything seems to be escalated. It seems the conspiracy concept has really kicked into high gear. It would be one thing if it was just your typical "drag old news out of the past" smear campaigns, but this has gone to a whole new level. Violent attacks on opposing parties, legal investigations, health concerns and even conspiracies about whistle blowers mysteriously (or coincidentally) ending up dead. 

Who's to blame though? Is it the people running for election or the people supporting them? We could split hairs about what's factual and what's merely part of the rumor mill, but in the end it comes down to all of us. The final two (since they're the only ones that really matter at this point) are there because of all of us. We let it get this far. The common theme I am seeing is that many of us feel like we're having to vote for the lesser of two evils. 

Whether conservative or liberal, we're all to blame. We let it get this far because of the way we think as a society. There's way to much "me versus them" mentality in our society and nowhere near enough "us" mentality. We've lost site of this being OUR country as a whole. We spend our time fighting each other so much that in the end everyone ends up losing. 

There is no middle ground and compromise seems to have disappeared long ago. We fail to support the people who actually have the best interest of our country in mind and end up having to choose between two polar opposites. There are some core beliefs we each have that don't necessarily match what our neighbor has and we end up having to choose based on a couple of major issues. 

Nobody wins when we do this. Roughly half the country will be upset because their candidate lost and the other half will force their own one-sided agenda for the next four years. The fact that the two party sides are so opposite, there is a lot of wasted time and resources when we flip between the two sides. It's like running a race in two different directions and the finish line keeps switching ends. 

The new party works for at least half of the four years trying to reverse everything their predecessor put in place. Sometimes this is a good thing, but often times it is merely a waste of our ever increasing tax dollars. The next couple of years are then spent pushing their own agenda. At the end of that time, it's either flip directions again because you lose the next election or continue another four years running in your direction. Either way, it eventually reverses again and the race is off in the opposite direction again. 

I know who I'm voting for in a little over a week and I am confident in my choice. I will admit though that it really did feel like a lesser of two evils decision. There were better options for the final two, but they didn't gain the ground they needed. Since I am not one to throw my vote away on someone other than one of the two leading candidates, I made my decision based on the best information I had available. 

Since there's not a lot we can do about this particular election in a week's time, I encourage you to get out and vote for your lesser of two evils. Unless we learn to get together as a society (which I know will never happen), we will continue to vote in "lesser evil" elections. We can stop the downward spiral though by not allowing the two sides to continue to race in opposite directions. It will take a lot of work, communication and the changing of our current mindsets to get our nation as a whole back in the center of the election.

I'm sure it's wishful thinking on my part, but I know many of you (from both party sides) agree that we could do a whole lot better as a country. It would be really nice to get back to having solid choices in future elections. I'm just hoping to get to see it in my life time. I won't hold my breath though. Until next time....