September 19, 2019

Election 2016: At Long Last

unknown-1By Jan Alex

The date is November 7th, and the 2016 election is finally coming to an end. I say “finally” because I think I can speak for the majority of the nation when I say I have had enough. I’ve had enough of the volatile debates, enough of the e-mails, enough of the scandals, and enough of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Of course, one of these individuals will, in fact, be our next President. In my opinion, Mr. Trump has passed the line of no return. Undoubtedly, the first debate marked the beginning of the end for the Trump campaign. Throughout the debates, he utterly failed to demonstrate any sort of presidential poise. He constantly dodged questions and proved himself to be lacking strength in policy across the board.( In short, Mr. Trump consistently disqualified himself, and I don’t believe he has much of a chance. His inability to behave in a presidential manner, combined with the slow emergence of his morally bankrupt past, has seemingly robbed him of all opportunities to grow his base of support and thus win the election.

That said, his counterpart offers a muddled alternative. Mrs. Clinton is by no means the poster child for transparency or honest politics. By now, most are aware of her ongoing e-mail scandal and the shroud of illegitimacy and corruption that has surrounded her campaign. In the opinions of many Americans, Ms. Clinton is simply not trustworthy, and that’s a serious problem for the Democrats even if she wins.( )Whether the Party likes it or not, this campaign has shown them to be far less “democratic” than their name would suggest. Whether you believe in the legitimacy or relevance of the Wiki-leaks or not, the informed liberal voter has to face the grim reality that there are people working behind the scenes to influence the election even within our own party.

But what does all this mean in the face of a near-certain Clinton presidency? The answer depends very much on who you are, or what your priorities are. If you’re a staunch Clinton supporter, it means a historic victory for women’s rights and, with luck, four years of progressive reform. If you are a supporter of Mr. Trump, a Democratic victory would mean that the election is rigged, a revolution is in order, and that the FBI had better hurry up with an indictment.

But what if you are somewhere in between? This is the question I’ve found myself pondering more and more as the day’s tick by and Election Day draws nearer. What does all of this mean for people who are now finding themselves pushed into skepticism as I know myself and many other Americans are? In my opinion, it means that when it comes to the real issues in our country, the President is irrelevant. Now, before anybody gets up in arms, I want to make my case clear.

If this election has proven anything, it is that in most cases, career politicians are just as bad as you think and billionaires are equally awful. It has proven that those who control the majority of the key institutions in this country are morally flawed and susceptible to corruption. But it has also proven something that is even more important. It has proven that ordinary people still have power. Mr. Trump would never have made it this far and Mrs. Clinton would never have faced such heavy criticism if the people didn’t still have power. WE have the power to question that which is wrong, the power to demand that which is right, and the resources to do so if we are motivated enough to take advantage of them. What matters now is not who becomes president but what we, the people, do to pursue real substantial reform.

Bernie Sanders wasn’t lying when he said it has to start from the ground up. To make substantial change a reality in this country, people of all political denominations need to start getting involved with politics on a local, grassroots level. If there is a candidate running for city council, mayor, senate, or even the local county court whose views you support, get out and vote for them. I guarantee you that they will have a more immediate impact than whoever is elected President.

So when you go vote on November 8th, try to keep in mind what’s really important about this election. Real change starts from the ground up. It doesn’t matter who gets elected, because neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton will have the power or potential to completely fix the broken system, nor to address the countless issues everyday Americans face. It’s not in their hands anymore. It’s in ours.