A Squabbling Between Children

Is this it? Is this the moment where we say the elections have officially gone to hell? My worst fears have been realized from both parties: Donald Trump is the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic. They had their first presidential debate Monday. Neither one is qualified for president and neither one represents America’s best interests. Now, my second worst fear has been realized: Clinton has proven to be the better option between herself and Trump. A good option? No, but we have very little to work with.

I’ve kept my lip shut about the elections for the most part up until now. Even during the primaries, I’ve tried to keep a filter on my opinions and who heard them. What good would my comments have done? Both sides were already saying the things that needed to be said about the candidates. The problem wasn’t that people weren’t speaking. The problem was that everyone else wasn’t listening.

As consequence, we are given an ultimatum: Trump or Clinton. Top socket or bottom socket. A bullet to the head or five to the chest and bleeding to death.

They are both poor candidates for different reasons. Trump is a loudmouthed bigot who has it his way or the highway. Clinton is a manipulative politician who also has it her way or the highway, but is more secretive about it. Both are self-serving singlets who are more concerned with their own success rather than America’s. I not only don’t like either of them as presidential candidates: I actively advocate that they are not fit, appropriate, or even remotely good substitutes for office. Them trying to look like presidential leaders is more laughable than an SNL comedy sketch.

Regardless of how I feel, there is one thing I cannot ignore: Clinton is more fit for office than Trump is, even if it is by a decimal point. Why do I say this? Just look at her performance from Monday night’s debate. Her and Trump both had their platform to speak on what they believed were the nation’s biggest issues. Their differences lie in what they were doing when the other was speaking.

While Trump was talking, Clinton stood there quietly. Did she react to Trump’s aneurisms? Yes, but she didn’t respond to them, not until it was her turn to speak. When it was her turn, Trump threw a temper tantrum, interrupting her, berating her, yelling over her, making sure his voice was the one heard even when he shouldn’t be speaking. He did this constantly throughout the night, like a child being ignored by his parents, screaming for attention. Without taking a stance on either candidate or their issues, his behavior was embarrassing, immature, and stupid. I stared at the screen, baffled at how this could have been the Republican nominee America had picked.

But of course, people will defend Trump for his behavior, saying things like “That’s just how he is”, or “He’s just being assertive.” He’s being assertive, alright, if you annunciate the first three letters of the word. Just because you have a big ego doesn’t give you the right to dominate over others. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. If Trump can’t handle disagreements on a debate stage, what makes you think he can handle it in a congress chamber?

In turn, I know people will look at Hillary and think about what a manipulative crook she is. They aren’t wrong. Per the Espionage Act, Hillary shouldn’t even be in the running for president. She broke the law. She erased classified documents that should have been returned to the government. She writes the incident off as a “mistake”, which Trump rightfully corrects with “It wasn’t a mistake. It was on purpose.”

In a world where justice exists, Clinton would not even be up on that stage. Instead we get the blonde milf and her twin. And no matter how much I detest both of these figures, I can’t deny that Clinton kept her composure and Trump cracked under the pressure. Which is funny, because how does a guy get that angry while at the same time being the only one to say the most maddening things?

Another reason why Clinton proves to be the more reliable choice: she has political experience and he doesn’t. She’s been first lady of the United States (Monica Lewinski was the second). She’s been New York Senator. She’s been Secretary of State. Talk smack about how poorly she’s served in her positions all you want (please do, she deserves it): you can’t deny that she’s at least held an office.

Trump, on the other hand, has zero political experience. Zilch. Nada. None. His main platform is that he’s a creator of big business, which he is, that much you can’t deny. But it hasn’t been without its inconsistencies. Trump Steaks, Trump Mortgage, Trump “University” (The last of which is the most disastrous). He has failed business venture after business venture, and he has the bankruptcies to match it. And don’t even get me started on the fallout of employees he’s had as well.

You might argue that his outsider view of politics would help him in office. As opposed to Ben Carson? Where was that argument for him when he was in the race? At least he didn’t insult Heidi Cruz or Rosie O’Donnell.

Nope, we have Trump and Clinton. And if Clinton’s biggest crime is using the system to her advantage, Trump’s biggest blunder is bludgeoning the system with an elongated spear before blowing it up with a nuclear missile. Voting for Clinton would be participating in a crooked system. Voting for Trump is suicide.

I’m going to make an early prediction that Clinton is going to win the presidency. Why? Because the elections are about perception, not problem-solving. If it were about problem-solving, governor Gary Johnson would be allowed to debate on the stage alongside Trump and Clinton, given the fact that he has one of the highest third-party followings in election history. He was legitimately left out for one reason: to drive higher ratings from a conflict between an orangutan and a fraud.

The two debaters threw rhetoric and sprouted elevator speeches for over an hour instead of offering real incentives and solutions to problems our country is experiencing. They talked about what needed to change. They didn’t talk about how they were going to change it. And since these elections are about perception and not problem-solving, this statement from a cocky Clinton is what convinced me that the masses are going to go with her December:

“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate,” Clinton laughed. “And yes, I did. You know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.”

Shoot. With that much boldness and confidence? The worst part is I believe her.

I don’t know who I’m voting for come December. I simply don’t know. At this point, the elections have come to voting against the worst candidate as opposed to voting for the best one, like it should be. I’ve even toyed with the idea of not voting this season altogether, although I don’t know what exactly ignorance would accomplish.

All I know is this: democracy is threatened when an illusion of choice is presented. Regardless of who you vote for, we have no choice in what happens next. The only choice we have is in how we choose to participate. Whoever wins, America has already lost.

– David Dunn

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