“I can’t watch any more of this.”

by Stephen

America, has just endured the worst presidential race in history. It was a mean spirited, mud-slinging fist fight where policies and vision gave way to insults, accusations and smears. The debates were so embarrassing that I ended up turning off the television saying to myself, “I can’t watch any more of this.” It was a national disgrace capped-off by angry mobs taking to the streets, vandalizing private property and assaulting innocent bystanders. Civil discourse and the right to disagree are dead in America. Today, we look more like the Argentina of Juan and Eva Peron than we do the America of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas.

Never before has America been forced to choose between two such loathsome candidates. Donald Trump is a narcissistic buffoon, a self-promoting blowhard whose foul mouth and vulgarity regularly offends millions. Hillary Clinton is a corrupt liar, who deliberately circumvented the law, compromised national security, and abused her public office.

If Hillary Clinton had been elected; the United States may have found itself embroiled in a Constitutional crisis. The wiki-leaks emails indicate that Mrs. Clinton may have abused her position as Secretary of State and sold political favors for contributions to the Clinton Foundation. We won’t know the truth until the FBI fully investigates the foundation, but we could have found ourselves with a sitting President indicted for corruption. Additionally, National-Security experts know with absolute certainty that foreign governments hacked Mrs. Clinton’s email server. Meaning, if it exists, the enemies of the United States possess the incriminating evidence of Mrs. Clinton’s “pay-for-play” politics. The release of such information would throw the United States into a Constitutional crisis that would paralyze us, leaving us unable to respond to any further aggression by Russia into the Ukraine or Syria.

The election of Donald Trump means uncertainty and worry. Is the man taking the oath of office in January going to be the bigoted vulgarian we saw during the campaign, or the surprisingly humble and gracious man that gave his election night acceptance speech? If he chooses to be the obnoxious reality TV host, the American people will tell him in 2020, “Donald, you’re fired!” However, he is now the President-elect and only time will tell.

Should Americans be angry, should Americans be out in the streets protesting? Absolutely, but not because Donald Trump won the election and Hillary Clinton lost. We should be protesting because Clinton and Trump were the candidates, and because Clinton-Trump was the only choice, we had.

Think about it. Is this the best our country can do? How on earth did the most broken and corrupt candidates in US history secure the nominations of their parties? What happened?

What happened is that our political system is now so corrupt and broken that the only thing it can give us is broken and corrupt candidates. In ninety-eight percent of the elections, the candidate who spends the most on their campaign wins the election. And where do the politicians get the money to out-spend their opponents? It doesn’t come from the American people. The big money comes from the special-interests; the corporations, lobbyist, and other entities seeking political favoritism in return for financial support. Today, we have a political system in which politicians buy their office, and special-interests buy their politicians.

For more than three decades, people have been talking about reforming the system; implementing term limits, having publicly funded elections, and eliminating the PAC and special-interest money. But strangely, not a single candidate running for local, state or federal office made this an issue during the last election. Why? Because they don’t want to make it an issue, they don’t want to reform the system, they benefit from a broken and corrupt system. That’s why we get such broken and corrupt candidates.

People should be angry and out in the streets protesting a political system that no longer works for the benefit of the American people.  However, nothing is going to change until we put our ideologies aside, learn to engage in civil discourse without trying to destroy each other, and start working together to restore the integrity and impartiality of a self-governed Republic.