I have avoided writing about this U.S. Presidential Election. I have mostly avoided speaking about it on my personal Facebook page except to share the Saturday Night Live debate spoofs.
Why them? Because Saturday Night Live is disturbingly spot on and it is one of the few things that makes me laugh at the hot mess this country has dissolved into.
This past May after the primary, I did something I thought I would never do: I switched my political party affiliation to Independent. I could not take it anymore. I was until that point a life-long Republican, even if I had split my ticket a lot of the time.
As of this past spring, I was no longer in either major party category given the polarization of American politics and the extremes on extremes we have been seeing.
This 2016 election season is the ugliest certainly in my lifetime. People are vile and hateful. All we see are the politics of ignorance. And anger.
2016 has also been the year of ugly violent protests where people are getting hurt…and dying.
What does all the ugliness accomplish?
Let’s go local.
I am in particular really tired of Jack London bodybuilding campaign mailers. Ok so Senator Dinniman? You are or should be a better human being than that. If that is the best you’ve got to put on a double sided post card, save the postage and printing charges. They are stupid and wasteful.
And Duane Milne? Tell the truth and shame the devil? On the 8th day apparently you personally invented Chester County (and everything in it), and several election cycles later, State Representative Milne I am still trying to figure out what you do besides show up for photo ops, so maybe we all should just give the other guy a shot?
So that is it on specific mailings. I am not even going to bother to dissect the Clinton and Trump mailers because they are ALL awful.
Kudos to Congressman Ryan Costello for having the least offensive mailers of a national candidate. It makes it easy to choose you. You get it.
As a registered Independent I officially get EVERYTHING. Every nasty piece of glossy tree killing junk mail that the United States Postal Service will not let me return to sender (I have tried). So I get to pay to recycle mail I did not ask for.
And not only am I getting my political junk mail but the political junk mail of a dead woman, the lady who used to live in our home. Apparently politicians do see dead people.
Now let’s talk about the calls. Robo calls galore. And not so robo calls from the terminally bored reading off scripts usually in an up-talk sing-song tone. The live people are so much fun….tell them you are an anarchist. Go ahead. It’s funny because every single one of them will stop dead and say “What? What’s an anarchist? This call isn’t about religion.” (Then I hang up.)
Social media. Some people should just stay OFF of social media until after the election.
Because the proverbial villages are being overrun by rabid ridiculousness. If half of the people even understood what the heck they were posting about it would be good. But most do not. And they spout and share angry vitriol from both sides that does nothing except foment hate.
And the political hypocrites. Do not even get me started on them.
I am just tired of this election season. We are a country of Ugly Americans because of the insane polarity and divisiveness. Friends are attacking friends over political talking heads that basically at the end of the day regardless of the party do NOT give a damn about any of us. The game is about the vote, a giant game of whomever gets all the toys wins.
After election day, will they know Jane and John and Sam and Cindy who shook the candidates’ hands at rallies?
This country is a hot angry mess. The election has been whittled down to choosing the lesser of two evils and how is that even a choice? After November 9th will berating your friends and strangers over their choices have been worth it?
And the sign stealers. Grow up. You don’t have to like your neighbor’s sign, they don’t have to like yours. But at this point between the stealing and the corners everywhere that just have too many signs and the highways which will wear political signs for months after the election because no one took them down, I wish there were NO POLITICAL SIGNS. OR ADS. OR BILLBOARDS.
When it comes to politics, I know we will never all get along, but we have collectively lost the ability for civil discourse. And so have the national campaigns.
With about 6 in 10 Americans disliking each of them — and as many as one-quarter saying they dislike both of them — the 2016 campaign will almost undoubtedly be a race to the bottom. In such a situation, campaigns will almost always focus on making the case that their opponent is unacceptable rather than making a positive case for their candidate. And that was certainly the case in Clinton’s and Trump’s acceptance speeches.
It’s become cliche to decry each election as the most negative of our lives; the atmospherics of this race, though, are completely unique in recent American history — and uniquely conducive to negativity.
Polling shows voters indeed are already more prepared to vote against something than for something in 2016…
If you have a brain and aren’t afraid to use it, no matter who it is you will vote for on November 8th, you should be terrified. We are a country of haters and some days it feels like we are on the brink of yet another Civil War, and we all know how well that worked out the last time.
Please, for the love of what Americans used to be, do your part to dial back the vitriol and rhetoric. Remember the people who died to give us our freedoms, and try to respect them. I do not think election season 2016 is what they fought and died for. I rather think they were trying to escape hateful behavior like we are seeing from coast to coast.