This seemingly never-ending campaign of acrimony, slander, lies, and subterfuge is about to be over — barring post-election challenges and courts involvement.
On the one hand, we’ve got a candidate who has zero experience in politics and the mechanics of government, who has insulted almost every group, gender, and ethnicity, has made promises that are not within the remotest realm of possibility, and has outright lied about things he has said and done when there is taped evidence to the contrary.
On the other hand is a candidate who has three decades of experience in the ins and outs of government, who knows how the system works and which chains to pull, but is so deeply disliked by many and distrusted by even more, and faces so many potentially long term legal issues, that it would all but negate any effectiveness she might have as president, perhaps even resulting in impeachment proceedings (giving us first in history his-and-hers presidents who’ve faced that censure).
Regardless of the election outcome, the winner will become president of a deeply divided country. The months of rancor, insults, and polarization have been magnified by both mainstream media and social media that have, to an extent never seen before, facilitated the anger at, and dissatisfaction with government and its leaders.
Mitch Albom, award-winning sports writer, philanthropist, and author of the best sellers “Tuesdays With Morrie” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” said it well in these comments on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition:
“I have not been more disappointed in a pair of candidates in my adult life. I’m very lucky, I get to travel around and meet a lot of people. I can’t say how many times I’ve had a conversation with someone, and I’ve said, ‘Wow! What an impressive person! What an incredible set of values, leadership, accomplishment’ — and none of these people ever end up running for president.
“I think we’ve created a system where only the lifelong politicians, who are used to this kind of life in the spotlight and don’t care — or people who have egos along the lines of Donald Trump, who just don’t care what people say about them — are the only people who are ever going to run, because no one wants their life dissected so meanly and as randomly as our media have come to do with anyone who runs for office.
“So all these people that I meet, there’s not a prayer in hell they’re ever going to run for office, or major office, because if they’re that smart, they’re also smart enough to know they don’t want to take everything they’ve built up and have it torn apart by a sensationalized media that is so hungry for any kind of salacious detail that they’ll make that the emphasis of a person’s life — and all of a sudden 50 or 60 years of hard work and accomplishment go out the window.
“So what I have to say about these two candidates is summed up in the question that so many people have asked: ‘This is the best we can do?’”