Please! Make it stop!
That’s how a lot of people are feeling about the 2016 presidential election. So I had to chuckle when I saw the novel solution to this endless and demoralizing campaign season proposed on the above bumper sticker.
Still, planetary annihilation seems a steep price to pay, especially when you consider that the race will actually end one way or another in just a few weeks.
So rather than clutching our heads and moaning, “When will it be over?” a better question is “When it’s over, how do you want things to be?”
For me, the choice is easy.
For starters, I’d like a president who actually believes that climate change is real, so will try to do something to prevent planetary annihilation. Or not bring it about more catastrophically than even a giant meteor would:
“I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.” — Tony Schwartz, the repentant ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal, in conversation with Jane Mayer of The New Yorker.
On a less dire note, I’d like a president with steadiness and grit.
I’d like a president with lifelong dedication to public service and fighting tirelessly to improve the lives of children, women, families, and ordinary Americans.
I’d like a president who will appoint Supreme Court justices who will uphold a woman’s right to choose and overturn Citizen’s United.
I’d like a president who will build upon and improve Obamacare so that everyone can have high-quality and affordable healthcare.
I’d like a president who will make college more affordable and create good-paying jobs for the world we live in now.
I’d like a president who is famous for the ability to listen, do the homework required to understand complex issues, work collaboratively even with people whose views are different, and find solutions to vexing problems.
I’d like a president with experience, heart, keen intelligence, and respectability on the international stage.
I’d like a president who doesn’t insult and mock people, incite violence and prejudice, cheat people, lie routinely, drive businesses into the ground, and require 24/7 attention.
That’s why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. And spending my free time volunteering to help elect her.
Sure, I’m not thrilled about her hawkishness or the self-inflicted wounds we sometimes see. But even if she’s not my ideal candidate, I’d vote for her even if I didn’t think her opponent would be an unmitigated disaster whose elevation to the highest office would reward and reinforce all that is worst in America.
Fortunately, I like and admire Hillary, and think she’d make an excellent president. But if you share only my misgivings about Trump and not my enthusiasm for her, you can still vote while holding your nose.
That’s it. That’s the choice. No third-party votes or staying home to “send a message.”
Because that message might result in President Donald Trump.
I’d rather withstand a giant meteor.