Like most Americans, I woke up this morning after much too short a weekend to a world and an internet full of just the absolute worst in American politics and I find myself again asking “How? How did we get here? What disconnect led to the nominations of these two candidates?”
First, let’s get real, there ARE only two choices, as much as I would like to think a third party candidate could swoop in like some political Batman and save the day, it isn’t going to happen. Not this year and not in the foreseeable future. We Americans have built for ourselves this political dichotomy and now we are stuck with it. For as long as I can remember, no third party candidate has been able to draw enough support to even warrant an invite to the debates. And the GOP and Democrats seem intent on keeping it that way, for obvious reasons.
I do know a few things, the circus of ineptitude that the GOP has become (13 candidates in a primary? Really?), combined with this movement toward far right-wing ultra-conservatism created a situation wherein a bold and outspoken populist could rise to the top, even if that populist was the likes of The Donald. And like fat on gravy, rise he did. In fact the only ones who acted surprised by his win were the GOP leaders, and I have wonder why they seem so taken off guard as their other nominees sucked too; Bush, Carson, and Lyin’ Ted to name a few, even Fiorina disappointed in the end.
Then we have the Dems, anyone who didn’t see Hillary winning this nomination from as far back as 2012 is blind, I called it when she lost to Obama in 2008. Uncle Bernie, for as nice as he seems to be, was never intended to be a real candidate, nor was that other guy (bonus points if you can remember his name). How can we forget Bernie’s near cheerleading for Hillary and kid glove “attacks” in the early debates? The biggest surprise of that race was the millenials love affair with Sanders the socialist septuagenarian; even he seemed taken aback, but compared to the long line of scandals (and bodies, if the internet conspiracy mills are to be believed) that seem to follow the Clintons, is it really any wonder so many saw Bernie as “Bae”?
But the primaries are long gone, rigged as they may have been, and our turds have floated to the top of the cess pool. How do you decide when you really don’t like either choice: The Washington Dirty Democrat or the Wanna-be Mob Boss Republican? Simple, it comes down to the issues of all things, what each candidate and respective party claims to stand for. In Trump’s case, however, I’m not sure party politics even matter as the Republicans can’t seem to control their candidate any better than they did their primaries. Hillary is certainly the more moderate of the two: pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, pro-immigration, seems to be against taxes on the middle class, pro-Obamacare, pro-Planned Parenthood but sadly anti-gun (more on that in a later post). Trump is the polar opposite and that, combined with his pro-fundamentalist-Christian agenda, insane anti-vax rhetoric and climate change conspiracy notions make him an enemy of not just atheists but common sense itself. Pence is no better, according to Right Wing Watch (rightwingwatch.org) Pence spoke out against evolution in 2002 (see video here: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/flashback-mike-pence-delivers-entire-speech-denying-evolution/), Pence supported the war in Iraq, lacks foreign affairs experience and is at odds with Trump himself on several key issues according to a Washington Post article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/07/18/six-pence-problems/?utm_term=.e0fbb460ad79).
So what’s a good atheist to do? I can’t answer for you, but it looks like I’ll have be Tuesday Morning Blue come 11-8, when I have to turn that lever for Hillary. Although I’m still not sure “I’m with her” as much as “I’m not with him”.