How did we get here?

This election is making me cry

Growing up, I was taught that your presidential preference was a private matter. It really isn’t anyone’s business who you voted for, so you should just keep that information to yourself. I get the concern. I really do. You don’t want anyone to bully you into voting for someone you don’t support. Announcing your political preferences could impact your employment. Even though that kind of stuff is supposed to be illegal, it could happen. And there’s always the chance of losing friends over politics. It’s stupid. I know. But it happens. A lot. So I’ve generally kept quiet during election season.

So I hope you understand how uncomfortable this makes me. Yes, I’ve hinted before at my displeasure with candidate choices – I even joked about running for governor earlier this year – but I don’t think I’ve ever come out and used this platform to discuss who I was voting for or against. That was too private. Besides, my choice might offend someone. And that’s the last thing I want to do. Being offended? It’s no fun. It’s also no fun doing the offending. So I’ve sat back and stayed quiet. I can’t stay quiet anymore.

This presidential election makes me weep.

There. I said it. I know some of you are ardently for Mr. Trump. Others of you proudly say “I’m with her.” Me? I listen to the mudslinging and the pettiness and the name-calling and the fear-mongering and the intellectual dishonesty and the patently false accusations and the intimidation and the mind numbing rhetoric coupled with refusal to listen to anyone from the other side from the two most unpopular presidential candidates ever (EVER!!) and I wonder,

“How on earth did we get here?”

I really don’t know. But it makes me weep. It makes me weep when I hear one candidate say whatever is necessary to get elected. And then I hear the other candidate say whatever it takes to get elected. It makes me cry when I see venom spewed online. It’s not just directed at the candidates, but it’s also at their supporters. Nobody’s listening to each other. Everyone is just trying to shout down the other side, screaming louder and louder, refusing to pay attention to anything.

Anything.

And this is for the two most unpopular candidates ever?

What are we doing to each other?

I assume some of this has to do with the way we tie our political parties to our beliefs. Since there are only two major parties, American politics has become an “us vs. them.” You’re either for me and my party, or you’re against me and my party. I don’t see how anyone is supposed to get anything done at all with such a polarized attitude. And don’t point fingers when you read this. Both Republican and Democrat supporters are doing this.

So with this “if you’re not for my party, you’re against my party” type of attitude, the shouting begins. Then the mudslinging. And the vitriol. And the hatred. Then we forget that the “other” side is made up of Americans. They care about our country just as much as “we” do. So we build up these walls between the two parties, between “us” and “them” and  support anyone “our” side puts forth as a candidate. Because “my” candidate isn’t “their” candidate. And “my” candidate will win and make America greater (or great, depending on who’s saying what) again.

I had a teacher in high school tell us once that her father was a staunch Democrat. He was such a dedicated Democrat, that he would vote for any candidate the party would put forth. He said he’d even vote for the devil, as long as he had a (D) by his name.

I thought that was a little extreme when I heard it. But we’re not too far off from that now. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Trump is the devil. I’m not saying Hillary is the antichrist. I highly doubt either one of them smells like sulfur.

I’d say these two are more like clowns, but clowns are already getting a bad rap right now.

And people are voting for them. Blindly. Because Hillary is not Donald and Donald is not Hillary. How messed up is that?

That’s entertainment?

And then there’s the debates. Don’t get me started on those. Are any of you actually listening to what they’re saying? Or are you just looking for “gotcha” moments you can turn into a meme? Do you really care about a proper discussion of ideas? Or are you simply looking for more reasons to justify why you’ve chosen the winning side? Are the debates merely entertainment now? That’s twisted. But if that’s the case, then pass the popcorn. It’s only the future of our republican democracy that hangs in the balance. So let’s focus on The Donald’s hair or Hillary’s cackle. Because those are the things that really matter.

I thought we were better than this.

I hoped we were better than this.

Are we better than this?

These presidential debates make me weep.

I didn’t even bother watching the second round of debates. And I still wept. All I had to do was look at my facebook news feed or my twitter timeline. Nobody was really listening to what the opponent was truly saying. They were just looking for reasons to prop up their own candidate. Or maybe they were watching simply for entertainment value.

So we have the two most unpopular presidential candidates in the history of the United States because we want to watch the debates turn into train wrecks? Because that’s what this election season has become. A train wreck. I wish we could hit a restart button. Or vote “none of the above.”

While I’m close to a decision about who to vote for, I’m not quite there yet. I can tell you this, though: I am not voting for Hillary Clinton. And I am not voting for Donald Trump.

No way.

Uh uh.

Not on your life.

Their candidacies make me weep. 

So voting for them would be…oh…what’s the word…?

Deplorable.

What’s an upstanding citizen to do in a situation like this? I might have an answer. Then again, I might not. I’ll be sure to share whatever conclusion I come up with. Because I have a feeling that I’m not alone in this conundrum.

*You’re welcome to comment on this post. But you have to be nice. If you’re going to try to convince me to vote for a candidate, make sure you’re actually talking about reasons to vote for the candidate. “Trump isn’t Hillary” or “Hillary isn’t Trump” isn’t good enough. I will delete anything that comes close to name calling or trash talking. Or better yet, I might edit your comment and make it link to the *other* candidate’s site. Let’s keep this civil, friends. Got it?

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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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