Two Candidates, No Good Options

graphic by <span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Fia/" title="View all of this person's work">"Fia</a></span>

graphic by Fia Miller

As we stand, there is a little over a month until the presidential election, which is possibly the most consequential day of the political year. The Real Clear Politics polling average has Clinton currently leading Trump by about 1.5 percent. Though this seems tight, Clinton is favored to win because of her wide lead in swing states—the few states that actually matter electorally. This is because of a process called gerrymandering, in which politicians, who have more love for party politics than respect for our democratic system, draw up the electoral districts to make it easier for their party to retain power.

Though I consider myself strongly against Trump, like one in four Americans, I am also still not satisfied with Clinton. In fact, the growing number of centrists like myself feels let down. The Republican establishment capitulated on its tenets of free trade, fiscal responsibility, and strong handling of Russia. On the other hand, the Democratic Party did not promote a competitive race and, instead, opted for a coronation of the former first lady. Secretary Clinton has repeatedly proven to make poor choices—her private email server being an example—has transparency issues, and holds up several foreign policy gaffes, such as the disaster in Libya, as “experience.”  These are not even her biggest problems, for despite having proven a savvy political navigator, she is divisive.

Our country desperately needs a uniter, not someone whose current favorability ratings dwarf her favorables by 13 percent on Real Clear Politics polling averages. Unfortunately, instead of being the leaders they should be, both presidential candidates are fanning the flames of the fire to force people out of their houses and to the polls. Clinton’s claim that half of Trump’s supporters are “deplorables” (i.e. racist, sexist, and homophobic), while maybe true, puts anyone supporting the bloviating businessman on the defensive.

To be fair, I am critical of her because I am supporting her. Compared to Trump, Secretary Clinton is a very respectable candidate. To quote Bane from The Dark Knight Rises, Clinton’s campaign merely adopted fear-based partisan politicking, while Trump’s campaign was born in it. His announcement speech attacked illegal immigrants and his convention rant focused on convincing viewers that America is “third-world” (obviously, he has not spent enough time in third-world countries). Furthermore, he has called the former Secretary of State “the devil” and a “world-class liar”—strong words for someone he invited to his third and latest wedding.

All that said, our country will endure. We have survived World Wars, a civil war, and terrorist attacks. Though we may be currently be divided, we have a knack for pulling ourselves together when it matters, reminding ourselves that our states are united by our devotion to the principles that make us American: democracy, egalitarianism, and freedom.

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