Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the least despicable of them all? …
Well, the campaign is in its final stretch. We can be sure that probably well over 90% of what we will see, hear and read in the media between now and November 8, whether in news and commentary or in paid advertisements, will be four things: 1) each candidate trying to convince us that the other candidate is more despicable than he/she is [thereby making him/her the least despicable, and therefore the better choice]; 2) poll results showing who is “ahead” [with heavy focus on “swing states”]; 3) fact-checking and “interpretation” stemming from statements the candidates make and/or newly uncovered evidence of their shortcomings; and 4) talking head pundits, from their vast pool of knowledge and wisdom, telling us, the ordinary people who need their wise counsel, what all of this means.
Wouldn’t it be great if the technology existed to weed out all the “voting for Trump [or his party] no matter what” and “voting for Clinton [or her party] no matter what” voters and just do targeted advertising [through social media, snail mail, email, blogs, etc.] to people who are likely to vote but are still trying to figure out how they should vote. That would spare the 2/3 of us who are more decisive from being “road kill” in the wake of billions of dollars being spent on negative broadcast ads and force the pain of those ads onto the 1/3 of voters who can actually be swayed by them — but who, I’m sorry to say, will probably determine whether our next president is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump [or more importantly, whether the Democrat Party ideology (platform) or the Republican Party ideology (platform) will guide the direction of our country].
There is an important “undercurrent” in all of the media buzz going on this week since NBC’s release just prior to the October 9 debate of the vulgar and disgusting 1995 videotape of a Trump discussion with one of its show hosts. It should be obvious to anybody watching or listening to almost any news/commentary show, or reading almost any newspaper or magazine, that most of the entire media world is heavily liberal-leaning at best, or completely in the tank for Hillary Clinton at worst. Rapidly-growing and equally damaging and derogatory information about Clinton during that exact same time period [scandal after scandal, newly released emails, etc.] gets little coverage [if any mention at all], but every detail any reporter can muster about that one thing about Trump is plastered across front pages of newspapers and scrolled across TV screens as “breaking news”.
A Special Note To Women
Before I move on to my continuing emphasis on why this is a critical election and why our votes in it need to be for parties, not necessarily for the people at the top of their tickets, there’s something I’d like to say to people — particularly women — who are so disgusted with Trump’s remarks in the 1995 video that they are really struggling with voting for him even though they are more closely aligned with his party’s platform than they are with Clinton’s party’s platform. I do not in any way want to seem insensitive to those people [again, particularly those among them who are women] in the remarks I will make here or in future posts to this blog. I fully understand how deeply some people, particularly women — and even more particularly women who have personally experienced that kind of interaction with men — may feel about the remarks Trump made. But this is a time when all of us need to make our thoughts about our country more important than our thoughts about ourselves and our personal feelings.
Let’s Keep Focused On What’s At Stake
Let me re-emphasize at this point how important it is that voters in this country focus on what is at stake in this election — at this critical juncture in our history, we have an opportunity before us to choose between two diametrically opposed ideologies, the tenets of which are expressed in the platforms of the Democrat and Republican parties [Democrat Party Platform; Republican Party Platform]. We cannot afford to let ourselves get focused on the shortcomings of either candidate, because both of them are equally undesirable. It’s not about how we as individuals “feel”, regardless of how validly-based we believe our disdain for either or both candidates may be; it’s about the future we will be building for our children and grandchildren.
In previous posts to this blog [which can be read by simply scrolling down from here — they are in reverse chronological order (most recent to oldest)], I have spelled out in considerable detail the rationale for the fact that all possible scenarios that could exist on November 9 [the day after Election Day] will ultimately result in the ideological choice I’ve described here — and people who vote for anyone other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton [or who don’t vote] will have unwittingly voted for one of these two candidates — and it’s impossible for them to predict in advance which of the two they will have unwittingly voted for!
⇒ Think about that. People who, in protest because of their disgust for the candidate on the ticket of the party with which they are most closely aligned ideologically, vote for anyone other than Clinton or Trump — or don’t vote at all — may be unwittingly actually voting FOR the candidate that is the source of their disgust!
So let’s step away from all the media hype and just look at what we actually know about each candidate’s shortcomings [i.e., not at how these shortcomings are characterized in the media — as Sgt. Friday of the 1950s Dragnet TV series would say, “Just the facts, Ma’am”]. I decided to list out in tabular form several issues [lying, corruption, derogatory remarks about entire segments of the U. S. population, etc.], and just put “yes” or “no” in each candidate’s column as to whether that issue or accusation applies to him or her [based on verifiable facts, not media characterizations]. You can look at the table at this link: Clinton-Trump Comparison. What does this tell us? Nothing we couldn’t have figured out for ourselves by just ignoring media characterizations and filtering out “just the facts”: a) both of these candidates have serious personal character flaws; b) there is suspicion about the business dealings of both of them; and c) neither is the profile of person most of us would like to see occupying the Oval Office. That is exactly why we must put our personal likes and dislikes of the candidates [the people at the top of the two tickets] aside and vote for the party whose platform most closely meshes with our own worldview.
So if you’re considering a “protest vote” for somebody other than Trump or Clinton, or just not voting, consider this: check the “party ticket” item in the voting booth to vote for the entire slate of candidates in races in your precinct for the party with whose platform/ideology you most closely identify. Maybe that will mitigate whatever stigma you may attach to casting your vote for the person at the top of that party’s ticket — and you will have 1) done your country a service and 2) made yourself feel better by not specifically checking the box by a candidate you can’t bring yourself to vote for as a person.
In my next post, I’ll explore what I think is an interesting — perhaps unique since I haven’t observed any expression of it in the media — perspective on all the hype about how “devastating” recent revelations about Trump have been to his presidential campaign.
Charles M. Jones