Thursday, August 11, 2016

What will we talk about on Nov. 9?

This general election season, especially with Hillary Clinton running against Donald Trump for the presidency, has promised to be to be entertaining and it’s certainly been that.

But of course, like all campaigns, it will end in November. And then what will we do?

If recent history is any guide, people will still be fuming that their person won’t get to the White House. And that’s sad because we have only one president per country.

It also speaks to the focus on the presidential race; while certainly important, we also need to consider the “down-ballot” races, for Congress, both in the House and Senate.

And here I’ll say that the only way we’ll have any substantive change — assuming that’s what people want—is if Secretary Clinton wins. And it will have little or nothing to do with her.

Why? Because of all the candidates she’s the only one with coattails — that is to say, people voting for her will also likely vote for House and Senate Democrats. Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson don’t have that kind of pull, and numerous other Republicans are running away from Trump due to his intemperate statements. (Of course Trump supporters are already complaining that the media are giving him a raw deal. If you’re one of those, give it a rest because it isn’t true.)

I guess it reminds me just how many people wrongly put their trust in the presidency to enact substantive change. Yes, he (or, come next year, likely she) does have a lot of power but needs to work with Congress to get anything done. Trump said at the Republican National Convention said that he alone understood the system and thus could push his program through, which said plenty.

That being said, however, over the past few cycles families have been divided and friendships lost over politics, which ironically should represent compromise. It will be sad to see if we’re unable to pick up the pieces come Nov. 9.

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