My world is already split in two. Most of my Internet friends lean liberal, and most of my real life friends are conservatives. I vacillate between perspectives, and sometimes, opt out, in frustration of a broken system.
Please, pull back from the fray for a moment. Let’s get an aerial drone shot of what is happening in American politics.
We are fed up with the system. We are tired of inequality and economic hardship to the point of despair. People feel oppressed and unheard, while our federal government is locked in paralyses. Chaos is brewing in multiple regions of the globe that causes us to feel we are on the brink of something much worse.
The popularity of our leading candidates for president is a knee jerk reaction to those conditions and feelings.
Therefore among the most popular candidates, we have….
A narcissistic, billionaire, reality television personality, who says outlandish things that appeal to peoples’ fears, paranoia, and hate, things that would sink anyone’s campaign in more normal times. He promises to make America great again, somehow. We don’t know how, but he can be very entertaining. His qualifications are his wealth, his supposed business acumen, and, well, that’s it.
A person with has a lengthy government insider’s resume, who has walked on the edge of legality for decades, and has been, along with her husband, mired in serial scandals for most of her public life. She thinks she should be the first woman president so she can continue the policies of the current administration that presides over this long season of American discontent. Most Americans don’t trust her, but she has been rebranded.
A brilliant, soft-spoken, retired neurosurgeon, who is courting religious and social conservatives, but says something really offbeat every now and then. As he is more scrutinized, parts of his biography are uncollaborated, or refuted. His qualifications? He’s a really good brain surgeon. He promises to “Heal, inspire, and revive.”
An elderly socialist who yells at the television camera as he proposes things that many Americans would like to see happen, like free higher education for everyone, and less income inequality. They will never happen, as he proposes, because it would be a cataclysmic change for our government and economy. Most of what he proposes, we simply have no way to pay for. But like grumpy, old Santa Claus, he keeps promising to hand goodies out to the kiddies. He will worry about the charge card bill later.
And that’s the best we can do?