Clowns To The Left of Me, Jokers To The Right

By Susan Kuebler

This farce known as the Presidential Election of 2016 cannot end soon enough. The Republican Party, better known now as the Party of Trump is “a tale told by an idiot, filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The Democrat Party, represented by Hillary Clinton, epitomizes “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And America is stuck in the middle again.

Guess what Donald and Hillary? Most Americans don’t consider themselves as alt-right conservatives or social justice warriors. Most of us are hard-working people who want a better life for ourselves and our children. We want a world where the bodies of babies aren’t dug out of the rubble of bombed hospitals. We want to see the people in charge of our government leading us, not just by words, but by example. We want our institutions engaged in doing what is best for us, for America, not scoring petty points against perceived “enemies.” Is it any wonder that Congress now has the lowest favorability ratings in history?

There is nothing wrong with reaching a middle ground. Henry Clay said, “Politics is the art of compromise.” America is not asking you to compromise basic principles, but for crying out loud, when party dogma becomes essential doctrine, something has gone seriously awry. There was a time when members of Congress could disagree about an issue, but still go out for a drink together afterwards. When was civility replaced with hostility? When were our national interests reduced to a “winner takes all” mentality? When did a “nuclear option” become part of Senate debate?

This election has exposed the dark underbelly of both political parties. Trump, in his narcissistic campaign for our highest elected office, has declared war, not only on Democrats, but on the Republican Party itself. Win or lose, and it looks more and more like lose, Trump seems hell bent on the destruction of the party that nominated him. Clinton, in her coldly calculating campaign for the nomination, allowed Bernie Sanders to draw her further to the left than Leon Trotsky. John F. Kennedy himself would not be welcomed in today’s Democrat Party.

There is a lot of room between Pepe the Frog and Benghazi. Room that millions of Americans occupy. People who are disgusted by blatant dog whistles to racism and storing classified information on a home-brew private server. People who deserve to be heard. People who deserve to be respected and represented. People wandering in a political wilderness with no promised land in sight.

Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be our next president. That is the harsh reality America faces. Third-party options might sooth the conscience but won’t decide the election. No matter who is elected, the next four years could see the end of politics as we know it. Which may prove to be the best thing that comes out of this election.

America does deserve another choice. Perhaps from the shattered remains of this election, a new party could arise. One which does not need a loyalty oath and welcomes people who put country before party. Maybe a newcomer like Evan McMullin might be the person to lead this new party. Or one of the many leaders who have been disenfranchised by the apparatchiks of both the Republican and Democrat parties will emerge from the debris.

Until that time, a pox on both your houses.

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