The 2016 presidential race will forever be known as the "Trick-or-Treat Election."
The trick is on us, and the treat goes to whichever candidate tricks us into electing them president of the United States.
It almost seems that we are at the end of the road here in America; the end of an era. Or at least, at a fork in the road. Our government system of checks and balances has worn down like an old brake drum-lining and we are rolling forward, downhill, out of control without any brakes.
How is it that our system has produced two such despicable frontrunner candidates like Hillary Clinton and, especially, Donald Trump—both voted the most unfavorable, disliked, mistrusted, incompetent, corrupt individuals to ever stand behind a podium in public, and in front of the American flag?
Honestly, this is about us, not them. They are who they are and who they will always be: Halloween monsters and goblins hiding behind their masks of gold and the flags of our fathers.
I mean, really, how much of this can we put up with? The system dishes it out, big media feeds it to us, we choke it down and we're loving every second. We seem to be mixing our insatiable appetite for entertainment with the serious business of running the country. It's scary. This has all become an international joke, and the joke's on us.
Trick or treat!
In a joint poll by The Washington Post and SurveyMonkey published last month, Trump led in the Beehive State with 34 percent over Clinton's 27, but that could change given Trump's latest "locker room banter." Mark Button, political science department chair at the University of Utah, notes an "aggregate measure of Republican dissatisfaction" regarding Trump. He continues, "While it is suddenly conceivable to think that the belated Republican abandonment of Trump might produce a narrow electoral victory for Hillary Clinton ... I hope that Utah's importance in this presidential election cycle will extend beyond election day by helping a once proud and dignified Republican party find its lost moral center of gravity."
See Trump is right about "law and order" in America and perhaps our over-the-top desire for political correctness. He's right about our crumbling infrastructure and lucrative government contracts that feed both the politicians and big business. He is correct about certain immigration issues and all the other problems in our country he points out. I don't care that he talks off the top of his head; he is expressing real emotions and concerns. If you listen between the lines, he has something to say.
The only problem is that he is a thin-skinned 6-year-old in grown-up clothing, and spends as much time on business as he does on sex, lies and hateful tweets—maybe more. This is not good. I don't care how right he is about some of the problems in our country; I don't trust that he'll be consistent and focused enough on correcting them.
Hillary is correct in her righteous mantra of caring for people. The social issues of poverty, unemployment, opportunity and immigration are all evident and understandable.
The next president must be sensitive to these problems and must act in the tradition of American empathy to address these topics with intelligence, sympathy and fairness.
But I can see and understand these issues for myself; I don't need someone continually reiterating these observations and making a living off talking about it; I expect a president to actually do something about it.
Clinton's experience in public office has hurt her more than helped her. I don't see that she has really accomplished much. She appears to be on the government payroll for life, and that's easy street. It's easy to fake it on easy street, and on Wall Street as well. Just keep talking, smiling and chalking up those air miles.
Bill is an issue, even though it's his wife running. The Clinton Foundation is a problem. Benghazi is a problem. The emails are a problem. They all point to arrogance, privilege, bad judgement and dishonesty.
Trick or treat!
Here's the real trick: It's all constitutional, legal and politically correct. It's sponsored by corporate America, promoted by the media and sanctioned by the government.
So, where do we go from here? Do we take the road less traveled, or go down the same old path?
Three weeks from now, we have an election decision to make as a country—our free country—and no one is happy with the choices. A tie is not a decision; it's a cancellation. But is it truly a tie if 50 percent of the population isn't voting? No. So, the key is for all Americans to get out and vote. It's your only chance. It has to be done with decisive action on your part. Even if you write in a candidate, your vote says something and counts toward the ultimate winner. It will be the undecided and the apathetic who will turn the vote and influence the outcome.
It's the only way we can beat the system at its own game.
Trick or treat!
John Kushma is a Logan-based communication consultant. Send feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org