November 5, 2016

Why choose the lesser of two evils?

Many claim this election is the “most important of our lifetime,” but I am not convinced. I strongly believe 2020 will be much more consequential because voters will lose their confidence in our government. If you are an observer of “social mood,” it is not surprising that this year we are faced with the choice before us: The Politician v. The Outsider.
Hillary Clinton is everything one loves and hates in a politician. She holds herself as a “champion for women, children, and the underserved” while using every means necessary to profit from her (and her husband’s) stature in our society. This election has revealed Clinton’s ability to profit personally from her family’s charity work by selling government favors to foreign contributors. Yes, this may be “legal,” but it does not pass the smell test to me and many Americans are repulsed by her lack of morality.
Donald Trump is simply the vessel to which many Americans are pouring their hatred and disgust for politicians. Evidently, this hatred and disgust are pretty strong since they are willing to overlook the many (and there are many) morally reprehensible displays of disgusting behavior from this man. I do not see the electorate’s rejection of government, and its current out of touch politicians going away anytime soon, but my hope is Mr. Trump will.
No matter who is elected in this cycle, I feel there will be little change in how things operate in Washington. At this point, the way our government has been run for decades will still be the order of the day: more deficits, more inflation, and more (senseless) wars to name a few. Our country needs to understand simple economics: we cannot afford our government any longer. This lack of economic realism can be exhibited by the way our government collects taxes where a small fraction of citizens pay for the majority of government spending (with borrowing making up the difference); this creates the illusion that government services are “free.” Today, less than 15 percent of the population pay for more than 70 percent of all income taxes. If the cost of our government was equally supported by everybody, each would pay $55,000 per year. Do you think you, your family and friends would support our government if we had to pony that up each year? But much of this election has been this discussion of voters wanting more government services: free college, free healthcare, cheap mortgages, etc. This is wrong; we cannot and should not live at the expense of our neighbors. Our government deliberately hides the true cost of our government to our citizens resulting in the mentality: We can simply vote and make someone else pay.
The next president may have different approaches, as each has campaigned on,  but I believe both potential candidates will utilize the government to “fix” our problems. This will cast the die for the next four years and sow the seeds for our country to ultimately lose confidence in our government. This will be more painful than we can imagine, but it will be necessary for us as a nation to realize government was never intended, nor does it belong, central to our lives. Though it will not be fair, whoever is president (and his or her party) will be blamed for this crisis. The consequence will be a rejection of this political party AND the Government in general. These candidates are the result of our society looking to solve our problems through the lens of politics.
At this time, I am NOT voting for either mainstream candidates because by doing so, I am endorsing the way our government is run, and we cannot afford it any longer. If I DO vote, it will be for Independent candidate Gary Johnson. He is a Libertarian, and I strongly believe MORE individual freedom will result in MORE prosperity for our country.
The main consequence of this election is that it will lay the groundwork for the next round in 2020 — assuming America still has elections by then.
Tom Sirois

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