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  • Steven Kurlander


The Legacy of the 2016 Election: Wishing it would end already By Steven Kurlander If you ask most Americans, they will tell you they can’t wait for this year’s presidential election to be over. The 2016 presidential campaign has been one with no decorum or class - a very dirty, vicious political race. It has exasperated an already overblown antipathy toward American politics and those who govern us. Americans have a choice of Donald Trump, who has based his voter appeal on callous and reckless rhetoric designed to exploit the average voter’s frustrations, or Hillary Clinton, a 1990’s leftover who along with the Democratic National Committee really did rig the primary results against a more popular, and more electable Bernie Sanders. It’s been a demoralizing experience for an American electorate that is angry that they weren’t really given a decent choice of presidential candidates to choose from, a  “Gotcha” race highlighted by three terrible debates where the candidates got really nasty and personal about each other’s character and fitness to be president.   But you can’t superficially critique this race simply as a very nasty race between two very angry, unpopular candidates.   Much like our mean and nasty American culture itself has evolved as a result of unfettered freedoms afforded by social media, we are correspondingly enduring a unsophisticated and vicious brand of free-for-all reality politics governed less and less by the parties, the candidates, and even the SuperPacs too. The press is much to blame. With Trump making it a point from the start to confront the media as biased - both liberal and conservative outlets alike - Americans have been subjected to continuous vicious anti-Trump headlines and news framed to put him in a very bad light. As the election draws to a close, many outlets are already absurdly declaring a landslide victory for Clinton - so the election news and polling by these organizations surely can’t be trusted to be accurate to say the least. Unlike previous elections, the Fourth Estate has shown no pretext of impartiality in their hostility, contempt, and bias toward him and their reporting and the analysis of the race in 2016. In turn, the rogue Wikileaks has established itself as the anti-Clinton premier source by using illegally obtained and hacked information to feed biased information to Americans. So Americans are frustrated that they can’t trust what news, the context of such information, and polling information they are getting about the election from this biased media. Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have also been horrible sites of contention and rudeness, where patrons of both sides, and Donald Trump too, have exposed the electorate to uncontrolled hostility and venom on a 24-7 basis. The rise of Donald Trump as the GOP presidential candidate and the strong showing (and real victory) of Bernie Sanders also highlighted the impotency of the Democratic and Republican parties. Even if Hillary wins, this election could be the beginning of the end of the two party system in this country in many ways.  That’s not only discouraging to Americans, but scary too. Bottom Line: This election has unfortunately set a very low common denominator for the conduct of future presidential races and does not portend well for the future of our nation.    But instead of just wishing for the election to take place already, maybe there should be something for Americans to look forward to after the election. President Obama should immediately declare November 9th as a “National Reconciliation Day” where all Americans can declare their love for their country and for each other. After watching Donald and Hillary brutalize each other these past few months, social media negatively run amok, and the press in turn try to destroy Trump and the Russians through Wikileaks savage Clinton, a national group hug is certainly in order!

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