SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 - HARRIS, NEW YORK
Dumb and Dumber: The choice is awful, but it's anti-American
Like many other Americans, I’m really frustrated with the upcoming choice of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president.
Why? From the start, they were surely not the best candidates for the job.
Also, this election has been extremely contemptuous in its negative tone and the hostile demeanor of both candidates.
Each day brings a new round of stupid statements and actions by the candidates that makes you at best very skeptical about voting for either one of them.
Bottom Line: There’s been an scary void of common sense, intelligence, and vision from either candidate of how to fix America in this 2016 presidential election.
It’s just not me. Poll after poll shows that Americans are very dissatisfied with both Trump and Clinton, with many feeling that both are not qualified to be President.
One analyst put it this way: “Among the most remarked-upon aspects of this presidential election is the fact the two major party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are the two candidates with the highest unfavorable ratings since modern polling was invented. The standard explanation for their dismal ratings is that they are both flawed candidates.”
For me, this universal feeling of deep skepticism was put best in a crude sarcastic way in a recent episode of South Park when a Gallup pollster comes to the door of the character Randy and asks “will you be voting for the Giant Douche or the Turd Sandwich?”
I was expressing my angst to my wise, 87 year old father the other day after we talked about how stupid Hillary’s idiotic remark that “Half of Donald Trump’s Supporters Are in ‘Basket of Deplorables” was and the absurdity of how suddenly Trump believes that President Obama was born in Hawaii.
I said “It’s like they are having a competition who can say the most stupid comment to rile up voters.”
“Yep, this race is just between “Dumb and Dumber,” replied my dad.
In a 2014 article in Psychology Today entitled “Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down" of America,” its author Ray Williams began the piece by stating: “There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility."
This presidential race is a true reflection of that dumbing down trend in a country obsessed with reality TV and scurrilous Internet behavior - the result being that if either unqualified candidate wins, America loses.
This election, a lot of people I talk to are thinking about not going to the polls in November-and for the first time in my life, I have thought about it too.
But I’m going to the polls, no matter what.
My mother, who survived the Holocaust and immigrated to the US after World War II, constantly told me growing up that going to vote, no matter the choice, is the most important thing I could do as an American citizen.
Voting is not only a right, but an obligation.
“If you don’t like a candidate in a race, just skip that particular race, even if it means just going into the voting booth, pushing no levers in any race, and registering your vote not to vote as a protest,” she told me.
She was right (of course).
Although I have never not voted a presidential election, I may opt for the first time to cast that protest vote, not penciling in any bubbles in the presidential race this year.
I might shoot that voting blank-and it will count for something other than a vote for a presidential candidate.
It may be the only way of sending my message that I’m tired of Dumb and Dumber encompassing Washington and American politics and governance.