Voting For The Lesser Of Two “Evils”

The 2016 Presidential Election could turn into the election of someone voters  simply dislike less that the opponent. According to political commentators, Mark Shields and David Brooks, if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue their name calling, particularly claiming the other is unfit to be President, whomever wins will receive no mandate from the voters to do anything.

Shields observed the traditional “honeymoon” will last about 24 hours and then the partisan food fight will resume.

With Congressional gridlock, government shutdowns and Congress’ wholesale refusal to approve Presidential appointments, Americans have already seen the dark side of partisan politics. How could a Hillary Clinton victory bring worse Congressional behavior?

IMO, Shields and Brooks have identified the wrong source of concern. For sure a President Clinton might appoint department officials and nominate department heads and judicial members who Republicans do not like (a Supreme Court nominee being the most loathsome for the GOP). But this prerogative follows centuries old practices (not to mention how the Constitution prescribes). If the GOP wins the Presidency, they will get to nominate whomever they prefer.  If Clinton wins, she should be accorded the same privileges. This follows America’s sense of fairness.

Barack Obama received clear mandates in 2008 and 2012 only to have Republicans immediately repudiated his mandates.  The GOP claimed voters elected Republicans to Governorships and Congress and in doing so made clear President Obama had no “mandate”. This Republican twisted logic ignores the fact that President Obama ran and won nationally while governors, representatives, and senators all run on much narrower geographic areas.

Why should anyone, then, expect that a winning President Clinton would suddenly enjoy a bi-partisan thinking Congress?

Voters do have a basis, other than the fitness of the other candidate upon which to make a choice. Both candidates have issued position papers (what they will try to do if elected) and both candidates are running on a Party Platform. Voters should pay attention to what each Party and each candidate advocates while assuming that for most issues gridlock will prevent implementation of either candidate’s promises.

  • Does it make sense to promise deportation of 11 million or does it make more sense to document them all and turn them into tax paying residents with a eventual path to citizenship?
  • Does it make sense to demonize women who seek to end unwanted pregnancies when if these women had the means they could obtain a legal abortion quietly, or does it makes more sense to promote family planning education and the ready availability of means to prevent pregnancy in the first place?
  • Does it make sense, during a period of enormous and growing income inequality to promise tax cuts which further exaggerate the economic difference between the top 1% and the rest of Americans, or does it make more sense to eliminate loopholes favoring the wealthiest Americans in order to pay for new infrastructure spending programs?
  • Is it a legitimate right, based upon religious freedom, for individuals to discriminate in public against others, or is religious freedom a right restricted to ones personal beliefs?
  • Is it a privilege for all Americans to receive emergency medical care only in hospital emergency rooms, or is affordable basic healthcare, including non-emergency preventive healthcare, a right of all Americans.

This election is about far more than picking the lesser of two evils. For many “headline” voters, who go no further than information contained in negative TV ads, they may indeed settle on choosing the lesser of two evils.

If polls continue to point to Hillary Clinton, her election will put the power of the White House behind comprehensive immigration reform, women’s right to choose, progressive tax rates, religious freedom but not in the public square, and the goal of recognizing healthcare as a right.

A majority of voting Americans have basically affirmed these positions for the past two Presidential elections. Should Hillary Clinton win this November, isn’t about time to honor the tradition of “majority rules” and for Congress to dial in the national vote and temper their personal views?

Explore posts in the same categories: 2016 Presidential election, Barack Obama, congress, Democratic Party, Donald Trump, GOP, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Republican Party, Uncategorized

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