By, Susan Kuebler
In what could easily be one of the most important elections in our history, Americans are facing a near impossible task. Choosing between a flawed, wildly unpopular candidate and a flawed, wildly unpopular candidate. Politicians, pundits, and prophets of doom proclaim their choice should be your choice, because the other option would be so much worse. Voter nervousness has reached levels that should produce record profits for any pharmaceutical company selling anti-anxiety medication.
Voters are right to be concerned. The outcome of this election will not just affect America for the next four years. It could well determine the future of our children and grandchildren. It could determine the fate of the world. This is not hyperbole. This is fact. Never before has our selection of a President been more critical.
On Election Day, ballots in most states will offer a choice between four or five candidates. Write-in candidates are also an option. In reality, there are only two viable candidates on the ballot: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Despite the sincerity of people who hope to deny the election to either of them, in the cold, harsh light of day, America is left with only one choice. Our Hobson’s choice.
The presidency of the United States is not an entry-level job. It is a job that requires at least some experience. Yes, we have elected people before whose qualifications seemed to be limited. Harry Truman was a haberdasher and a party hack. But at least he knew how the game was played, and when the time came, he rose to the occasion.
Hillary Clinton has made some serious mistakes in her career. She is certainly not the most likeable person on the planet. She is not glamorous or glitzy. But neither has she questioned why we haven’t used nuclear weapons as part of our military or foreign policy. She has not favored proliferation of nuclear weapons to countries such as Saudi Arabia. She doesn’t advocate building a wall as a facile solution for our complex immigration issues. Nor does she hold up brutal dictators like Vladimir Putin as examples of good leadership.
Clinton may be dull, but she doesn’t indulge in middle-of-the-night Twitter rants against former beauty queens. Her honesty can be questioned, but she can be trusted with the nuclear codes. And that, whether we like it or not, is what is boils down to. Can we afford to risk electing someone who has shown he has both the temperament and the willingness to start a nuclear war?
The right to vote is one of the most precious gifts Americans possess. It is a right that has been earned through the sacrifice of our military, through the blood of civil right marchers, through the determination of women who would not give up. It is not a right to be ignored or wasted. It must be treasured and used wisely. But this is not the year for “protest” votes. This year we simply cannot afford that luxury.
When you go to the voting booth, vote as though your life depended on it. It very well may.