The presidential political season is in full swing. I resist the temptation to shout, but anyone who grew up with Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, knows exactly what I want to yell. And the smile this thought gives me is part of the overall good feeling I have about this season.*
American Politics seems to be alive and well. The stakes have never been higher. Deeply passionate feelings and hungry candidates are vying for votes. There is deep discontent in America and with good reason. Problems only seem exacerbated in the current climate of a paralyzed partisan Washington. Americans feel great pressure; threats abound from the outside world and within our borders. Divisiveness in the government has brought governance to a grinding halt. But the beacon of hope is that our system permits, even encourages debate- often raucous and vociferous debate and the capacity to make a change. The system, our system, is one of the few places where such a process is encouraged. In our recent history however, there has not been too little demand for accountability and change.
On the eve of “Super Tuesday” it appears that the Democrats will likely nominate Hillary Clinton and the Republicans Donald Trump. This is after a series of knock down drag out fights to whittle the Republicans and Democrat fields down to the nominees. Town halls, debates, shouting matches and personal visits by the candidates have given the people a chance to speak in primary votes and caucuses.
Interestingly, one of our worst fears has not come true. Many feared the Citizens United opinion would drive such lively debate out of the system. The money would overwhelm the speech of the common American. Refuting this most notably is the failure of Jeb Bush to win. Ironically, it is the common American that has propelled a rich man to the Republican nomination.
We the People have not had our final say. That occurs on November 8, 2016 as we go to the ballot box and exercise the sacred right/rite of voting. All of us need to exercise this privilege to decide who will serve as President of the United States. Those seeking power know the stakes are high and will use almost any means to get the necessary votes. It will be up to us the voters to decide which one of the starkly different candidates we will choose. The office of President then will be transferred peaceably to the one that we have selected. Only with our participation and then the on-going demand for accountability will the new President fulfill our will. It is time for all, particularly the frustrated and the often silent, to join the epic fight for our democracy. First each must cast a vote and then each must to continue to demand that our voices be heard in the halls of power.
Trump or Clinton; A government Of, By, and For the People or a government for special interests, the choice still remains ours. And if we exercise our power, I will continue to feel pretty good.
* It’s Wabbit Season!