On Tuesday, the American people will make a decision that will affect the course of the next several generations. Tens of millions of people under the age of 40 – and many on the north side of that age – look at that course and see a dead end that concludes in a fiery inferno.
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one that led into the ravine…”
I am one of the more seasoned members of the “millennial” generation and we now outnumber those in the “Baby Boomer” generation. There are nearly 80 million people under the age of 40 in the United States.
The results of this election will not just affect us young whippersnappers for the next four or eight years, or even 10, 15 or 20 years. The direction the country takes in this election will be our course for the next several decades. We’ve only made it, God willing, through half of our lives and the direction our nation takes now will dictate the next half of our lives and nearly the entire lives of our children.
And what did the power structure, the “experienced adults,” our parents give us to choose from – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
What we got was a dumpster fire. Star Wars: Episode I. A flaming bag of dog poo on our front doorstep.
Instead of having a principled choice between two capable leaders who battle to intellectual wits end as to what direction the country should go we got a WWE cage match between “Cheeto Jesus” and Prisoner #33000.
I have been a Republican all my life. Voting for Hillary Clinton was never an option. Donald Trump was the only GOP candidate I would not hold my nose and vote for. But because of a broken system I, and hoards of millennials and millions of Americans, are forced to choose between two candidates both parties knew we would have never pulled the lever for.
Hillary Clinton is the personification of everything that is wrong with our government. Her lust for power has led her and her husband to use and abuse the trust given to them for personal and political gain time and time again. They brazenly skirt the law to their own benefit and to the benefit of their friends. Her recklessness as Secretary of State has put American lives at risk and put the country’s safety in peril.
She is an advocate of a nanny-state government that believes they know better how to run your life than you do. She’s a traditional tax-and-spend government bureaucrat whose interventionist and open-border policies would harm our country for generations.
Voting for Hillary Clinton was never an option.
Donald Trump is the personification of everything that is wrong with our culture. He is a womanizer, a philanderer, a man who believes he can do what he wants, to whoever he wants, simply because he is rich and famous. It’s not that he says crass things, it’s what those crass things mean about him as a man. He uses people solely for their ability to help him, he bullies anyone who doesn’t bow down to the golden Trump idol, and if you get between him and his goal he will destroy you.
Politically, he sails through each side of a position more than a windsurfing John Kerry, his tax and budget plan will add more to the deficit than Clinton, he is a interventionist in foreign policy but a protectionist in domestic policy, and says he knows more about how to defeat ISIS than “the generals.” He is nothing more than a big-government totalitarian from the political right.
Voting for Donald Trump was never an option.
And yet … here we are. Less than a week from Election Day all dressed up with nowhere to go.
This is the dilemma many (I would argue most, but not all) in the largest generation in America are faced with. The choice between death by firing squad or death by drowning. An impossible choice between two unelectable candidates who don’t represent our views of American policy or American values in any way.
What really grinds my gears, as a Republican, is that this should have been an absolute slam dunk. With what we already knew about Clinton and her fatal flaws, her unfavorable ratings, and her email scandal coupled with the recent Wikileaks revelations, almost any Republican candidate would be winning in a landslide. This election would be over. Now.
But, that’s not the case. There were so many Republicans (and other voters) who were preoccupied with not just beating the Clintons, but utterly destroying them, that we lost focus on what matters. It was as if we knew that by burning down the village we hated we would burn down our village in the process, but we just didn’t care.
Trump is not the cause of our strife. He is the symptom. Clinton and the corrupt political establishment that has ignored the people for far too long are to blame. In our society political pendulums always swing from extreme to extreme, never to find rest in the middle. Trump is simply the antithesis to what many see as an ultra-liberal, politically correct, and corrupt government and society. He is just the swinging of the pendulum to the other extreme.
We, the American people, need, nay demand, someone to “upset the applecart,” “blow the system up,” “drain the swamp.” It’s just that Donald Trump is not that someone. And Hillary Clinton has been propping up that system for 30 years.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for my fellow millennials who are facing the same dilemma as I am right now. I know I won’t vote for Clinton and I won’t vote for Trump. But voting for any other candidate seems like a fruitless endeavor.
It is on this most important decision that I, for once, don’t even have advice for myself. Maybe it’s just that I can’t believe this is the choice we are faced with.
We are so much better than this as a country and as a people.
The question now is what will America look like on November 9th? Will we do what we need to do, which is come together, regardless of the outcome? Will we become even more divided and spiral out of control? Will we putter along with a continued corrupt government that feeds itself first?
I’ve got nothing.
What will America look like on November 9th? I don’t know, but I will have to figure out something to tell my children.
And, I’ve cleaned out my inbox waiting for the inevitable emails I am about to receive. I’ll make sure I don’t lose them. And I know you won’t find them on Anthony Weiner’s computer. I don’t think…
Jarrod Weiss is a former Hillsboro school teacher who is now the chief operations officer at the Broadcast Educational Media Commission.