Columnists, Election 2016, Opinion, Upon Further Review

Not smitten with your candidate? Vote anyway

To my fellow liberals:

This election season has been shocking and disheartening. It’s hard to recall an election when the American public was so dissatisfied and disillusioned with its choices for the presidency.

But I think one of the most disturbing ways that this election has laid bare the collective American mind is how far voters are willing to go to dismiss or flat out erase the wrongdoings of their parties. American citizens have bought wholesale into partisan politics, and many of them have proven that they are willing to completely dismiss truth, facts and basic decency for the sake of rationalizing their irrational commitment to their party.

Here’s the reality in this election season: there are no “good guys.” No matter how desperately any enthusiastically partisan American wants to believe that they stand on the side of the angels, every step of this election cycle has proven such an idea to be fantasy.

I am voting for Hillary Clinton. Do I “believe” in Hillary Clinton? No. Do I trust Hillary Clinton? No. Do I think Hillary Clinton feels she is beholden to a discernible moral code with which I can agree? Again, no. Furthermore, do I believe in, agree with or trust the Democratic Party? No, no and absolutely not.

However, I am still voting for the Democrat this election. Why? Because, unfortunately, she is the better choice. There really is no contest. But my distrust remains.

And yet, there seems to be a substantial corner of the voting public who can’t simply be content to vote for the better option. They have to love their candidate. They have to buy what they’re selling. They essentially create fictionalized versions of these politicians whom they have never once met to maintain that fiction; Joe Biden the crazy, charming old uncle. Tim Kaine the friendly, helpful neighbor. Barack Obama the warm father to a nation.

None of these idealized pictures of these politicians are based on meaningful facts. These fabrications about powerful strangers make us feel good about throwing ourselves wholesale into their camps and unleashing “righteous” wrath upon our opponents.

This election, vote for the truth. Don’t vote for Hillary because you think of her as an affectionate grandmother. Hillary Clinton is not your grandmother and she’s not your friend. Vote for policies. Vote for who you believe is best for this nation based on facts, not fantasies. You don’t have to be smitten by a politician to cast a vote in his or her favor.

Andrew Allen is a senior majoring in communications. Upon Further Review runs alternate Thursdays.

November 2, 2016

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