As the Presidential election winds down, clearly the American people are the losers in this current election cycle.
Presidential elections are meant to surface the country’s needs and for candidates to provide alternative approaches to solving these challenges.
While many presidential elections feature candidates with subtle solutions, some elections such as the present cycle demand starkly different vision for solving outstanding issues.
Never in this century and rarely in the past century have the challenges been more clearly defined.
Almost unprecedented in prior critical year campaigns, they are being ignored and replaced with personal vitriol.
Consumed with slinging personal slurs, neither candidate has succeeded in addressing the key issues facing this nation: the economy and foreign threats.
To be sure, Donald Trump has attempted to push forward his agenda for economic growth. It is apparent by this stage of the campaign, he has been stymied by a mainstream press fixated on his latest gaffe. Media members have failed to give these proposals the review they clearly deserve.
His efforts have been glossed over in favor of examining throwaway quips, often ignored in prior candidates.
At numerous times during this campaign, Trump has sought to focus on a simple fact: most Americans are worse off today than eight years ago.
He has tried to move the dialogue forward on this issue, one he is clearly aligned with the concerns of most voters. If properly examined by the press, Trump offers a multitude of ways to jump start this economy. Alas, this has not been the case.
On the foreign affairs front, Trump has been less successful in laying out how to combat the rising threat of Chinese expansion, grandiose Russian challenges, ISIS terrorism, and immigration reform.
But the key point is that Trump has tried to foster discussions but has been thwarted by a media conspiracy aimed at his defeat.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has so far failed to address any of these issues save by promising to spend more government dollars without pledging any sort of reforms. She has done this because on most arguments where Americans have a position, she is on the losing side of the discussions.
Luckily for her, with the latest announcement by FBI Director James Comey of concerns about the cavalier way Clinton handled her emails the issue resurfaced as a campaign factor.
For Clinton, the announcement this late in the campaign is vexing but perhaps welcomed. As is normal in a presidential campaign, party members with wavering opinions are coming home to Trump as their nominee. The newest wrinkle in the campaign hid the fact her late October lead was vanishing.
Hiding her own still unclear, but apparent illnesses, Clinton has successfully run this campaign as an attack on Trump’s character. This is in place of an exposition of tactics to address the real world problems facing Americans. With nearly half of all Americans dependent on some form of government assistance, the economy has staggered along these past eight years. She has not clearly spoken on how she will handle the country’s staggering debt and growing dependence by individuals on government handouts.
Because her success will be based on black voter participation, Clinton has not addressed the widening split between blacks and whites in this country. While President Obama rode to victory by promising to “bring us together,” Clinton has ignored the issue to the detriment of the country. Interestingly, some polls indicate Trump can receive up to 25% of the Black vote. Even 15% would be a major victory for the Republican candidate.
Throughout her career, Clinton’s singular issue has been healthcare insurance reform. Today it is bogged down in the growing failure of Obamacare. Beyond saying it needs some adjustments, she has offered no concrete proposals for a government program that if left unchanged will cost federal and state governments trillions of dollars within a few short years. Again here, the media has given her a pass while Trump has attacked it head-on with little traction from the press.
Some people have suggested Trump never expected to be the final Republican presidential candidate. Indeed during this campaign he has acted as if he were a would-be challenger along for the ride. He stands now despite all efforts to demonize him on the cusp of victory. How he spends the final days of the campaign and what he says can go a long way to victory, if that is his goal.
It would be nice if he took time during this last campaign week to spell out his plans for a Trump administration. It would stand out in stark contrast to Clinton’s efforts and perhaps move wavering voters into his column.
Every poll and focus group indicate Americans want change. Clinton stands for the status quo, Trump at least offers a chance for change. Whether Americans will accept Clinton’s version of Trump or form their own opinion on election day is the question.
No matter which side of the political aisle one sits on, Americans clearly want change and a leader to take them down a new road.