A better choice still isn’t a good choice
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
In little more than a week, America will vote in one of the most divisive, internationally-ridiculed federal elections in recent American history: Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.
American elections are, at the best of times, a choice of the “lesser evil” between two candidates, rather than a vote for a good candidate. It’s fermented a deep cynicism in American politics. This election is one of the most shining examples of this concept. Donald Trump, the loudmouthed reality show host who spews increasingly racist and sexist things on camera every week; and Hillary Clinton, the walking embodiment of the corrupt American political institution. Many in the center, the right, and the left, including party Democrats, are endorsing Clinton only as a “lesser evil” option against the very real tyrannical threat of Trump. Business as usual, right? Wrong. If there’s one thing this year has taught us, it’s that 2016 is not business as usual at all.
The greatest advantage that the people in a democracy have over their leaders is that their leaders must bow down to popular demand. Politicians must at least appear to act in the interest of the general good, and occasionally make real change, or they lose their votes and thus their power. That is not the case in this year. The pragmatic “lesser evil” mentality has reached its inevitable conclusion. There is now a candidate so bad, so internationally reviled, so humiliating to Americans, that anyone who doesn’t support him will be forced to choose anyone else, no matter how morally bankrupt and unethical. That someone is Hillary Clinton. And here is the great problem with this year: Clinton can pass any pro-corporate law, authorize any illegal surveillance, deal arms to any dictatorship in the world, and she will still win this election. As long as she isn’t as outwardly bad as the wacky orange Hitler, Clinton can get away with almost anything. That’s a line no democratic politician should be allowed to cross.
Hillary Clinton has that history, too. Pulling in millions of dollars in donations from banks, acting as Secretary of State at a time when the state was illegally spying on Canadians and Americans, being publicly against gay rights until a decade ago, then suddenly flipping in the 2008 presidential election. She is the symbol of everything wrong with the American government. Don’t get me wrong, though… Trump is objectively worse. The only reason he isn’t a literal fascist is because the military hates him, too. It’s gotten to the point where both candidates are so bad, so unacceptable, that Americans should not accept either of them.
It’s too late to legally choose another. Bernie Sanders has stepped down, the independents are hardly better, and writing “Darth Vader” on the ballot just won’t cut it. For Americans—and Canadians, if this alt-right and corrupt style of politics ever crosses the border—the only solution is widespread, organized, peaceful protests for electoral reform. It should have happened months ago, it should happen now, but by the time it does, it’ll probably be too late. The best we can do now is learn from this. A politician who doesn’t need to bow to voters isn’t a democratic politician.