Monday, October 10, 2016

Debating that Debate

"I was going to vote for Trump," my esteemed colleague said, "until he said he grabbed women's pussies. You can't do that."

Recently I've noticed with a hint of amusement that friends I have who are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton assume that of course I am as well, and friends I have who are planning to vote for Donald Trump--well, until Saturday, I'm not sure I have friends still planning to vote for Trump--assumed that of course I was too.

Right now all bets are off. I'm having a terrible time here. I believe it is my civic duty, my duty and my obligation, to cast my vote, if only in honor of all those denied the right to vote throughout history, who fought that I should be able to do so. And I am completely repulsed by both choices.

I've never liked politics or politicians. I've said often that my last whole-hearted endorsement went to Theodore Roosevelt, perhaps the last truly ethical person to occupy the Presidency.

I am socially liberal and financially conservative. I believe passionately that we need a social safety net--I care very much about the marginalized in our world--and I hate big government and can assure you I pay plenty in taxes. So there's never been a political home for me.

But now: Hillary Clinton has done horrible things in Haiti, a country I care about. Her Foundation seems incredibly corrupt; her deleted emails and her lifelong pattern of dishonesty really bother me.

And yet Trump. For awhile I thought maybe, for the sake of the Supreme Court nominees and my general feeling on the role of government. But I'm a sexual assault survivor. After what Trump said in those recordings, I can't possibly vote for him.

I'd like to throw them both out in the desert and start again. Can't we have a do-over every century or so? Barring that, looks like I'll be voting for the pothead Libertarian who doesn't know the capital of Syria. Either him or Ken Bone.