Why I’m not looking forward to Election Day

Published 1:03 pm Saturday, July 9, 2016

I have no one to root for.

The first presidential election in which I am old enough to cast a ballot, and I cannot bring myself to be excited about either candidate.

With Donald Trump’s dedication to finding every opportunity possible to exhibit his unabashed ignorance of even the most basic of policy issues; his persistence in making insensitive, uncouth and, at times, bigoted comments about American Muslims, Hispanics and women; his continued and repeated praises for tyrants such as Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un and his relentless disrespect and disregard for the First Amendment rights of speech, press and religion, I cannot cast a ballot for him in good conscience.

Hillary Clinton’s sustained elitism, her serious and, some would argue, fatal lapses in judgment while serving as Secretary of State (such as setting up an unsecured, private email server and apparently unknowingly mailing confidential information over that unsecured connection), and her pledge to continue policies of the previous administration such as Obamacare — which have been ineffective in helping the American people — also make me reluctant to slip her name into the voter’s box as well.

In the storybook that is the 2016 Election Cycle, there are no heroes. Only competing dumpster fires.

The question is not who will most benefit our country, but which candidate will inflict the least amount of fire damage in the (at least) four years they will occupy the Oval Office.

I generally consider myself an independent voter that leans Republican — I often say to friends at school up in D.C. that while I’m away at college I stand among the most conservative people in the room, and when I’m at home I’m probably the most liberal.

This seems to leave me stranded in no-man’s-land this election year, as both parties have rushed toward the most radical candidate they could find.

I’ve written previously that the practice of intellectual charity is important when making political decisions, and I stand by that.

But when your choices include a casino magnate who has a proven history of stifling small businesses (his Chapter Eleven bankruptcy filings reveal that at least two, and arguably three, small businesses were destroyed by Trump’s defaulting on his debts in Atlantic City) and a career politician who has proven time and again that she will lie to the public and to the federal government if it’s in her self-interest, voting seems less like a political decision and more like choosing which foot to shoot yourself in.

Right or left?

No. I am not excited to cast a vote in November.

Donald Trump’s temperament and unwillingness to be even moderately polite to anybody in the name of bucking political correctness, and Hillary Clinton’s commitment to continuing Obama’s policy, which fosters welfare dependency among America’s poor, have slowly worn away my hope in either candidate.

There are four long months until November 8. Lots of time for more gaffes and tirades, more FBI investigations and Congressional hearings.

Lots of time to win reluctant voters to either side.

But this is what I imagine the Election Day thought-process will be like for many people:


Donald Trump has repeatedly praised Saddam Hussein for being “a strong leader who killed lots of terrorists” when in reality he killed innocent civilians that spoke out against his tyrannical rule.


Hillary Clinton set up a private email server, and claimed that no classified or top-secret information had been jeopardized by it, lying to the American public about it.


Walter Francis Jr. is a student at American University and is serving as a staff writer for The Tidewater News this summer. Email him at walter.francis@tidewaternews.com.