With approximately 50% of the eligible electorate not voting in U.S. Presidential elections, I suppose it should not be surprising that politics has become more divisive with more extreme / fringe candidates succeeding in recent elections.
All the nastiness that describes the incredibly long 2016 Presidential primary and general campaign only further disenfranchises and drives down voter turnout. So what’s the answer? Asking for people to be more civil doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere. Even the Democratic Primary which paled by comparison to the fiasco otherwise known as the Republican Primary was abhorrent. Blatant favoritism and attempts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign by the former DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Shultz and others poisoned the civil campaign that had been (for the most part) focused on policy. By the spring of 2016 both Sanders and Clinton (and their supporters) had dropped all pretenses of civility.
I’m not an exceptionally patriotic person. I don’t believe that America is a greater country by comparing ourselves to others and pointing out where other nations are left wanting, but I do love the freedom my country has come to symbolize. For that to continue I truly believe we need to have citizens engaged (not turned off by) democracy. So despite all the name calling, blatant lies and misinformation, I hope Americans take time to read through the issues that matter most to them, think seriously about candidates from the top to the bottom of their ballots and vote on Tuesday, November 8th.