So today's Sign of the Presidential Apocalypse was coming across a facebook argument about whether Trump or Clinton is the more racist. That's where we are-- we're ready to elect a racist as President and all that's left is to quibble over how much of which style of racism.
I am fifty-nine years old, and have read and studied history most of my adult life. I'm prepared to call this as the worst pair of Presidential candidates in the nation's history. The worst. Mind you, I don't really care about Clinton's e-mail misbehavior, and I really don't care about the manufactured Benghazi anguish. But I do care that she is so completely bought and paid for by Big Money. I really care that she represents the Democrats' continued abandonment of any and all traditional constituencies. And Trump is an astonishing dumpster fire, a fraud and scam artist who appeals strictly to the basest and worst in humanity. Our country is uglier because of his candidacy.
Neither is an acceptable choice for President, a fact tacitly acknowledged by the vast amount of campaigning based on slamming the opposition. The weird irony of these two terrible candidates is that neither one would have a hope in hell against any other candidate.
This is beyond "hold your nose and vote." I held my nose and voted for Obama II vs. Romney. This is way, way worse. It's trying to figure out which apocalypse would be more survivable.
There are so many things at stake here, but one is the survival of each party. A Clinton victory will mean the end of the Democratic Party. It will be read as "proof" that they should go all in on neo-liberalism, that the only party constituents who matter are the ones who can write big fat checks. A Trump victory will mean the death of the GOP as anything but a slobbering rant-fest for racist constitution-rejecting dopes. Yes-- as I read it, if you want your party to survive this election, you should vote for the other party's candidate.
In the education world, we have to have to have to come to grips with the fact that whatever happens, we are screwed (again). There is not a speck, not a sliced-thin scintilla of evidence to suggest that Clinton will do anything except continue straight down the same road that Bush and Obama took us. And there's no telling what Trump will do about education, but it's a safe bet that it will be huge, it will be business oriented, and that it will involve blustery hair-brained ignorance.
It is probably time for education advocates to just drop out of this race. Maybe if Clinton agrees to meet with Diane Ravitch and listen I might perk up for a second or two, but mostly I think it's time for us to step back from this clusterfarfle of an lection and start working on how to continue fighting for public education under the next destructive administration.
We can lay some of that groundwork by paying attention downticket, and this is where the Clinton and Trump candidacies can be marginally useful as yardsticks. If you are supporting Trump, making claims for his business acumen, his tell-it-like-it-is-ness, then I absolutely will not vote for you. If you endorse Trump for any responsible position at all, you are either an opportunist or a fool, and either way I don't want you in elected office. Ditto for Clinton. If you are trying to ride her coattails or applaud her judgment or, God help me, claiming she's for the little people in this country, then you also have some sort of impairment that disqualifies you for public office.
Clinton and Trump are trainwrecks as Presidential candidates, but that makes them a good measure of other politicians' judgment. Too many people from both parties have made it clear that they would vote for a paper bag full of dog poop if it just had the "right" party designation stamped on the outside. That's not okay. Especially not now.
I don't know what's going to happen ion November, but whatever it is, the result will be a White House occupied by the most-despised, least-acceptable President we have ever elected. That means we had better have some functional grownups in Congress. I can't stand to pay attention to the Presidential race, but I can't afford to ignore the other races going on.