This presidential election is a tough call


The United States of America is in trouble.

Even middle school age children sense it.

At a mock election held recently at Mayetta, featuring the two presidential frontrunners, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students at Royal Valley lamented that the country is headed for trouble no matter which one of those two candidates gets elected.

A couple of students standing in line waiting to vote even vocalized their fears that - with Clinton or Trump at the helm  - the country was headed for “World War III.”

I wasn’t surprised by the kids’ comments.

This is not an easy time to have faith in either presidential candidate to do a good job for the country over the next four years.

Four years seems like a long time to commit allegiance to either one of those two.

So for the first time ever, I am hesitant to endorse a candidate for president.

Not that I have picked the winning candidates with any great accuracy over the years. In the last eight presidential elections, I’ve only picked four winners.

In past election years, I was proud to endorse presidential candidates like Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and even Mitt Romney.

One of the things I have learned is that – for the most part – we’ve ended up with decent people as leaders. While I’m not a big fan of President Barack Obama, I respect him and believe he is a good person.

This presidential election year is different.

I would like to suggest that Clinton has the transferrable political experience to lead this country, but I am afraid that she will do nothing to prevent health care costs from continuing to skyrocket.

Health care plans keep getting higher and what’s covered in the health care plans keeps getting phased out or eliminated. There’s nothing affordable about health care and that’s wrong. Affordable health care is a major issue for me.

I would like to suggest that we can trust Clinton to be a strong foreign policy leader for our country but I’m not sure there’s a foreign country that the Clintons’ Foundation has not taken campaign contributions from. I have a strong suspicion that when we look up “pay to play” in the urban dictionaries of the future, we’ll read that the term was coined by the Clintons.

If we can’t trust our president to keep national security secrets, then who can we trust? I just don’t trust the Clintons. I fear the worst possible political corruption – trading special considerations and special treatment for donating to the Clintons’ foundation.

I would like to suggest that the two-for-one deal that the country would get if we elect Clinton (Hillary and Bill) would mean our economy would improve, but my fear is that controversy will continue to hound them (and our country) wherever they go. Isn’t one Clinton as president enough?

I feel equally concerned with Trump for different reasons. While I admire the fact that he personally funded a big part of his own election campaign, and I admire how he isn’t afraid to give a straight answer to questions, he also most certainly would continue to do a lot of embarrassing things to himself and our country, if elected.

I would like to suggest that with Trump as president we’ll finally have better security at our borders – most notably the one with Mexico. And I would like to suggest that with Trump as president we’ll have more common sense law and order in this country. National security is a top issue for me.

I would like to suggest that with Trump – a business person - as president we’ll have fairer trade deals with other countries and we’ll bring back manufacturing and industry that we’ve lost overseas. And I would like to suggest that Trump would not mess up our agriculture trade deals, but you never know. By the same token, I’d be surprised if Clinton understands agriculture issues any better than Trump.

I believe now that we need to change election laws and stop allowing anonymous donations from anyone, any corporation or any country to pour into our elections and influence them.

At the same time, I believe we need to demand term limits be placed on our U.S. senators and U.S. representatives and our state senators and state representatives.

At the mock election yesterday, several students asked if they were required to sign their name to their election ballots. The answer, of course, is no. Your votes are made privately and anonymously.

If you’re like me, you won’t know for sure who you’re going to vote for until you step into that voting booth.

Ask yourself before you vote, however, whether you’re better off today than you were the last time you voted for president. If you are happy and content, the status-quo presidential pick is Clinton, in my opinion. If you desperately want change, Trump is the candidate for change, in my opinion.

Good luck, Americans.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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