My lovely wife was really worked up about the Presidential election last night. She is exasperated that these are the only two people we have to choose from--and she is frustrated that regardless of who wins--we as a country end up losing. I told her that she should have been this fired up about politics a long time ago, if she hoped to see better candidates now.
One of the biggest drawbacks to the now 2-year Presidential election cycle is that for about 90% of that time, nobody really cares. It's only the party insiders and zealots that are really paying attention and putting in any work. Can you name all of the Republican candidates that took part in pre-primary debates on the news channels back in August of 2015? I don't blame you if you can't--there were twelve people on stage and I think there may have been a "preliminary debate" before that with four of five more candidates. But who was actually thinking about this election back then?
Yes, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary got plenty of hype in January and February of this year--but do you remember who won them in each party? Neither of the candidates that won the Wisconsin primary in April are on the ballot this time around. How did we "get it so wrong"? Even the summer conventions fizzled out, as neither party had the contentious delegate battles that would have diverted attention away from vacations, little league games and drinks on the patio in the evening.
Now its four weeks to the election and suddenly everyone is "engaged in the process"--and many don't like the options being presented to them. Well folks, you needed to be thinking about this stuff 15-months ago. That is when the seeds of this "Sophie's Choice" now before us were sown. And they took root and grew while you were paying just passing attention for the last year.
Consider that Robert Kennedy was considered the favorite for the 1968 Democratic nomination before he was shot and killed after the California primary in June. He had declared his candidacy in March of that same year. A three month campaign that likely would have defeated Richard Nixon in November and completely changed the course of American history. An effort like that would be laughed off the national stage today by all of the talking heads on all of the news channels.
So if you really don't like the choice you have to make on November 8th of 2016--might I suggest you get down to work for better choices in 2020? The start date for that campaign is November 9th of 2016.