COMMENTARY: Presidential candidates can only make marginal progress


It is the evening on the Nov. 8, 2016, and the news finally hits. The “winner” of the presidential electoral vote is … Johnny Politician. Millions of Americans gasp. Thousands of Americans start crying. A good number projectile vomit onto their dinner plate. And even a couple drop dead from information overload. How could this be? How did that person win? How can I ever go on? Is life worth living anymore? Why can’t I ever get what I want?

That night all those Americans go to bed, except for the few who died, and several hours later they wake up. Their alarms go off and without thinking of anything that had occurred the previous night, they get ready for their vampirical 9-5er. Breakfast doesn’t taste different. They still drink Folgers brand coffee over Maxwell House. They still consume that extra Entemann’s donut even though they know it’s a bad choice. And when their day is over at work, they of course, like clockwork, trick their brains into thinking that it is a good idea to skip the gym. With the election of Johnny Politician, the average American’s life has been changed forever.

Of course there are some people whose life will actually be changed forever after this election occurs. Some people may be kicked out of this country. Others may find themselves locked out of this country. Some may not be able to find a job. Others may be crippled by a new and excessive form of taxation. But let’s face it, the average American doesn’t really care about those things, and neither does the average politician. The average American is too locked into their daily routine. The average American, like the average politician, wants to better themselves. The average American searches for any quick fix to increase their daily dose of utility. For example, winning a “scratch off” or getting a free Slurpee on July 11. Presidential candidates know this and they try to use that very notion on a larger scale. “I will create jobs,” “I will make college free,” “I will kick out all the mean people,” "I will resurrect Christ.” The point is, these are all statements that try to steal the vote from certain key demographics of people.

The fact of the matter is that any one of those actions will most likely have an equal and opposite reaction. For example, free college will just render your degree meaningless and the resurrection of Christ will most likely just spawn the inevitable spawn of Satan. The sad truth is that any one of these candidates may make the life of the average American marginally better, but most likely at the cost of making the lives of people in a foreign land exponentially worse. So maybe trying to find salvation through a presidential candidate isn’t the best way to get ahead. Maybe it all just doesn’t matter. Maybe the system that we have developed is inherently corrupt in itself. And maybe the war that we wage between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, metalheads and hippies is actually just a war that we wage against ourselves and our daily endeavors. 

Donald Trump is a rich guy with a big mouth. Hilary Clinton is, and talks like, a walking ventriloquist. Bernie Sanders understands the economy like a first grader understands the concept of hygiene. And Ted Cruz … just please don’t let that guy win. What I’m saying is, I think that many Americans, like myself, have been completely disenfranchised with the whole “Great American Political System” and have been for quite some time. I’m not saying don’t vote for the candidate that you like the most, because some of these candidates do make some good points (except Cruz). What I’m saying is maybe instead of waging a civil war against people who think differently than you, we can actual work together and maybe find a better solution in the process. Notice how there isn’t a major party candidate that is both socially progressive and fiscally conservative. We all don’t have to hold hands and frolic though the hills together, but at the same time we don’t have to push dissenters down those very hills either.

When we start policing speech, protesting discussion and screaming in the face of people that are trying to just speak their minds, we are doing this as a disservice to ourselves and to the entire world. This is America. We are her future. We need to stand up in the face of non-progressivism, unintelligence and non-rational thought. I personally don’t think that any one of the “Final Four” candidates really wants to take a stand and try to move this country forward in any meaningful way. What I’m saying is that maybe instead of over-examining this country’s ballot, we need to examine this country’s divide. Because needless to say, come Nov. 8 when Johnny Politician hits the oval office, nearly half of the country will outraged. That, in itself, is reason to be alarmed.

Edward Rago is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in economics and criminal justice.

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