The most telling aspect of the recent elections was that I was more often asked if I’d voted, than whom I’d voted for. And almost exclusively by Israelis and other non-Americans (like my Russian co-worker who hasn’t stopped talking about the elections for the past 8 months, leading me to further develop my ability to look like I’m paying attention to the discussion, while actually taking a mental vacation). It was as if the subject was too painful for Americans to bring up. I know I certainly grimaced every time an Israeli asked me about the elections. Any time an American did bring up the elections, it was because they were one of the rare people who actually had a strong preference for one candidate over the other and wanted to bring you around to their point of view, as if it were possible for them to convince you that a) Trump is a respectable citizen with good judgment, or b) that Hillary Clinton wasn’t really responsible for all those little SNAFUs during her time as Secretary of State. Unfortunately those are just opinions, and you can’t convince people with your opinions (as opposed to actual facts) unless you’re a charismatic politician or a cult leader (often times the same thing). So the following argument would ensue:
“But Trump is strong, opinionated, and says what he thinks. Plus he really cares about Israel. Not like that liar Hilary Clinton.”
“It’s true that Trump says exactly what he thinks. Which is why most of the world is angry with him at the moment, myself included.”
“But he’s such a great guy! And his daughter is Jewish! Etc...”
“So a few emails got lost, big deal. At least she’s not Donald Trump.”
“So you’d vote for a candidate solely based on the fact that he’s not Donald Trump? Lot’s of people aren’t Donald Trump.”
“ANYONE would be better than Donald Trump.”
“Snoop Dogg’s not Donald Trump. Would Snoop Dogg be a better president than Donald Trump? What about that homeless guy that lives in Grand Central Station? Would HE be a better president? Etc...”
It was especially irritating when people got upset when I told them I wasn’t voting.
“But it’s your responsibility as an American citizen to vote!”
“Really? Because it seems more irresponsible than it does responsible to put one of these buffoons in charge of the most powerful country on Earth (until China catches up). Frankly, in my most uninformed, layperson opinion, being in the middle of a federal investigation and being a former reality t.v. star are automatic grounds for disqualification. In fact, I propose that we add those two questions to the presidential candidacy form. A yes to either of those questions bars you from continuing on to the next round.
The problem for the Republicans started when the entire coterie threw their hat in the ring, confusing the general public and splitting the vote between a few passable candidates, while not calculating the consequences that that would have on the tycoon and former reality t.v. star (who knows how to be the last contestant standing).
The problem with the Democrats began when they failed to find any decent candidates. All they could scare up was a commie (excuse me, a socialist, which is totally different), and Hillary Clinton (from wherever burrow she’d been hibernating in since her last unsuccessful bid for president).
I have no particular preference for any political party. I vote like I go to the hairdresser- don’t expect loyalty from me because I flip flop more than a former KGB agent currently selling his services to the highest bidder in Nigeria. I tend to vote for the person I feel is most likely to leave the country standing and the least likely to bring on Armageddon by the end of his term, and don’t quibble much over the other points. While the Israelis were having their “cottage cheese revolution,” I was focused more on progress with Iran on the nuclear front. Can you imagine how much more cottage cheese would cost for the remaining few humans after a nuclear fallout?