Published: October 19, 2016
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
There are still a few weeks until vote-night USA and I have officially quit caring about who is going to win the presidential election in the United States.
In the beginning I felt that this election season had promise. It brought together the political establishment of the Clintons which had seemed it had met its match in its celebrity opponent Donald Trump. One had name recognition because of years of hard work and dedication to public service, the other having the most recognizable hair in North America, if not the world.
They talked about national security issues, bantering back and forth in the press about their take on how best to serve and protect the nation. They talked about how to better the US economy and how to right the wrongs of the past…wait, that may have just been me watching The West Wing re-runs.
Each of the candidates did have something going for them and that was that no matter what they said or did it garnered attention. Some of it was interesting and some of it, us Canadians really don’t care about ie: health care, we thought you fixed that, seriously move on.
But I can truly pinpoint the time when I tuned out the rhetoric and stopped caring about what happens next month. It was at the exact time when I lost count of the number of women making accusations at Donald Trump.
Anyone who lived through the Clinton-zipper years had to have seen this all coming and frankly I was surprised it took this long to become a major election issue. Many media outlets claim that this and other “locker room banter” has changed the election to a discussion of male power and woman’s rights. They applaud Michelle Obama and speculate on why Hillary Clinton has stayed somewhat mute on the whole subject and has deflected the conversation to focus on other issues in the campaign like her opponent’s relationship with other minority and/or international partners.
I say this election has always been about male/female empowerment. Any election for president that featured a female candidate was going to drag the discourse through the gender gap. So why couldn’t that discussion net some serious consideration for things like a woman’s right to choose. Why can’t that discussion be about resolving wage disparities and childcare subsidies, or coincidently support programs for rape/assault/abuse victims?
The woman’s vote in the US has the power to sway an election but when with just weeks out the question facing most voters is “how many more are out there” and not “what supports are out there for women as they approach the justice and social services system and how do each of the candidates plan to address this” my faith in the electoral process diminishes.
We expect our leaders to have strong characters but that should also be combined with the ability to find solutions to the challenges that face us as a nation and for me I look for someone who is going to do that with a little bit of class. Unfortunately I have yet to see that in either of the US presidential nominees.
So if you need me on election night, I will be watching The West Wing.