Well, the impossible happened today. I don’t say that in jest, or as a joke, or even with a little bit of sarcasm. The truth is, when Donald Trump started his quest to become the Republican Nominee for President of the United States, no one thought it would become more than another 3 ring media circus that would be entertaining for a few weeks, and then he would ascend back into Trump Tower to film another season of Celebrity Apprentice. I actually agreed with Karl Rove when he talked about Trump on the day he announced his candidacy that with seventeen people in the field, Trump’s run would be short, crazy, but otherwise a failed attempt to gain the highest office in our land.
I was blown away when The Donald was able to brush off his first gaffe with ease. I was shocked when the major cable news channel started carrying his rally events live during prime time. It baffled me how he continued time after time to monopolize the “earned media” time not only on Fox News, but all the way down to MSNBC, even though that coverage was just them screaming that the people voting for him must have “drank the Kool-Aid” or was having a “mass hysterical” event.
Even with the media of both the left and right attacking Trump’s speeches, rallies, lifestyle, and even his family he steamrolled the other Republican candidates time after time. It seemed the more a candidate would decide to attack The Donald, the faster their campaign would go down in flames.
I tried to cover this unprecedented American political anomaly, only to have people accused me of being an early passenger on The Trump Train. To be honest, Trump was not my first, second, or even third choice of the 17 people in the field. I watched as people I know, people I respect in the media industry lose their mind because nothing seemed to slow down Trump’s progression to the nomination. The more momentum he got, the more desperate and reckless from these people the rhetoric got.
With my family, the saying of never talk about politics and religion in polite company is more of a rule than a saying. I am not saying my relatives are flaming liberals, but when you spend the time I do studying politics, following the campaigns, and talking about them, getting engaged in a family political discussion can make me come off as a know it all, or even more of a smart Alek than I normally do. This actually happened to me recently during a family dinner with my mom. We were talking, eating, and having a good time when a story saying Donald Trump had won another primary flashed up on the TV. My mom immediately started talking about how Trump was the most evil chauvinist bastard on planet earth. She also told me about how she didn’t like anyone else running. Seems to be a recurring theme this election cycle.
She is not the first person who has made these type of statements to me since this election cycle started. No matter if it is anti-Trump, anti-Clinton, anti-Sanders, or any of the other candidates, when probed why they have this opinion, a majority of the time they cite some TV ad, or something they were told, but never that they actually researched the candidates or that they are making a true informed decision.
Politics is not the only place I seem to find this. Part of my career has been as an IT Administrator, and I cannot tell you how many times I have been sent a “completely factual” email, story, or other tidbit that can be completely debunked with a quick search of qualified sources. If you spend any real time on social media, I am sure you have seen the repeated shares of the dial this number to check if a cop is really following you, or the plethora of bad information out there.
I point this out for a simple reason, as the race for the next president firms up, this decision is going to shape the future of our children, and grandchildren. I ask you not to be swayed by hearsay, bad TV ads, or even the spin of the candidates, their campaigns, or their surrogates. Over the next 6 months I suspect we will see some of the most inflammatory rhetocic used in modern election history. Take some time to research your choices. Take time to know what the facts are, not what is easily available.
The impossible has happened. Our choice will betf between two people that are polarizing and unpopular. This choice has to be made based on who will take our country in the right direction. Choosing based on popularity, or to make another milestone will only push our country in the wrong one.