The election is two weeks from today, and I just... can't make myself care anymore.
This is a very important election what with everything at stake, SCOTUS noms, disintegrating international relations, and a very irritated population, but it feels like someone has asked me to replace the mainspring on a watch and has given me as my only tool choices a 3lb drilling hammer and a pasta server. Oh, and the hammer is a misogynistic angry moron, and the pasta server is a hateful criminal with control issues. It's not exactly a perfect metaphor.
I've asked myself, if I did have any truck with the notion of "voting for the lesser evil," which one I'd vote for. I honestly don't know. Both would be disastrous on most every level, particularly foreign policy. Some days I think there's no way Clinton would actually be that bad, as she's basically Obama Plus, and we've managed to keep him from doing, well... crap. It could have been worse? Other days, Paul Ryan's point about Trump being likely to let the House work seems valid, and it's not like he says things that are THAT outrage...ous...... often.......... this week...
Gary Johnson seems a decent sort of person, putting him light years ahead of the big two, but his policies are bizarre and uncomfortably progressive. He has approximately zero business in foreign relations, and seems to have tried too hard to bring in the Bernie supporters, leaving his platform a mess.
I personally really like Evan McMullin, His platform, and more importantly him personally, seems thoughtful and considered, and keeps Rule of Law rather more central than any other candidate I have seen recently. He seems principled. That being said, he's somewhat a cipher. Practically his entire background is classified, and he has no political record to consider. His platform looks great on his website, but his commitment to it is all based on his personal statements. I believe he's sincere, but I certainly understand the reservations people have towards him. He also has essentially zero chance of winning. The odds of him being even in the running (i.e. the election going to the House) are not friendly, and I have zero confidence in the House choosing him.
Given that, he's still got my vote. I like him, and I won't vote for something I dislike if there's something better available. Political strategy it ain't, but it helps me sleep at night.
All that alone has me plenty frustrated, but the really disheartening thing is what I've seen from the people around me. I ask myself how we got to this point, and then I look at my Facebook and it makes perfect sense. Enough people have come to believe that being cruel and angry is perfectly fine, as long as the "right people" are upset by it, to nominate Trump. Enough people have come to believe that law doesn't matter, so long as it checks off the right box, to nominate Clinton. Enough people have come to believe that voting against something is way more important than voting for something. Enough people are feeling their way through their lives instead of thinking that anything that makes them feel better is great.
Enough people are fond enough of schadenfreude to get some really base and petty discourse. Snark and hard lining are lauded. Potshots over appearance are "just having some fun" or "they deserve it because X." Wishing for the deaths of those that oppose you is "pragmatic" or "the hard truth." I've seen rhetoric between members of my FAMILY that shock and sadden me. How much worse is it then between people that don't normally even like each other.
Everyone has their reasons why this election is so important. To me, it's not about the politics. It's about what it's shown us about our nation. From where I sit, barring a third party miracle shakeup, it's not going to show anything good on November 8th. Which pretty much just leaves me disheartened.