It will not be easy, but vote your conscience anyway

By The Courier Publications Editorial Board | Oct 25, 2016

Like the rest of the nation, we find ourselves struggling as we weigh the options in this election, and it has been difficult to come to clear consensus.

We strongly denounce Republican Donald Trump, because he has made statements that are openly racist, sexist and at times authoritarian. These are things against which we all must stand. Aside from that, he has no relevant or qualifying experience and has not done a good job of discussing the issues.

For most on our editorial board, Democrat Hillary Clinton is the clear choice for president. However, our endorsement would be more enthusiastic if we were not looking forward to a presidency plagued by allegations and investigations stemming from her treatment of secret government emails on a private server and possible bargaining with the FBI over the status of those emails.

Aside from that, we do feel that she has the experience, knowledge and maturity to handle the challenges of the job.

The fact that we find ourselves in a choice between two such problematic candidates is, as some news commentators have already pointed out, an indictment of our primary process. Both parties would have been better served by other candidates. Perhaps, as elections go, America will have hit some sort of bottom here, leading to thoughtful soul-searching and positive change in the future.

The state questions on the ballot are also strongly divisive along party lines and reflect key areas of conflict in our society: Do we legalize marijuana for recreational use? Do we raise minimum wage? Do we add new background check requirements for guns?

Here in this special election edition you can read the arguments on both sides of these issues and decide for yourselves how you will vote.

Most importantly, we would like to encourage our readers to go out and vote.

Too often we have heard in recent weeks from friends and family members, "I'm just not going to vote."

It's an understandable response to the tough choices on this ballot, and it also may mask embarrassment about the choices one wants to make in the voting booth. It is called secret ballot for a reason and you do not need to explain your vote to anyone.

The fact that you're reading a newspaper indicates you do not need to be lectured on civic duty or the history of people fighting for the right to vote. However, we all need encouragement and inspiration at times to remember the nobler ideas we grew up with: Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

As the leaders have failed to find a unifying voice on these issues and as the media has only been able to present the division, now it is the voice of the voters that needs to be heard most. The better the turnout at the polls, the more our leaders will understand the will of the people and the clearer their mandate will be.

Aside from these lofty concerns, there is the practical matter that there are many other items on these ballots. Your help is needed in electing local lawmakers, dealing with municipal bond questions and providing guidance on the future of our schools.

Get out and vote, vote your conscience and take pride in your ability to make tough choices.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Oct 26, 2016 08:38

Thankful for the very insightful articles written about our local candidates. It has made the choices much clearer.

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