“Remember tonight for it is the beginning of always.”
Never in our lifetimes have we witnessed a more contentious presidential election. Name-calling, mockery, bullying, accusation, physical threat, deception and excess — all part of what should be the most upstanding and principled contest in the world — have brought us to the brink of disaster.
Such a disaster evokes Dante despondency, “We come to ourselves within a dark wood where the straight way is lost.” How can we pull ourselves out of this dark wood, out of this vortex? To begin with, we can be courageous. We can take the high road. We can check the facts. And then we can take a stand and vote smart. A small investment in time will have a great payoff for the future of our country.
What we don’t want four years hence is the echo of our arguably worst president. Warren Harding’s words are both a reflection and prescient, “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.” At a time when fabrications, half truths and exaggeration have siphoned every minute of every day for more than a year, we must educate ourselves and vote our conscience.
Let’s not equate loud with smart. Let’s not equate rich with successful. Let’s not equate self-aggrandizement with admiration. Let’s put the dignity back in the highest office in the land. Be smart! Don’t make a mistake in November. Vote smart!
Linda Barton, State College