We Made the Wrong Choice for President

And half the nation feels the same way.

It’s a new day, and we have a new president. Well, actually, we have the old President along with the old House and the old Senate; a Congress that will surely be as deadlocked for the next four years as they were for the last four. My guy lost, and I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that we’ll move forward with policies that I believe are bad for my country.

Sadly, my thinking is neither in the majority nor the minority. The popular vote spread was all of about two million votes, slightly more than one percent of registered voters. So, this country is split right down the middle, just about evenly divided in their vision of what we need, both physically and philosophically.

My outlook is that we’ll continue to follow a path that will tax and regulate small business right out of business—burdening us and generations to come—and lead us to a health-care tax bill that will cripple businesses and create a nation of part-time workers; the 30-hour week is the new full-time. I fear jobs creation so dismal that an entire generation of college graduates will come home depressed, unemployed and devoid of optimism; a reduction in military spending coupled with an apologist foreign policy that will allow violence and terrorism to grow throughout the world; and an increasing national dependence on entitlements.

Sour grapes? Perhaps, but remember, half the nation feels the same way. Despite that, it’s time to continue my love of country and respect of the office.

I worked the polls yesterday and the turnout was phenomenal so we know that people are passionate and that’s a good thing. Despite the lack of mandate, the process worked.

Before I swallow my disappointment and move on, though, I’d like to address a few things politic.

Firstly, it was wonderful to see several first-time voters. They came in, usually with their parents, looking a bit bewildered as their parents beamed with pride. That’s fuzzy and warm, but here’s the thing: They’re too damn young. Why are we allowing teenagers to vote? They are not independent adults, they are not productive tax-paying citizens with any skin in the game. So what’s the deal? Okay, you can argue that they are astute or intelligent enough to have an opinion about their future but so what? A 15-year-old might be astute and bright enough to have a political opinion—that doesn’t mean he should have the right to vote. Raise the voting age. It makes real sense. The stakes are too high to have kids be part of the process. The federal voting age was lowered in 1971 in response to the mandatory draft during the Vietnam War (the mantra being “old enough to die, old enough to vote”), which was an emotional move, and maybe even valid at the time, but no longer. We don’t have a mandatory draft and we shouldn’t have children, no matter how passionate they might be, involved in the process until they are fully vested in the system.

What’s with all this early voting bologna? I don’t get it. Thirty-two states offer some type of early voting opportunity with the average time being 22 days prior to Election Day. Only 15 states (including Pennsylvania) offer no early voting and require an excuse to obtain an absentee ballot. Hey, a lot can happen in three weeks! What’s the rush? Voting is an important privilege, and to minimize the responsibility that every voter has to make the best decision for the sake of convenience is counter to the weightiness of the task.

The Electoral College? Let’s just stop all this nonsense that floats around every general election about abolishing the Electoral College. It was designed for a good reason; it works perfectly. and to eliminate it is ludicrous. No presidential candidate would give a hoot about campaigning in or being remotely concerned about places like North Dakota or Wyoming or Idaho. They could become giant sinkholes and candidates wouldn’t care if they didn’t have juice in the process.

There’s less pep in my step today. I think we made the wrong choice. Right or wrong, however, it’s a choice that this country has made and we’ll move forward as a nation and hope for the best. The future, especially for a lame-duck president with a divided Congress, is unpredictable. Good or bad, successful or not, we’re going to get what we asked for.