Monday, November 14, 2016
Watching, You Tube Screen Capture
I believe that I’m among millions of Americans who endured this painfully too long and too contentious presidential campaign of 2016 featuring the least of two evils that were ever delivered to us by both political parties. Many folks I’ve talked to had to force their fingers to activate one or the other candidates in the voting station to comply with their conscious duty to exercise their right to vote this year.
And the political debates, rallies and television ads were the most repulsive in my entire lifetime. The vetting process for any candidate and their families can only be compared to the old Salem witch hunts with the obligatory burning at the stake even before any reliable fact checking could be attempted. For those of us in a battle ground state, the penance included additional visits to all corners of the state and a barrage of television ads that were relentless.
One of the most contentious attack ads included some of Trump’s most deplorable moments and sound bites. The ad was ironically titled “Role Models” and on July 16 The New York Times covered it as the Ad of the Week stating “The Clinton campaign is continuing to focus its negative advertising efforts on provocative remarks made by Donald J. Trump, this time in a commercial that invites adults to imagine what a child might be learning from his campaign.” One of the unfortunate sound bites related that “I could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any votes, OK” and another comment that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re bringing in drugs, they’re bringing in crime, etc.”
Watching that ad multiple times only lessened my opinion of both candidates—one for saying these things in public and the other for spending millions of dollars to repeatedly air them. After watching this ad multiple times, I began to wonder what effect it frankly had on children, not adults, that couldn’t miss seeing it. And today after I had just entered the elementary school where I volunteer I sadly found out. As I stood there making casual conversation over a snack, one little boy matter-of-factly looked up wide-eyed and said “Trump is going to be president. He kills people.” This prompted a little girl sitting next to him to look up and say “and he’s going to come get us.”
These kids’ impromptu statements caught me cold. I didn’t have an immediate response other than “No that’s not going to happen.” My heart sank for these innocents that had been exposed to bad behavior unbecoming of children their age by both presidential candidates. Clinton ended the commercial of crass Trump comments by stating that “our children and grandchildren will look back on this time at…the principles we will live by and we need to make sure they will be proud of us.” I won’t be proud to discuss this election with my grandchildren.
The timing of Christmas season couldn't be more relevant this year. Embedded in the final stanza are much needed words as we experience the carol of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; "And with true love and brotherhood, each other now embrace; this holy tide of Christmas, all other doth deface." It’s comforting to know that God is still in overall control and things of this world such as politics are a distant second place.