I’ve come to the conclusion that the stakes are so high in this election season, and the choices so polarizing, that the outcome will not be good no matter who is elected president.

The possibility that some form of internal strife breaking out in this country is all too real regardless of the election’s outcome. The rhetoric is ramping up on all sides, and the discourse is so jaded and threatening that the citizenry no longer sees it as a difference in policy and more as an assault on their very security. 

Friend’s have begun to turn their backs on one another. Brothers and sisters are becoming estranged. Political banter is being taken as fact, and violence is now punctuating conviction.

The fact that in my life I would live to see American citizens physically assaulted because of their political beliefs tells me that, as a country, we are regressing. We have not learned the lessons of our own Civil War, or the struggles for Civil Rights. We have learned nothing from the Great Depression or the Great Recession. The era of the Robber Baron has returned with a vengeance and the redistribution of wealth through corporate welfare has created a pressure cooker between the classes as the buffer that used to be the middle class disintegrates. Nationalistic and fascist sentiments are beginning to take hold in a way that makes McCarthyism seem tame. Big government has always been partisan free under the surface, as the illusion of choices hides the solid core of corruption. Freedom of the press is undercut by their own partisanship and is being given the last rights by a candidate who threatens lawsuits if people report negatively on him. The threat of totalitarianism is so intense, yet the average voter is less likely to vote now than they were during the primaries because the major candidates have roughly the same approval ratings as W. did when leaving office during the Great Recession. One candidate likes to tell everyone that his opponent wants to abolish the Second Amendment so that don’t notice that he is systematically demonizing and ostracizing the press, and getting the citizens to buy into his narrative. Pressure cooker bombs are slowly knocking the election off of its axis in a slow play toward annihilation by fear and self-protection. And weekly communication hacks are making everyone more guarded, except those who never had a filter to begin with. 

If I sound nihilistic, it’s only because I checked my hope at the door of a primary voting station, I sat back and watched the swill rise to the top through buffoonery, corruption and cronyism. We’re perched headlong over a bed of nails, each of which we drove in ourselves with every nitpick and special circumstances we felt we needed at the expense of those we disagreed with  

This one’s for you.