Reality is setting in. With early voting already begun in parts of our state, the time has come to choose. The reality is this: either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. They have the lowest approval ratings of any aspirants to that office in the history of polling. Most Americans would rather have someone else sitting in the Oval Office, but here is what you must know. That is not going to happen. One of these two will be sworn into office in January. This is not some bad dream you wake from to find the comforting feeling that all is well with the world after all. We have a date with destiny, and it cannot be avoided.
I have heard people lamenting their choices here. Some have decided to write in another name (mine is spelled S-H-A-N-E R-I-Z-A), others have decided to vote for a third-party candidate. The race is described as a choice between the lesser of two evils. Others say it is more about voting against someone than voting for anyone. Some have said this is an ethical dilemma that is too much to bear. They may not vote for a candidate for president at all.
Let me be clear. All of the above is a cop-out. It’s a dodge. It’s a shirking of our individual and collective responsibility. I will tell you what I used to tell young officers and enlisted men and women. There is no such thing as an ethical dilemma, only decisions in varying degrees of difficulty. Every vote counts in America, but not every vote carries the same weight. If you want your vote to both count and carry weight, you must vote for either Trump or Clinton. Yes, you must.
There are thousands of issues and political stances with near-infinite degrees of nuance. If one cannot find anything to disagree with in their chosen candidate or votes solely on a single issue, one is mercifully free from conceptualizing the totality of experience among the electorate and the complexity of the modern world, living as one does in a state of impermeable bliss. But for those tying themselves in knots because they “cannot support either one” or they “despise” one and cannot “trust” the other, I offer this. There is only one question that matters in picking a president. Who will do a better job?
The campaign is an extended job interview. There is no single list of qualifications for the presidency. Any discussion of qualification is inherently subjective. But then again, so is every job interview. Like anyone who has ever sought a job knows, the interview is where you try to convey how you will perform in what you seek. Like anyone who has ever hired anyone knows, the interview allows you an opportunity to judge the future utility of a candidate in a particular role. Our extended interview during this campaign has offered plenty of evidence of who would do a better job. If you were seeking a job, who would you emulate? Given all you know, if you were hiring, who would you rather be sitting across the desk from you about to be offered a coveted position in your company? There are no ethical dilemmas here. Do you see now? As I said to my officers and enlisted personnel, you know the right thing to do. All that is left is that you go do it.
Please vote. Your nation is depending on you.