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Imua 'Iolani

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The US Presidential Election: Not a Complete Fiasco After All?

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To some, this election may seem to be a hopeless fiasco which could be the undoing of America. However, regardless of who triumphs in November, this election could provide some unintended benefits for America. Trump’s pompous comments and crude demeanor could ironically prove to be a positive force for good, and both candidates’ record unfavorable ratings could forever alter how Americans cast their votes.

The ideological divide between the Democrats and Republicans has been an unfortunate, yet major aspect of American politics for decades. Only recently however, this simple divide has turned into an ever-widening chasm as their disgust for each other has soared. A Pew Research Center poll article from June 22 shows that, “Today, 55% of Democrats and 58% of Republicans view the other party in deeply negative terms.” However, their sometimes unjustifiable aversion to cooperation could soon be eased by a man known himself for alienating large swathes of America. Trump’s behavior and policies are so unacceptable to some perennial Republican voters that they are voting for a Democratic presidential nominee for the first time in their life. Doug Elmets, a former Reagan staffer, announced his plan to vote for Hillary Clinton during the Democratic National Convention. Elmets explained his position by saying, “I could live with four years of Hillary Clinton before I could ever live with one day of Donald Trump as president.” Elmets, like many other lifelong Republican supporters are voting for Clinton, a Democrat, not because they would enjoy seeing her elevated to the highest office in the land, but because the alternative, Trump, is completely unacceptable. Whether it be a candidate of one of the two major parties, or a smaller party candidate like Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, considering other presidential candidates can lead to the realization that sometimes the best candidate is not always in your party. This realization, when applied effectively, can make voting less of a partisan chore and more of a careful consideration of the merits and abilities of every candidate regardless of party affiliation.

Republicans switching their partisan allegiance could influence more than just the presidential election. The newfound ability for some political partisans to ally themselves, at least temporarily, with the other political faction could help to make our political system more efficient and effective. While this phenomenon will most likely not result in the complete unification of America’s politics, it may allow politicians to work across the aisle with a stronger emphasis on Americanism instead of partisanship.

So while choosing from this year’s candidates may not be an appealing task, this election could produce a transformation in how our politicians and our political system works for us.

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The US Presidential Election: Not a Complete Fiasco After All?