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Donald Trump
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young - RTX1KTWT
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Election 2016: The Year Without a Candidate


August 26, 2016

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I’ve been alive under five presidents – Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. During that same time, I’ve been old enough to vote for three candidates in three different elections – President Bush, Senator McCain, and Governor Romney.

In those three elections, while I didn’t feel utterly enthusiastic each time, I didn’t feel sick to my stomach, either. With Bush, I was further to the left politically than I am now, which is historically typical of a young adult, fresh out of college, without real world experience under their belt.

The indoctrination one receives during his/her public schooling will sway the pendulum of your mind in a very different direction, possibly irreversibly, depending on your household upbringing. Then when Obama came along, it was the “lesser of 2 evils” argument that I bought into, knowing that having Obama become president was far too horrendous of a proposition to not support McCain, despite my significant reservations about him as a candidate.

In 2012, while I wasn’t a big fan of Romney’s, I warmed up to him over time and was able to commit far more time to getting him elected. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

Now four years later, it seems that like myself, many Americans are enduring the tragic task of having to figure out who to vote for, in what may turn out to be the year without a candidate. Sure, there are TECHNICALLY 4 candidates in the running. Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and First Lady, Republican Donald Trump, real estate mogul and reality TV star, Libertarian Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, and Green candidate Jill Stein.

If you’re on the left, your choices are to go with the unindicted Clinton, despite all the issues with her private email server, a situation that just won’t seem to go away (including this article from a couple of days ago by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post), and Jill Stein. But, if you’re on the right, it’s becoming a situation where you just may not have a choice that won’t convince your intestines to do backflips at the poll booth.

Let’s consider what the two choices consist of.

Donald Trump

The Republican nominee threw out the book on how to run for president during the primary season. (Disclaimer: I did not witness him throwing out the proverbial book). He mocked Senator John McCain for being captured during the Vietnam War, made fun of a reporter with a physical disability, generalized Mexicans by saying that they send murderers and rapists into our country, and attacked Megyn Kelly of Fox News and fellow candidate Carly Fiorina. Those action were just some of the things he did.

It seemed that the majority of his supporters didn’t care what outrageous remarks he made on a day to day basis, didn’t care that he isn’t a conservative, didn’t care that he was reticent to speak of the constitution, and essentially turned the nominating process into a clown car show. Some evidence of this was when he made a remark that he could shoot someone in the middle of the street, and not lose support. If that isn’t a sad indictment of how the process played out, I don’t know what is. Then, you have the other choice.

Gary Johnson

The Libertarian nominee gained a lot of attention from the NeverTrump crowd, disenchanted voters from the conservative side that couldn’t bear the thought of voting for Trump, even against Hillary Clinton.

If there was one candidate that could be trusted to leave the American people alone on social issues, has executive experience, knows how to govern, puts the constitution first and foremost, and has never been one to shy away from the truth (he openly admits to smoking marijuana recreationally), it was Gary Johnson.

I was very open to considering him as an alternative to Trump, providing the chance not to be in an “abstain” situation. His foreign policy views, including believing the threat that ISIS poses to us as being overblown, had been and still are a point of contention, but when compared with Trump’s incoherent beliefs, suddenly seemed a bit more innocuous. But then, just as I was warming up to the idea of coloring in the oval next to Johnson’s name in November (as is the voting process in my county), this bombshell drops, where Mr. Johnson endorses the idea of a fee on carbon emissions.

Ummm, when did the Libertarian Party become the party of cap and trade?

When President Obama ran for office and said that under his energy plan, energy prices would necessarily skyrocket,  he said that he would bankrupt the coal industry. Sorry, I LIKE my electric bill being affordable, and now we find out that Gary Johnson supports taxing carbon? In what way does this distinguish him from the left? So now, we have a far-left Alinskyite disciple, a billionaire whose policy views would be most easily located by throwing a bunch of darts at a board 100 yards away, a Green candidate, and a Libertarian that buys into man-made climate change.

Is there any wonder why less than 50% of registered voters in America don’t bother to vote?

You have a perennial presidential candidate that wears a boot on his head. People voting for candidates when they have absolutely no idea what they stand for. A former Democrat/Reform/Independent/Republican/whatever other parties he can find to join, who wins the nomination via a plurality (NOT majority) of the vote, aided in large part by open primaries where Democrats crossed over to vote for him. And a serial liar who should be fitted for a black and white striped jumpsuit. It’s no wonder, after all.

This has to be the worst crop of candidates I’ve ever seen. Perhaps the worst crop ANYONE has ever seen, in American history. 2016 sure does seem to be the year without a candidate to me!

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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