Partisan Divide

There’s an American election on Tuesday. Whatever the outcome of the races, the partisan polarization is disturbing. Roughly 40% of the electorate considers each presidential candidate to be unqualified to even run. I don’t have the right to vote but my perspective is just as absolute. I’m right, but I’d say that wouldn’t I.

Each party chose a candidate that was dismissed out of hand by half the country as even a valid choice to offer. The core of the debate has not been over policy or even really a vision of the future of the country, but of the fatal personal flaws of the other candidate.

Where do we go from here? If America elects Trump on Tuesday then I and half the country won’t just feel defeated and disappointed, worried about next four years and the country our children will inherit, but we’ll be skeptical of the president elect’s eligibility to hold the office to which he was democratically elected. If Clinton prevails the other half of the country will feel the same way.

Perhaps more disturbingly support for the candidates break heavily along gender, ethnicity and class lines. Whoever wins, whole communities will not only feel unrepresented in the White House, they’ll feel that its occupant is illegitimate. And for all their various skills, neither candidate has demonstrated skill in uniting the nation.