COMMENTARY: The last really boring, normal election we had, at least up to Election Day, was 16 years ago. Two presidential candidates, both scions of old political families, with policies that didn’t really seem that far apart, at least on the surface. Indeed it produced one of the closest races we’ve seen in the modern era.
Since then we’ve had eight years of a Republican administration and eight years of a Democratic one. Now we face a very different sort of election — and with conventions approaching, passions are running high.
At stake is the direction of this country not for just four years, but decades.
The average age of a Supreme Court Justice is 69, but two are over 78, the average age for retirement from the Court. They are Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy. Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement is currently held up in Congress and may well run over to the next administration. The makeup of the Court already hangs in the balance, and the next appointments could lead to dramatic changes.
Our standing in the world is at stake as well. Do we proceed with diplomacy or with bombast? Will goodwill towards our neighbors or a wall?
On the domestic front, to quote the words of an old campaigner, “It’s the economy, stupid.” For some the recovery has been wonderful. Stocks are well above where they were before the Lehman Brothers closed shop and started the worst recession in decades.
Yet others still struggle. How do we address that?
Will we choose the outsider or the seasoned politician? This is not going to be the Kumbaya election. Nor should it be.
If ever there was a time to thoroughly vet and examine the qualifications of our candidates that time is now. Yes, the debate will get heated, but that in the long run is a good thing. We should be clear on who we support, but more importantly why we support them.
Anger is not enough. Slogans alone will not work to resolve issues; nor will just being the loudest voice make our country better. Demand of your candidate and yourself a clear understanding of the issues, and the candidate’s stands on addressing those issues.
Then vote. Do more than vote — show up and make phone calls, go knock on doors. This time it really is that important.
Anderson, of Farmington, is a past Democratic Party county officer and member of the party’s state central committee. She has been active in several political campaigns. Today she follows politics avidly as a concerned citizen. She has been proudly voting since 1972.
This commentary has been updated to clarify the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court. It originally stated incorrectly that Justice Antonin Scalia was still on the Court.