With one day to go before the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and republican challenger Donald Trump and the stakes as high as ever one must wonder why is this still a contest?
Nate Silver’s 538 Blog has Clinton up by around six points with 58.1 to Trumps 48.9 and roughly a month to go.
Who are they?
Hillary Clinton is a person who has spent most of her adult life involved in politics and public service. She is married to former president Bill Clinton, was a U.S. Senator ( out of New York ) and Secretary of State under current President Barack Obama.
Clinton, who has been characterized as more liberal than her husband Bill Clinton has adopted as part of her platform some positions held by former democratic challenger Bernie Sanders (such as free state college for children of families making less than 125,000 per year).
A Clinton presidency would more than likely mean a continuation of the successful economic policies of President Barack Obama as well as a foreign policy reflecting the shared vision and cooperation of like minded nations looking to face a future that must include underdeveloped and war torn nations.
Donald Trump is a real estate developer and successful reality show creator. Trump has no previous public service experience to speak of and has gone on record insulting Mexicans and women.
Trump has suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a stronger leader than our current President and has called for a re-introduction of stop and frisk laws in U.S. cities (most notably Chicago).
Never in recent presidential history has there existed such a lop sided difference in qualifications.
So why are the candidates so close in the polls?
To answer that question why don’t we try looking at the stakes.
To date we are looking at the largest gap between the rich and poor ever in the history of the nation. CEO’s make hundreds of times more than their employees and the political power derived from this economic advantage drove former president Jimmy Carter to say on the Thom Hartmann radio show said that America is now an Oligarchy
The next U.S. president will have an opportunity to select two and possibly three Supreme Court justices. At stake, Citizens United, the law enabling unlimited spending in elections by corporations. These are high stakes indeed and that explains in part why at this point the polls are still close.
The Deconstruction Of Hillary
Hillary Clinton does have challenges as she is not the most polished candidate and like most politicians she has done some flip flopping but she is nowhere near the criminal and liar that her detractors make her out to be.
A little discussed aspect of this candidate is the poise and focus she displayed after years and years of scrutiny and congressional hearings over essentially two issues: Bengazi and the e-mail scandal.
Far right pundits with an assist from just about all of our news outlets have successfully and relentlessly planted in the minds of every day Americans that both candidates are equally flawed.
The false equivalence of both candidates being flawed could lead to low voter turnout. ( which always seems to favor the republican candidate).
Couple low turnout with the possibility of Russian hackers and those dreaded Diebold voting machines (remember those Mr. Kerry) and there you have it. An upset of epic proportions.
It seems that we are all on the clock as for the first time in recent history America will be forced to take a serious look at herself.
Are we the beacon of hope and fairness that is our potential?
Or will we succumb to the seduction of fear and greed?
Could Jimmy Carter be right? Let’s hope the answer to that question is a heartfelt no.