My voting life began with the 1972 race between Richard Nixon and George McGovern. At the time, as an 18-year-old faux-radical longhair, the choice was clear: vote for McGovern, if you bothered to rise from your pot-haze patate de sofa position and go to the polls. Which I didn’t.
In every election since, there has been at least some redeeming quality in at least one of the candidates that could be used to justify pulling a lever. This time, alas, no. Never before have we faced such a lousy choice. Maybe you agree.
Representing one party, we have a loose cannon. In the opposing party, an extremely well-aimed cannon—with plenty of balls. In either case, those of us manning the artillery deck of the USS Constitution are likely to get clobbered. So we need to decide who will do the least amount of damage to us and the country.
Plenty of supporters on both sides won’t be swayed by WikiLeaks, sex scandals, falling down, anything contained in “just discovered” videos, scratchy audiotapes, questionable documents, “not-really-smoking-after-all” guns, or other blather flooding the airwaves. They already know who they are voting for, and none of that will budge them.
That leaves the fate of the election in the hands of the few truly undecided voters, who are likely to be considering, as an alternative to the voting booth, moving to any country to which Alec Baldwin hasn’t already called “dibs.”
All this reminds me of the first rhetorical question I can recall hearing, on the third-grade playground: “If you’re up to your neck in shit, and someone is about to throw a bucket of puke in your face, do you duck?”
If we’re looking for the best worst-case scenario, simply voting against one of the candidates may not deliver that outcome. We need a more scientific method of choosing our executioner. Below, I propose a series of questions that may help the distraught voter ferret out the ever-so-insignificant differences between these two loons that might make it possible to choose. These questions will only help if approached from the viewpoint of a suicidal Libertarian. Extremists of either red or blue stripe may not even understand the questions. So here we go— shall we step in road apples or dog poo?
1. Which Candidate Will Do the Most Harm to Our Civil Liberties?
Hillary appears bent on a career-long quest to run our rights through a wood chipper, and Donald is likely to do it accidentally, while obliviously cock-strutting through our legislative apparatus. Which is worse?
2. Who Will Do the Most Damage to the Supreme Court?
We can pretty much predict what Clinton will do to the high court, but since Trump has never actually revealed his political leanings, who knows? I still suspect he’s a Hillary shill—but that’s me.
3. Which Will Trample the Constitution the Most?
Hillary has already revealed that she intends to take away one of our most fundamental constitutional rights: the right of toddlers to bear arms. I say it’s a slippery slope, and she can’t be trusted. The Donald, on the other hand, has intimated (if that is the right word) that he intends to eliminate the rights of women who are “hot” to be free from fondling, groping, and frottage. A yet more-nuanced choice.
4. Which Will Push Executive Overreach the Furthest?
I’d call this a dead heat. It should be clear to anyone with brainwaves that these are two people who are not used to being told “no.”
5. Which Candidate Is Least Capable of Carrying Out His or Her Destructive Plans?
This question is important, because no matter how horrific a candidate’s intentions might be, who can deliver? Both have extremely well-oiled machines at their disposal, and neither appears to have a shred of morality. Both will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. If the White House can be staffed completely with Hooters girls, Donald’s administration would grind (possibly literally) to a halt. Will anything stop Hill?
6. Who Can Be Impeached Soonest?
The follow-up question: which vice presidential candidate would you prefer to see in the Oval Office?
Considering that Hillary is still free to walk the streets (albeit with a cadre of citizen-kickers surrounding her), I’d expect that with Obama’s Justice Department and FBI and the lily-livered Congress she could shoot someone on Madison Avenue and get away with it (has that one already been taken?). Besides, she’s too careful.
Trump, on the other hand, could plausibly be under impeachment at the inauguration, leaving Mike Pence in charge. Hmmm.
7. Who Can Deliver the Best Optics?
To answer this, we need to visualize these candidates throwing out the first pitch, descending from Air Force One (will anyone be able to top Obama’s ”dog paw” step-trotting technique?), jogging on the White House grounds (ick and ick), or groping guests in Rose Garden ceremonies (Trump is way ahead on this). Keep in mind: these will be images we can never un-see.
8. Who Is More Likely to Be Unable to Finish the Term in Office for, um, Other Reasons?
Like collapsing. Or eloping with Vladimir Putin.
9. Who Will Be Least Irritating While Constantly Admonishing Us on Television?
Crikey, I gotta admit, that makes me want to up my dose of antidepressants.
10. Who Would You Prefer to See as First Lady?
So, there’s your formula:
INTENTIONS ÷ COMPETENCY x RUNNING MATE
OPTICS – LONGEVITY x IRRITATION + FIRST LADY
Now, get out to the polls, take a deep breath and vote for our demise. And don’t forget to duck. Or not.