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Finley: This will be the worst presidential choice ever

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News
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Three hundred million people in America and our choice for president is between a lunatic and a liar.

I’ve been voting in presidential elections for 40 years, and I’ve never seen a ballot this unappetizing. I can’t stomach a thing on the menu.

Donald Trump is a populist weather vane with no motivating principle except to exploit the prejudice and paranoia of a frustrated people. He is bereft of substantive policy positions, and doesn’t have a clue about what it takes to be president.

Hillary Clinton’s ambitions are entirely for herself. She is a habitual prevaricator whose first instinct is to lie. She’s willing to tell any whopper, justify any short-cut in the name of claiming what she is convinced is her right to be president.

This isn’t a case of hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. There is no lesser evil.

Trump and Clinton are the two most flawed candidates ever to appear on a presidential ballot as the major party candidates, and the most polarizing.

In Trump, Republicans are preparing to nominate a candidate who 57 percent of the country view negatively, according to a CBS News poll this spring. Only 24 percent view him favorably. That’s a big hole from which to start a presidential campaign.

And while Democrats are smugly rejoicing at the GOP’s apparent self-immolation, they don’t have as much to gloat about as they may think.

The same survey gave Hillary Clinton a 52 percent negative rating, with just 31 percent of voters viewing her favorably. And even as she tries to put the primary season behind her, she’s still losing key states to Sen. Bernie Sanders, suggesting she has the same challenge as Trump in uniting her party.

If their negatives are this high at the start of the general election campaign, imagine what they will be after $9 billion is spent over seven months in an attempt to make them even worse? Whoever wins will start his or her tenure as the most unpopular newly elected president ever.

In a straight up or down referendum in which Trump’s or Clinton’s name was the only one on the ballot, neither would get enough support to win the election.

Each must hope that their voters will turn out not because they love them, but because they hate their opponent. A good many Americans will be voting against, rather than for, and that’s never a good recipe for building optimism and enthusiasm for the country’s future.

So what do those of us who can’t bear to blacken the circle for either Trump or Clinton do on Election Day?

We could skip over the presidential race and vote the rest of the ticket. Or we could do a symbolic write-in of someone we wish were on the ballot.

Or we could pick a candidate from one of the lesser parties.

I’m intrigued by the Party Party, started by a cat named Andrew W.K. with, he claims, the help of Playboy magazine. Although he launched his party on April Fool’s Day, Mr. W.K. says it is a serious political movement dedicated to his “vision of unifying joy.”

Good enough for me. I can’t think of a better way to send a message to Republicans and Democrats that just because they send us such sorry choices, we don’t have to vote for them.

Nolan Finley’s “Little Red Hen: A Collection of Columns from Detroit’s Conservative Voice” is available from Amazon, iBooks and Barnes & Noble Nook.


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