I look at this presidential election and all I can think about is how the hell did we end up here. I think that most Americans, besides the most extreme right and left, can agree that the choices for President are pathetic.
Our country has a great history of groundbreaking politics and politicians that work for the common good. Yet we were a country that everyone in the world in 1776 thought would fail. But after 238 years America is still around and doing just fine.
Our country has survived through several not so stellar presidents and not one has been bad enough to cripple our country and stop this democracy. America has seen presidents like Lyndon B Johnson and Richard Nixon who both abused their power to use FBI surveillance programs unconstitutionally.
America has also been through the political campaign of John Adams, who wanted Thomas Jefferson thrown in jail because he was saying things about Adams he didn't like. So Adams supported and signed legislation infringing our 1st amendment right of free speech. Of course this didn't work and John Adams Party, the Federalist's, never won a national election again.
Our country has been through James Buchanan who wanted to nationalize slavery by using his best friend and Chief Justice Roger Taney. However, Justice Taney did not side with Buchanan and we thus didn't have nationalized slavery.
If you are worried about a president who was racist or not understanding of minorities, look no further than Millard Fillmore. His Fugitive Slave Act of 1853 required "Free states" to return runaway slaves to the south. Not only did he not like African Americans, but he was also known for his prejudice against Irish Catholics and mostly everyone who was not a White man from English decent.
Another president America survived through was Andrew Jackson. He was the biggest slave owner in the southwest and believed in Manifest Destiny. Which is the belief that it is a God-given right for whites to conquer all of North America. He is the cause of the "Trail of Tears", and was known to treat Native Americans as far lesser than him. He also blatantly defied a Supreme Court decision.
So if we look at our presidential candidates for the 2016 election we see that one is a criminal and one has a ton of prejudices and flaws. Both are not very good at following rules and both are running horrible campaigns. We see that both candidates you would think wouldn't be great in the office. However, if you look at the history of the presidency you can see that not every president is like Abraham Lincoln or FDR.
When we think of the great presidents in history, we think of maybe 4 or 5 great presidents. That's out of 43 men. That means for every 10 presidents only 1 would be considered great. That is a steep number for us expecting every president to be a historic one.
Now I don't believe that we should expect anything else but perfection from the leader of the free world. But I do think that we should be realistic in terms of what the president will actually turn out to be.
I think as a country we need to take a huge deep breath and relax about this election. People all across the country are booking their one-way tickets to Canada never to return. But if you look historically there are countless examples of past presidents doing things just as bad as what our candidates have done. Yet our country is still surviving.
Would I like to see our great country thrive instead of just survive? Of course! But I am realistic about what this election is. We are not going to elect our next FDR or Teddy Roosevelt or George Washington, we are electing a president that for the most part will be lost to history in a half-century.
With all of this being said I do think that this problem of an election we have is the fault of our major parties. I mean, come on these are the best people your party can get to run for office? I think not! As American citizens, I believe that we should expect more from our two main parties.
Like I said before, besides the far right and left, Americans are stuck voting for the candidate that won't offend them the week of the 8th. Maybe it is time to explore a third party candidate, and maybe it's time for a third party to make its presence known. Parties have come and gone in the past such as the Federalists, the Whigs and several others. In fact, 7 different political parties have held the office of the presidency.
I'm not sure what is going to happen in the future or what will happen with parties. But one thing I do know is that America is 238 years old and It is not going to die because of one president. So in the wise words of Packer Quarterback RELAX.