When asked, “If (insert presidential candidate here) wins…,” we often hear the same responses: “America will never be the same but we will endure,” “We’ll have to pray for our nation,” and the ever-famous “I’m moving to Canada.” In our eyes, every four years the nation is on the verge of collapse if a certain presidential candidate wins. However, after four years of going about our lives regardless of who wins the presidential election, we begin panicking about the next election.
This year in particular we have been hearing a lot about people are afraid of nuclear warfare if Trump is elected president. Who can stop him from pressing the big red button? If he were president, then technically no one. The Secretary of Defense is part of the decision and has legal authority to approve the order, but has no vetoing power. This has been the same with all the presidents in the Atomic Age, but luckily none of our presidents have ever had to decide how to respond to a nuclear attack and hopefully no president will ever be required to make that decision. While it is important to ask ourselves how we would want our Commander in Chief to respond and compare that to how we think these candidates would respond, it is also important to look at current events. Realistically, do we need to be thinking about nuclear attacks on a day-to-day basis?
Many people have also expressed their fears about Hillary Clinton’s administration being riddled with corruption. The truth is that we will probably never know just how corrupt politicians are, at least not to the full extent. Donations to the Clinton Foundation have come under heavy review and suspicion but the candidate has stated that should she be elected president, the Foundation will no longer accept donations from corporations or foreign governments. Though it is hard to verify Clinton’s denial of any conflict of interest, there is no evidence that favors have been bought through donations through the foundation either. Some people seem to think that politics looks a lot like TV shows like House of Cards, full of corruption and questionable morals, but in reality it’s probably closer to the TV show Veep.
Every single year the American people feel as though somehow if the election does not turn out the way that they hope, the government will vanish and all those dystopian novels and movies we’ve been gobbling up will become our reality. In truth, the American people tend to entirely forget all about who the president is for the four years in between the presidential elections. The only time we notice the president’s presence is on important dates or when there is a hint of a possible scandal, and some may even ask whether or not it really matters who our president is.
However, although I believe it does matter who our president is, perhaps we don’t need to swing over to the other extreme. Even though the American people only seem to care about politics come election time, election season is the most important time for them to care. It is important to look at our candidates and decide who we want to be our face to the world, who we want to trust with the big picture items, to trust with legislation we won’t take the time to look into, to trust with the overall running of our country so that we, the American people, can get on with our day-to-day lives until the next election.