Between the Lines: Get Serious and Vote

Good God, please vote in November. If you are not yet registered, and you’re a Massachusetts resident, you have until Oct. 19 to get your registry card at any Town Hall, Registry of Motor Vehicles, or government office that provides public assistance. You can also register online at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/.

There are lots of reasons to stay home on Nov. 8, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. — when polls will be open. But this election is too important to sit out; either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or real estate developer and reality TV star Donald Trump will be president. And the race is shockingly close.

Democrat Clinton leads Republican Trump 48 to 43 percent among likely voters nationwide, according to the most recent Quinnipiac University national poll. With third party candidates in the mix, Clinton received the support of 41 percent of those polled, Trump got 39 percent, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson received 13 percent, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein collected 4 percent.

When race and gender are considered, gaps in support become apparent: 66 percent of non-white voters back Clinton while 51 percent of white voters support Trump; 54 percent of women say they’re likely to vote for Clinton, while 50 percent of men say they’ll vote Trump.

One of these people is going to be the commander-in-chief of the most heavily armed military in the world.

One of these people is going to appoint Supreme Court justices.

One of these people is going to direct the future of the nation’s strained healthcare system.

One of these people is going to be charged with protecting the most vulnerable members of our society: women, children, religious and racial minorities.

Do you know who you trust more with these responsibilities?

Then for every soldier’s sake, vote this year.

Nationwide, 93 million eligible voters didn’t cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Only 57.5 percent of registered voters hit the polls that year.

This election season has been difficult to stomach, with the voting public treated to nonstop discussion — not reporting — on trivial issues like Clinton’s pneumonia or how Trump talks about his daughters. The lack of guts the televised media has shown in conducting candidate debates and interviews has been an embarrassment to anyone who’s ever had a byline. Meanwhile, the candidates skate by on softball interviews with celebrities and scant press conferences.

Despite all these efforts to distract people, it’s crystal clear who the presidential candidates are and what they will do if elected. Clinton and Trump are some of the oldest and most infamous candidates to run for the presidency, and this gives Americans a lot of material to sift through to see what their true values are. We know exactly what these two would do if elected president: they’ll approach the job the same way they’ve approached all the other opportunities, relationships, and responsibilities in their lives.

Which person has impressed you more with what she or he has done over the last six or seven decades? Which person has the experience necessary to not only lead America, but get people here and abroad to follow?

This isn’t the kind of election where either candidate will likely do the same job as the other. These candidates have radically different politics, temperaments, and backgrounds. It’s every registered voters’ responsibility to choose who could best handle a 9/11-type situation, another Hurricane Katrina, more mass shootings, and the rising ocean. Do all you can to ensure your vote is counted.

Contact Kristin Palpini at editor@valleyadvocate.com.

Kristin Palpini

Author: Kristin Palpini

Editor of the Valley Advocate

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