Debates over, it’s time for voters to decide
Voters will choose the next president of the United States in a little more than two weeks.
Our long, national nightmare is over. Can we vote now? Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met Wednesday night for their third and final presidential debate. Appropriately enough, they shared a stage in Las Vegas.
The only sure bet in this surreal campaign is that the Republican nominee would say or do something outrageous. He did not disappoint.
Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and reality TV star, once again stole the headlines with his assertion that he will not necessarily accept the results of next month’s election if he loses to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
His comment drew an audible gasp from the audience gathered on the campus of the University of Las Vegas.
Trump’s comment earned him another round of condemnations. His brash talk was labeled a “great disservice” to the country and “beyond the pale.”
And those were the Republican reactions.
Trump’s comments came on the heels of several weeks in which he had adapted the campaign tactic of pushing the notion that the election was somehow “rigged” by a cabal of Democrats, left-wingers and their minions in the media.
Make no mistake. This is dangerous talk, albeit hardly surprising coming as simply the latest unconventional bombast from a most unconventional candidate.
But his assertions of a rigged election and his boast that he will “keep you in suspense” in terms of accepting the will of the people strikes at the heart of our democracy.
Trump’s damaging rhetoric will no doubt inflame his base, and raises the specter of millions of Americans not accepting what has been the backbone of 240 years of democracy.
Yes, Democrat Al Gore went to court to challenge the Florida vote in 2000, but the two are hardly similar. Gore was not offering a blanket rejection of the vote. Instead, he was challenging specific ballot problems in Florida. When the court ruled against him, he accepted it. Trump has given no indication he is willing to do likewise.
Not much else from Wednesday night is likely to be remembered, nor change the mind of many voters.
Instead, Trump’s comments may simply move to turn off an electorate that seems more than ready to end this thing and go to the polls.
And that is the lesson to be learned here. This is about much more than Donald Trump. It is about a system that has served us well for a couple of centuries.
And also keep in mind there is much at stake aside from the presidential follies. Here in Pennsylvania we will be electing a U.S. senator, with Democrat Katie McGinty looking to unseat incumbent Republican Pat Toomey.
The race carries another interesting tidbit. While Hillary Clinton is looking to become the first woman ever elected president, likewise McGinty is trying to do pull off another first for women. That’s correct. Pennsylvania has never sent a woman to the U.S. Senate. To that end, the race quickly has become the most expensive in the nation, with control of the Senate potentially slipping from Republican to Democratic control.
Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania remains one of the few that does not allow early voting. Aside from absentee ballots, we have to hold our water until Nov. 8 to make our choices.
But don’t allow that decision to be watered down. Make sure your vote.
Despite how turned off you are by two seriously challenged candidates.
Yes, we are fully aware that Hillary Clinton also has her issues, honesty being at the top.
But she has yet to give any indication she would not accept the will of the people. Maybe Mr. Trump is so used to looking down at the people, to issuing his trademark ‘You’re Fired!’ commands, that he’s forgotten how a democracy works.
The people’s vote is paramount.
His comments to the contrary are contrary to a system that has served us well for 240 years.
Given that span and the splendid history it contains, we can wait another two weeks.