This election cycle has already moved out-of-the-box so many times, that there actually is no longer any box to be seen. I’m not going to enumerate the plethora of examples in both the Republican and Democrat race. Unless you not only have your head in the sand but you are also wearing a blindfold and earmuffs, you can identify them yourself.
However, there is one strange out-of-the-box way of which I am increasingly becoming aware. I have no idea how many of my friends will choose to cast their ballot. Without talking to them, I can’t predict what my friends are thinking, even those with whom I’ve politically walked in sync, sometimes for decades.
We have certainly had differences before. But the differences have been ones of intensity rather than final result. I thought Mitt Romney ran an awful campaign (I believe you can draw a straight line between his campaign and Trump being the nominee) handing the election to the Obama team. I had serious misgivings about how good a president he would have been were he to be elected. Some of my friends thought he was the perfect candidate, running an excellent, if losing, campaign; a loss they blamed on not being welcoming enough to illegal immigrants. Yet, we all agreed that voting for Barack Obama wasn’t an option.
I have other friends who have been loyal Democrats since their first voting experience. I disagreed vehemently with their assessment of the Democrat and Republican parties, but I knew where they stood. They were solid Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama voters.
When I do speak to friends on both sides of this divide, I hear of people jumping ship. Staunch conservatives who are considering voting for Hillary and fervent liberals who are thinking of voting for Trump. I am in a continual state of surprise. It is entirely possible that twists and turns over the next few months will upend what these friends are saying today.
If the election was tomorrow, I would cast my vote for Trump. All the choices, including a third-party candidate or leaving the president box blank, make my heart sink. I see no option that makes me proud. I would choose Trump right now because the analogy I see is a doctor telling a patient that they have a 5% chance of recovery. They can continue the course they are on (Hillary) and almost certainly die. Alternatively, they can try an experimental (Trump) drug. It might cure them or at least keep them alive longer while scientists work on discovering a cure. Of course, it might kill them more quickly than doing nothing. Neither option has me sleeping peacefully; but I would go with the gamble.
I am also going to speak to my friend, N., whose knowledge of history and street-smart wisdom I admire. We are on the same spiritual and cultural page. Just yesterday she mentioned that she would vote for Hillary. She looked nauseous as she said that. I want to hear her thoughts as I work on steeling myself to make a decision that, whichever way I go, has the possibility of being disastrous for a country I love.