July 28, 2016
Most ranchers I know believe in voting, believe in God, believe in their country and believe in just being left alone. Those sentiments lead to many of us having an opinion and caring about the direction of the country, but there isn’t the time or the desire for most to get too heavily involved in the election process beyond heading to the voting booth on election day.
I suppose that’s true about most Americans. With that said, the rating numbers tell us that most Americans cared enough to tune into the two national conventions to try and make a more informed decision about who they want to lead this nation.
As a political junkie, I am always fascinated by the strategy behind the pomp and peoples’ response to the conventions. It has been amazing that, on both sides of the aisle, there is a lukewarm reception to the candidates by big portions of their respective bases. If “none of the above” was an option this year, it just might win.
With that said, the importance of this year’s election may very well live up to the hype of being the most critical election of our time, especially for those of us who look at a world geo-political system that has come unraveled and a world marching inexorably toward socialism despite its track record of failure.
What makes this election so important is that it is not a matter of degree and likability. It is difficult to put these candidates on the scale of liberal vs. conservative. Trump offers a new brand of populism that is half liberal-half conservative, and Hillary appears to have been swallowed up by the pressure that the extreme left in her party has created, forcing her to adopt the most liberal platform and set of promises of anyone to ever run for president.
With historically high negatives for both candidates, there is a tendency for people to just want to sit this one out, or simply vote for who they believe is the lesser of the two evils and leave it at that. Unfortunately, we can’t afford to sit this one out. Both sides agree on one thing; the outcome of this election will dramatically change the direction of our country and that the impacts will not be something that can be easily corrected in the next election cycle. The impact of this election will be felt for a generation or more.
Agriculture has a lot at stake, but it is a mixed bag from a strictly ag perspective. If you are a one issue voter, whether it be trade, the second amendment or economic philosophy (capitalism vs. socialism), your mind is made up and the choice is clear. However, if you take a broader view of your candidates, it is likely that you are going to have to pick the lesser of two evils.
Sadly, there is a long way to go before the election. I’m predicting great ratings for the Olympics and the start of football season; if people are like me they won’t want to watch the news much.
Usually, elections come down to organization and donated dollars. This year will be interesting as Trump has neither and Clinton has bucket loads of both. But as the primary season showed us, conventional wisdom has meant very little this year.
The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com and the Penton Agriculture Group.
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