Letter from the Editor - The looming decision

Hollywood, MD - I’ve often said the two greatest things about America’s Democracy are the two-party system and the secret ballot. I intend to fully utilize both when the day of decision arrives.

Many people are quite unhappy with the choices our two major parties have given us. I happen to think we have enough choices, so, no, I won’t be casting my vote for the “third guy.” Just because all your baggage is carry-on doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the ideal choice for president.

So, are these two the worst choices EVER!? If you ponder it and study the backgrounds of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump you might possibly conclude that, to the contrary, these might be the best choices… EVER.

If you have been waiting for St. Francis of Assisi to throw his hat into the ring you can forget about it. We are electing, not canonizing a president.

Yes, both candidates have erratic personalities, voluminous paper trails, there’s video, there’s audio, there are still photographs showing both making horrible faces, they’ve said horrible things about each other and other people. There aren’t enough bellhops at the Waldorf Astoria to carry all the combined baggage.

It’s always important, I believe, to apply historical perspective to any looming event that will become part of history. The fact is, due to technology, we are more familiar with these two candidates than any candidates we have had to choose from before. We’ve done just about everything but follow them into the bathroom.

Americans didn’t know Lincoln was chronically depressed. Most Americans were unaware that FDR couldn’t walk on his own. JFK had a bad back and Addison’s disease. LBJ had a mouth like a sewer. Plus, Jerry Ford, often lampooned as clumsy, was arguably the best athlete to ever serve as president.

From what I’ve seen on social media, in this particular election not enough of the positives have been weighed. Very few anti-Trump people acknowledge that he came from a fabulously well-to-do family and probably could have lived comfortably on his family’s fortune and worked whenever it was convenient for him. Instead he opted to work harder, and live much riskier and larger than that. Few of the anti-Clinton people have considered that she was a college student at a time when most young women pursued higher education not so much for a BA, MA or PHD but to obtain their MRS. She also chose a more arduous path and opted to be above average.

There is nothing wrong with career ambition. If you’re a working person you know that every day you work you walk through a cow pasture that’s also a minefield. You are either going to step in something that you’ll never get off your shoes or step on something that will obliterate you. These two candidates shouldn’t be disparaged for their ambition. They have more than earned their right to aspire to be president.

Let’s face it, folks, the “Pinocchio Factor” doesn’t and never has, applied to the U.S. Presidency. We only pretend it does. Sure, Washington and Lincoln are legendary for their honesty and Carter said “I’ll never lie to you.” But that’s just lore and campaign rhetoric. Every president has probably routinely lied to us—except maybe for William Henry Harrison, who was too sick and weak, and lasted only 30 days on the job. The White House is not a bastion of transparency. Truthfulness should not be a litmus test for candidates. If it was nobody would win.

As for the day after the election, I am not concerned about how the losing candidate will react. Both appear to be quite comfortable in their own skin. Defeat will be shaken off like a 48-hour head cold. But I do worry about the rest of you—the rest of us. I know there are many who are not the least bit undecided and believe that for the other candidate to win means despair. I say don’t ever despair.

No parent gives a 16-year-old the keys to the family car and doesn’t worry constantly. Giving someone the keys to the White House is no different. We’re humans, not bears, and hibernation is not an option. We can’t just say, “good luck and we’ll check on you again in four years.” Even if your candidate wins we all have the responsibility to always let him or her know who is really in charge.

No matter who wins, Americans must remember there will still be people who hate us for the mere fact that we are Americans. Healthcare and how to afford it will always be an issue no matter what law is or isn’t in effect. We will always be overtaxed and underpaid, the economy will always be volatile, and society will always be a potentially dangerous place to live. There are so many deadly diseases we need to eradicate and the challenges of everyday life are daunting.

The candidates may promise a lot but the next president isn’t going to mollycoddle us. America needs a leader, not a controller. We are the controllers.

So, when you go to vote, move your hand away from your nose and enjoy the sweet smell of democracy.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the management and staff of The BayNet.

Contact Marty Madden at

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