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AROUND THE NABERHOOD: I refuse to vote for Hillary or Trump

Normally I avoid politics like the plague. Tempers flare up, people argue and it just makes a great big mess when all either side of the conversation wants is for America to be the best that it can be.

Without getting into the details, here’s what I think of both candidates.

I think Donald Trump is a liar, a bully, uninformed, inexperienced in politics and a pretty bad businessman as well.

Could you imagine Trump in a situation like the Cuban Missile Crisis? I’m pretty sure insults and shouting, “You’re fired!” wouldn’t work out too well.

As for Hillary Clinton, her list of shady dealings is just as long as Trump’s list of failures.

If Richard Nixon had to resign over erasing 18.5 minutes of audio, why is she running for president after deleting 30,000 emails held on a private server? Any elected official, from the president on down to a small-town politician, knows not to do something so backhanded.

How did we end up in this situation?

Are these really the two people who best represent America?

I cannot and will not vote for either of these candidates. I did not choose either of them, they do not represent me and I do not believe they represent our country either.

I’m not alone in this view; according to the Washington Post, Hillary and Trump are the least popular candidates ever. Last month, a poll conducted by Morning Consult found that of the qualities voters disliked of both candidates, Hillary had six big ones and Trump’s were more spread out.

For Hillary:

• Not trustworthy — 47 percent

• Corrupt — 39 percent

• Changes her position when it is politically convenient — 21 percent

• Out of touch with average Americans — 12 percent

• Says one thing, but does another — 12 percent

• Does not share my values — 10 percent

For Trump:

• Racist — 25 percent

• Does not have the right experience to be president — 20 percent

• Not trustworthy — 16 percent

• Does not know enough about the issues — 13 percent

• Changes his position when it is politically convenient —12 percent

• Has extreme political views — 12 percent

• Corrupt — 11 percent

• Out of touch with average Americans — 11 percent

• Lacks experience — 11 percent

• Sexist — 11 percent

We’ve pigeonholed ourselves into choosing between two unsavory characters through a process that doesn’t even allow the population to choose the candidates nor even directly vote for them.

The founding fathers were against a two-party system and I think they’re right.

John Adams said, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

I agree, and it gets worse — Did you know that democracy is dead in the U.S.?

In fact, it has been dead for a few years now, according to a study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern universities. (You can read the whole thing at tinyurl.com/RIPdemocracy.)

Instead of a democracy, we are an oligarchy — which is a country led by a small dominant class — and the government represents the rich and powerful, not the average citizen.

By comparing 1,800 U.S. policies created by politicians from 1981 through 2002 to the policies preferred by average and wealthy citizens, the research team found that U.S. policies are formed by special interest groups and not the general public.

This really doesn’t come as a surprise; I mean, how often do we hear about bribery in Washington, D.C.? How often do things like Citizens United pass, but we’re all too distracted by celebrities and non-issues to do anything about it?

My guess is, probably about as often as Trump and Hillary have done something to add to the list of reasons why they’re not fit for the title of commander in chief.

So there’s the short of it. I hate both candidates, I believe the system is beyond corrupt and just writing about this has got me needing some serious camping and fishing therapy time.

I don’t know whom I will write in as my choice for president when November comes, but there’s plenty of time for someone better than those two to earn my vote, and hopefully the votes of others as well.

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