Presidential candidates not very presidential

In any given presidential election year, it is easy to complain about the candidates for the highest office in the land.

There are always things about the candidates that we dislike. Some are minor flaws that we can overlook and some are major problems too big for us to ignore. This year, though, there seems to be very little that is redeeming about the hopefuls.

On the Democratic side, there is Hillary Clinton. Between the email scandal that won’t go away, the perception she cannot be trusted and the fact that her husband could not avoid controversy while he was president, there are plenty of reasons not to like her. In a typical election season, Clinton would be in big trouble as she tries to become the first woman ever elected President of the United States.

But this is no normal election season, thanks to Clinton’s Republican opponent, Donald Trump. Trump cannot help but find controversy, and he brings it on himself. He belittles and berates women, minorities and anyone who isn’t like him. He makes outlandish statements and fails to let the truth keep him from telling a good tale, yet when he is called out for those statements, he refuses to apologize and admit he is wrong. He has alienated much of his own party, and he couldn’t care less. He has no solid plans to “Make America Great Again” if he is elected, hoping to ride a wave of insults and derogatory comments to the White House.

If ever there was a year in which to embrace a third party candidate, this would seem to be it, except there are no credible outside candidates for voters to choose.

The Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, is hoping to gain enough of a following to warrant his inclusion in the presidential debates. However, his appearance this week on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program did not help him. On that program, Johnson was asked what he would do about Aleppo and his response was, “What is Aleppo?” Aleppo is a city in Syria that is the epicenter of that nation’s refugee crisis amid the ongoing fight against ISIS, and anyone aspiring for the presidency should have a firm grasp of that. He doesn’t, and his candidacy cannot be taken seriously.

Then there’s Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has a warrant out for her arrest for spray-painting construction equipment in North Dakota during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline.  She faces two misdemeanor counts, but still, a presidential candidate should not be facing any kind of arrest warrant.

It appears Clinton will win the election almost by default. Hopefully in four years, voters will have much better choices before them for the presidency. They can’t be any worse than this year’s crop, can they?

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