Cat’s Corner – Election 2016 By- Catherine Mahrholz

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I’m going to vote in November. But I am going to have to hold my nose as I do it. As an American, just barely, I was conceived in Europe following World War II, I am thoroughly embarrassed. I am so frustrated and disgusted with the political soap opera currently unfolding between the two leading presidential candidates.

I am convinced that a Clinton-Bush political dynasty does exist. I believe that both families want to retain political power.

As a student of history, I think the historical record of the quest for power over the peons, the peasants, the populace or whatever label one chooses to describe us regular folks, has been the order of the day for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Until recently, I thought perhaps Donald Trump was a brash New Yorker with a loud mouth who just might surround himself with good advisors if elected to the office of President of the United States.

I like the fact that he used to be a Democrat, that he is NOT a lawyer and that he is not beholden to special interest groups due to his own vast personal wealth. He doesn’t need other people’s money to run a campaign. He has, we are told, spent millions of his own money to fund this effort.

Ronald Reagan, often touted as a great president was a Hollywood actor before entering the political arena. He was good at putting a smile on his face and able to be charming when called upon to do so.

I lived in California when Reagan was governor there and I was not impressed. I was at one time aspiring to a Masters Degree in Psychology and was appalled that he approved the closure of state run mental health facilities as a cost saving measure, yet no alternative was available. The result was a huge increase in the homeless population in California.

I just recently read that he had a lifelong interest in the Republican Party. As President he surrounded himself with qualified and competent advisors.

As of this writing, the sexual exploits, lies and accusations flying from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump just make me want to hiss and spit!

What about the issues facing our nation and the rest of the world? Where is the conversation about how to deal with all of THAT?

Sexual exploits, foul language, lying and cheating are nothing new for those in positions of power. If one studies history, one can see that this sort of behavior has been happening for hundreds and hundreds of years. From arranged marriages and royal affairs, to dictators to corporate executives and politicians of every stripe, this sort of behavior is not unique.

I’ll be 68 this year and the only time I can remember being truly enthusiastic about a presidential candidate was way back in the last century when I lived in San Francisco, California. I was a registered Democrat then and still experiencing the fading but persistent idealism of youth.

George McGovern was running for President on the Democratic ticket and in “The City by the Bay,” legalizing marijuana was also on the ballot that year. I voted for McGovern in the hopes of ending an awful war, and also for the legalization of Cannabis. As I recall, most of the registered voters in San Francisco voted the same way.

Today I am registered Unaffiliated. I did so quite a few years ago. And if I can believe what I read, more people who are registered to vote in the United States are registered Unaffiliated than Democrat and Republican combined.

It would seem I perhaps have a lot of company when I say I am fed up with the BS so prevalent in politics today.

As a friend of mine once wisely said, “The Democratic Party of today is not the party of your father or even your grandfather and the same can be said of the Republican Party!”

Each of us has political viewpoints shaped by our own life experiences. And kudos to each and every person who HAS an opinion!

I am, however, and always will be, staunchly in favor of the United States Constitution. I also believe the United States is the best country in which to live. We have rights and freedoms many other people in the world only dream of.

My own political views were shaped not just by living in San Francisco, but more so by living in a third world country in South America back in the early 1960s. Living in a country with a military dictatorship and witnessing first hand a military coup with armed soldiers, shots fired and yet another military dictator taking power had a profound and lasting impact on me.

As for what’s gong on today, enough of the mud slinging already! I really don’t care about sexual shenanigans. There are huge, HUGE problems in the world we live in today.

Our culture and our behavior as a society have played a role in where we find ourselves today. Let’s get through this election and then we really need to talk about and address the issues facing us as in terms of our culture and our priorities as a people and as a nation.

I just heard on the midday news that there is a new syndrome prevalent among half of Americans polled by the American Psychological Association. This new malady is labeled ESD, which stands Election Stress Disorder. I know I have it. And according to the APA, Millennials have it too.

I do, however, respect everyone’s right to an opinion. In all of the brouhaha surrounding the run up to the Nov.8, 2016 election, I am thrilled to the marrow that so many people HAVE an opinion! It is part of the beauty of the United States of America that we can have differing political viewpoints. And it has been a source of dismay for me that apathy seems so rampant in these United States.

We can vote. As Americans each of us has a voice. We can express ourselves in the election process. How fortunate we are that we are able to do so. And each vote does count. History tells us that.

So, I am voting in November. A part of me has grave reservations about what the future holds for the United States of America. Another part of me, the eternal optimist in me, hopes that we as a people, especially us common folks, will somehow prevail and make the world a better place.