Monday, November 07, 2016

No Shortcuts

It’s all about shortcuts.

The election, the news coverage of the candidates, and the candidates themselves. It’s all about taking shortcuts.

News organizations of all kinds decide to toss up a big story to increase their ratings, clicks or newsstand sales without taking the long way around and checking the details, putting it all in context, or giving the historical perspective on the issues. They take a shortcut for the sake of their wallets.

We, the audience, read the news headlines without taking the time to read a story and weigh what it says, weeding out the biases or the illogical conclusions and considering the history of where we’ve come from or the history we want to leave behind for our children.

And let’s look at the candidates themselves.

Hillary takes no shortcuts. She does the research, digging down into the details that determine what makes life better for people who cannot fight for themselves. She allows herself to see the challenges and difficulties faced by the underprivileged and feels empathy for them. She takes on their challenges and works hard to find solutions, whether this work gets headlines or not. This is a way of life for her and always has been.

Donald has always taken shortcuts. It appears he has no understanding of the difficulties faced by others, as demonstrated by the way he repeatedly refuses to pay people who have done work for him, by the way he preys on women, by the way he dodges taxes that are needed to fund programs that help millions of people and then brags about it all. He cares only for himself and his own publicity. He prefers acting on instinct, which means he does not want to do the research and preparation required for a debate, nevermind for the office he seeks. He seems to have no understanding of how much more would be required of him if he occupied the Oval Office.

Some will say Hillary has taken shortcuts by using her own email server or by being less than fully transparent when answering questions from the media. Personally, I’d rather have a president who can admit mistakes and learns from them than one who thinks he’s never done anything wrong.

There are no shortcuts for my family now. My husband has cancer.

We have to take every slow and painful step along this road, celebrate the victories when they come and pick ourselves up and keep going when they don't. Every decision I make, whether it’s regarding his care, household chores or financial responsibilities I ask myself, “If I take this next step, where will we end up?”

As a country, we need to ask ourselves, “If we take this step, where will we end up?”

Consider how you’re voting.

Where does that path lead?

Is it a shortcut or is it a path toward real and lasting solutions?