Hartley: I’ve never been so eager for a Wednesday | AspenTimes.com

Hartley: I’ve never been so eager for a Wednesday

Can you see it? There, just up ahead. It’s … it’s … it’s the light at the end of the tunnel! Hallelujah! We’re saved! It’s almost over!

Just smell that fresh air wafting here from next week, promising happier times when Election Day will be a thing of the past and we won’t have to breathe the putrid fumes of Campaign 2016 anymore. I’m giddy just thinking about it.

Imagine, for a second, that you’re someone from a random, foreign country and you’ve been following American politics from afar all summer and fall. Think about what you’ve been witnessing.

You’ve been watching a woman, who many people despise and who almost no one really likes, running against the kind of cartoonish, bad-guy billionaire you’d dream up for a B-grade comedy. As sad as that is for us as a nation, it must be hysterical to anyone who isn’t from here.

I mean, talk about a no-win situation. On the one hand, you have a wildly unpopular candidate who represents the worst of politics as usual; on the other hand, you have Donald Trump. We’re supposed to be leading the world and championing democracy, and those are our choices? How pathetic is that?

Many people have asked me why “I’m With Stupid” hasn’t given out its all-important endorsement yet, and the answer is simple. Donald Trump is the worst candidate for president in American history. Hillary Clinton may be the second worst. To endorse either one would be a betrayal of everything I believe as a columnist and a human being.

The word “endorse,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means: “to publicly or officially say that you support or approve of (someone or something).” To me, that says that anyone endorsing Trump for president is a liar. You might consider him marginally better than Clinton, but you can’t actually approve of him. There’s no way. He’s repulsive.

And Clinton … I don’t know. She doesn’t seem to believe in anything. She just says whatever she thinks will get her elected. As far as I can tell, everything she’s ever done from staying with her lothario husband through all his adultery to running for senator in a state she didn’t live in — has been a matter of political expediency. To endorse her is to endorse a system that everyone agrees sucks.

No. I assure you I would never “support or approve of” either one of them. I like to think I have more integrity than that.

Let me say this, though, to everyone I can reach: Flock to the polls and vote for Clinton, as much as you might hate her. Make sure she wins in a landslide so that the Republican Party understands that it needs to reinvent itself. Hopefully, it can do it quickly and run a candidate in 2020 who isn’t the physical embodiment of everything that’s wrong with America today.

Switching tacks, on a local level, I’m glad the election will be over so that the people in my town can accept whatever decisions are rendered and finally stop fighting one another.

For those of you who don’t know, my town, Basalt, has been battling over what amounts to about an acre of land in the middle of downtown. We’re building a river park, and we’re being asked if we want to tax ourselves to build a bigger park.

There are valid arguments for and against the bigger park, but the level of bitterness that has marked the debate is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It really has gotten ugly, and it provides a valuable lesson in how not to state your case.

You see, in my view, some of the people opposing the park purchase have gone about it in such a way — flooding social media, commenting incessantly any time someone brings the issue up, screaming their objections in ALL CAPS with lots of exclamation points!!!!! — that their valid arguments have gotten lost in the din.

The truth is, they may be right. We’re a small town, and we probably shouldn’t be taking on a huge amount of debt to make our park a little bigger. But when you keep interjecting yourself into conversations where no one wanted your opinion and you yell at other people that they should shut up because they don’t live here, you don’t help your cause.

In any event, we’re getting a park. As long as there’s a beer garden and a place for kids to play, I’ll be fine with it.

Todd Hartley is completely serious about the beer garden, which better have radlers and schweinebraten. To read more or leave a comment, visit http://zerobudget.net.

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