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It’s an understatement that the 2016 presidential election is one of the most contentious in modern history. From our major candidates calling each other liars to sexual assault allegations stretching back 30 years, it’s difficult to tell if this is a presidential campaign or a nasty reality show. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are fighting their way forward to the White House in the most combative style in modern history.
Voter turnout will be the key to the victor, and much of that will depend on who turns up, turns out and casts their ballot for the candidate of their choice.
I am a product of the Civil Rights Era of the 50s and 60s…and the right to vote is very very precious to me. I’ve missed very few elections and scratch my head when people don’t vote. My second son in law recently became a US citizen so that he could vote in the Nov 8th election. Voting is power and voting is a privilege in this country.
Joining me today is Dr. Nichole R. Phillips, Assistant Professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University whose recent stellar commentary sheds new light on why this election will set the course for the United States for years to come.
Commentary By Dr. Nichole R. Phillips
About tonight's presidential debate and not voting in November...
Donald J Trump is consistent. His debating efforts are not geared towards winning new constituencies. His efforts are always to please and appease his voting base. He is not attempting to garner the favor of "the African Americans," "the Latinos," or "the Mooslems." He is on a slippery slope with "the women" - and knows that, so even if his apology is insincere - he might just need "the women’s" vote.
Don't be fooled also by whom you conceive of as his "stereotyped" voting base. While many traditional Republicans are defecting, he has an even larger traditional/establishmentarian base that still supports his candidacy.
His candidacy is about "making America great...again" and thus also about the large segment of the American population who fears the drastic social changes on the precipice of occurring in America in the next 10 to 20 years.
With that said, I keep reading millennials and Generation Xers profiles about not voting in this election (and I am certain there are some baby boomers who will not vote for the same reasons, but I don't have many of them as "FB friends”).
Here is my position on that. Life must be lived outside of the social capital associated with FB thumbs up. Stop being self-righteous, scared, and/or cavalier about "not voting." You choose the "lesser of two evils" all the time! Much of life is lived in the "gray," not in the black or white.
Take a position, stop being indecisive and vote! Because even if you do not vote, either "30,000 e-mails deceitful" HRC or "p***sy grabbing" DJT will emerge (that is a promise) as the next President and your life and livelihood will still be affected by the policies of whoever emerges as the next President! (Four spots on the Supreme Court are up for grabs so I have now alerted you about a pressing issue that demands your attention and your vote because nominations are submitted by the next President.)
So have a say! NOW IS THE TIME …NOT AFTER THE WINNER TAKES OFFICE - in whom you want to shape the course of this country and your life for the next four years!
Nichole R. Phillips, PhD
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Religion, and Culture
Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Senior Faculty Fellow, Center for Ethics, Emory University