TL:DR, I voted for Hillary Clinton when early voting started. Here’s why.
There’s an expression in science and engineering that describes the amount of intended message versus the amount of detrimental interference that blocks that message. They call it a signal-to-noise ratio. Obviously a high signal is preferential to high noise. Informally, a signal-to-noise ratio can be used to express the amount of useful information versus the amount of detritus in a given thing. For instance, the Internet has a pretty bad signal-to-noise ratio; for every important cat video there are dozens of news sites.
Put simply, signal is good, noise is bad.
Election cycles, especially presidential election cycles, are famous for having terrible signal-to-noise ratios. This year’s battle royale hasn’t been any different except to say the signal-to-noise ratio has been worse than in previous elections.
Now, this will probably piss off some people, but not only have I already voted, I voted for Hillary Clinton. After I managed to cut through the decades of crap the Republican hate machine had piled on top of her, she was really the only viable choice.
Seriously, the Republicans have been after her for decades. Ever since Bill Clinton took office 1993, they’ve had it in for her. Personally, I think it’s because she dared to try to change some policy at a time when a First Lady’s most important job was picking out drapes for the White House or making anti-drug speeches. Rather than worrying overmuch about the White House china, Hillary Clinton was taking the first stabs at healthcare reform. (Not that I’m knocking Nancy Reagan here, I didn’t always agree with her husband’s policies, but Nancy was a bright spot in his presidency and, if the rumors are true, she basically ran the country after Ronald’s brain started to slip.)
But Hillary Clinton had ideas and ambition and that just didn’t play well in ’93. I still remember seeing bumper stickers reading “I didn’t vote for her” and other such drivel. Rather than attacking her position, they immediately attacked her and haven’t let up since then. Bear in mind, after Bill Clinton left office in 2001, we had eight fun-filled years of George W. Bush and then eight more years of Barack Obama, and the Republicans have never once let up on Hillary Clinton. Decades of trying desperately to get her to do … something. I’m not sure what, but something, and they’ve never managed to pin a thing on her. So the Republicans going after Hillary Clinton are completely inept (quite possible), she’s got a super-villain level intellect (possible, less likely), or she’s simply not guilty of all the crap they’ve been hurling at her for years (quite likely).
See, when you don’t like someone – for whatever reason – and you don’t have any real reasons, and you have a lot of power and tax-payer money to throw around, it’s real easy to make up lies and try in vain to prove them. Besides, if you repeat a lie loud enough and often enough, it will become the truth. Frankly, the less backing it has, the better; no one’s going the listen to the rationale, anyway.
That’s the election rhetoric I’ve seen this year. From Trump’s schoolyard insults (Lyin’ Hillary, Cheatin’ Hillary) to the oft regurgitated lie that Clinton and Obama conceived Benghazi and carried it out because reasons – a lie that after numerous investigations and hundreds of millions of dollars has failed to be proven. The F.B.I. opened a case on her private email server (admittedly, having a private email server was not the best idea anyone ever had), then found no cause for prosecution, then reopened because of Anthony Weiner’s propensity for sending pictures of his dick to under aged girls, then closed it again. And, of course, everyone’s least-favorite proof that she’s corrupt: the Clinton Foundation. It’s the least favorite because there’s pretty much no evidence that anything untoward happened with Foundation money unlike, say, someone buying a yuge painting of himself with charitable funds.
That’s it. That’s the whole of the rhetoric and the whole of the debate.
Now, you might agree with Clinton 100%, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever find a candidate that expresses exactly your point of view. So, toss aside the decades of lies and baseless attacks and see what’s really out there. When you sit down at the voting booth, ask yourself if you want to elect someone who has weathered decades of baseless accusations and risen above them, or do you want someone who whines when things don’t go his way and whose sole policy contribution to this election cycle has been petty name calling and allegations that the election will be rigged if he doesn’t win it?
That’s it. That’s your choice. Either pick someone who has has experience and tenacity and has weathered the lies, or someone who just wants to add more lies to the heap and will whine and moan when he doesn’t get his way. You can have a president who will at least generate a signal, or you can vote for Trump and get a lot of noise.