The presidential pits

The presidential pits

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When brainstorming for ideas for this week’s editorial, there was one idea that kept trumping the others: We’re feeling blue.

It could be the Seattle-like weather we’ve been experiencing these recent days, but we’re instead speculating that our spirits have been dashed by the super-saturation of the ongoing presidential race. If you’re like us, it seems the race has instead been more like a slow death march.

As members of the media, we attempt to pay attention to headlines but, each day, they seem to grow increasingly inane with regards to the contenders battling it out to lead our country: This one insulted women, yet again … This one had a handshake gaffe … This one was visited by a bird … This one flip-flopped …

This presidential-campaign season has started to take on the air of a junior-high Student Council race: Memes abound on social media, personal insults fly and minute details of each candidate’s wardrobe have taken on equal significant to the details of their foreign-policy plans.

These trends have not been helped by our national media, who have fueled conversation — surely for ratings, “likes” and more — about the baser elements of this race. The candidates themselves have also contributed to the chaos that has marked this cycle.

Donald Trump has run a campaign centered primarily on proffering outrageous claims — without any attention to actual facts and without proposing any real, delineated plans — structured to ignite the passions of the least-educated and most virulently biased people in our country. That this tactic has worked might be part of what we’ve found so dispiriting.

Trump’s success has shown an ugly truth about our country: Many, many Americans hold intense biases, and just as many have been ignorant to the depth and breadth of the prejudices that are rampant in America. That proclamations about tracking and labeling people of a certain religion or building physical structures to keep immigrants out of our melting pot of a country elicit laughs and cheers is truly frightening and disheartening.

Absent a life remote to fast-forward six months to the general election, we’re hoping for at least an introduction of civility to this presidential race. Though with what the last six months have shown, we’re not holding our breath. 

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