Nasty, scathing, but in many ways dead-on op-ed piece penned by Michael Smerconish in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. I agree with many (or maybe even most) of the points he makes. It's a negative political climate, and it has been since 1992, though the nastiness has had its most dramatic crescendos when out-of-office Republicans were criticizing in-office Democrats. Smerconish's take is congruent with The Economist's analysis that this election will leave deep scars. It will.
But, still, it looks like I'll be pulling the lever for Romney Tuesday. Smerconish's very good arguments notwithstanding, a perhaps unfair opposition to him doesn't earn my vote. Though my opinion of the president as a person remains high: I think he's a good man. Though he has occasionally shown flashes of being thin-skinned (as even The Washington Post conceded in its endorsement) I largely respect the man for the grace under pressure he has exuded. Still, I cannot vote for someone out of sympathy.
I feel like a failure, though, in that I still can't articulate a positive reason for voting the way I am Tuesday. My vote will be cast more as a reaction against the policies and direction the president would take in a second term than anything else. My hunch is that most Americans will go to the polls Tuesday with similar motivations, voting against one of our candidates rather than for a candidate. I envy the citizens who feel positive reasons to vote for their candidate.
Therefore I hold out hope that, in 2016, a man or woman comes forth from one of the parties that sells me on their vision for the future in addition to their character as a human being. I want to vote for someone in 2016 rather than vote against someone's philosophy.