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A Misaligned Universe
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While this column is about the upcoming Presidential Election, I’m going to do my best to put personal politics aside, not to stress favor for one candidate or another.

After watching the Sept. 26 presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, observing them duke it out over her long, and sometimes questionable, record in politics and his outsider views of how “The Donald” would run America, (key in “We’re going to do great things” without being specific) I was left wondering, as probably with many Americans, how did we end up with these two as our choices?

The debate that included former presidential mistresses in the audience, stories of Hillary’s dad the drape maker, and Trump’s 400-pound hacker comments would have been better moderated by Jerry Springer than NBC’s Lester Holt as the two exchanged jabs between his misogynistic comments and her flaws of being able to inspire trust and confidence with questionable past acts.

In short, this year’s election has been nothing short of a circus the likes of which the American public has never seen before.

With both candidates even campaigning as “the lesser of two evils,” it’s not clear which candidate is more disliked by Americans overall.

No matter who wins, will the next president be able to address our concerns or even have a positive impact on American lives? It appears many voters have grim expectations for their next president and have stopped looking to both candidates as “presidential.”

According to the Miami Herald, disparagement for Trump and Clinton has reached ‘unprecedented’ levels, according to a recent Aug. 29 Monmouth University poll. Clinton’s approval rating is at 34 percent. Trump’s is only at 26.

The survey found that only two percent view both favorably, while 35 percent see both as unfavorable.

What’s interesting is researching the survey’s history back to 1984 found that never has a favorable opinion of both candidates been lower than five percent and the number who did not have a favorable opinion of either nominee never topped nine percent in that period.

We’re at over a third of Americans polled with this one, people!

This leads me to believe that somewhere, forces in the universe were asleep and made a left turn over the last year getting American politics of course in its quest for leadership for the next four years.

Somewhere in an alternate world where things stayed on track, voters right now would be deciding between something similar to the Democratic candidate of Vice President Joe Biden campaigning to carry on his party’s agenda going up against an experienced Republican like Ohio Governor John Kasich and his platform of change.

The Vice President versus an experienced governor, congressional rep, or senator like America has done so many times before.

In that world right now, Twitter posts are mundane, conspiracy theorists are occupied on something other than politics, and late night talk show hosts have a void of material.

God Bless America. We’re going to need all the help we can get at this point.



Richard Paloma is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.