The Game of Politics / by marilyn salenger

It's easy not to be upbeat about this election. There are some who say it's down right hard. But we all have to find a way to cope and work at the positive. There's a big job ahead of us on November 8th.

As a former Chicago area kid, I watched the last game of the World Series cheering for the Cubs from afar. It was an incredibly exciting game - and admittedly it felt really good to be excited and distracted from all political. As I checked in on Twitter during the game to give a shout out to my home town team, I realized I wasn't the only one looking for "the pause that refreshes". It was amazing to see all the political 'types' cheering for baseball and not candidates via a Tweet. When I chimed in with my first about growing up a White Sox fan but said, "tnite my heart is with those #Cubs! So proud", the first person to Like that Tweet was someone I don't know personally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Right after that, another columnist was asked via Tweet if there were any new polls. The answer was perfect. "Rasmussen has the Indians up by 3". That's the Rasmussen that's a respected political polling organization who doesn't take sporting bets. Someone else chimed in, "Most Americans want neither of these teams to lose". It got to the point where I just had to laugh at it all, and decided to ask, "Politics vs baseball. Hmmm. What's the best game?"   

And that's what it came down to as the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, and the 2016 Presidential Campaign moved to its final days. It's a bizarrely uneven matchup of the two main candidates on the ballot. In one corner we have Donald Trump who, it could be said, is on the FBI protected list. Nobody is hacking his corporate or political staff emails, and I'm sure there are plenty of them. Lawsuits against him abound. No Trump tax returns to find that elusive factual documentaion of anything.  And his abysmal record when dealing with women and minorites of any kind. Donald Trump's baggage is unique to a man with no political history but a lot of questionable business history.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton has baggage. The political world has been her fishbowl for more than thirty years. She's had her successes and her failures. Yet the amount of amost too well orchestrated dumping and piling on Clinton right now is bad.  Between WikiLeaks hacking into the Democratic National Committee files, then into Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's emails and a FBI Director who seems to be prone to favoring political winds that blow from Republicans inside and outside his ranks, I'd say it's rather miraculous that she's still walking and talking and flying all over the country. Can you imagine if all this hacking and dumping had taken place against Donald Trump, and how he would handle it? This is the man who can't take being made fun of in an SNL sketch without trying to shake the earth.

The power of each individaul vote is never to be loosely regarded. I remember taking my son with me to vote when he was three years old. I wanted him to begin to see what an important thing it was that his mother was about to do. We went into a large polling booth with an automatic curtain that would close when a lever was pulled in a specific direction. My little boy stood next to me in amazement as a big panel of names appeared in front of us. He watched me select my candidate choices by name and party, pulling small levers for each one.  When I was done, I had him hold my hand so we could complete the whole process together by opening the voting booth curtain. It was the first of many special times we voted 'together'. 

My son is almost thirty years old now and will be voting along with his friends, as he has since he was eighteen, to elect our next President.  He is a young Millennial man who grew up knowing that elections are big deals. This year it just became more complicated, but no less important than the first time he learned about voting.

Join me @MarilynSalenger live on Twitter election night November 8, 2016.