2016-11-03 / Opinion


Waiting for the Weary Exhale

As we are all aware, the 2016 election debacle between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is nearly at an end. This year, that collective sigh of relief usually associated with the day after a presidential election, no matter who wins, may more likely be something akin to the collective exhale of a weary nation.

Election Day is less than a week away. There will, we hope, finally be a winner and a loser. And then our daily dose of vile political invective may subside.

By this time, most of us have a friend, relative or neighbor who has proclaimed that he or she may stay home next Tuesday – that they are so turned off, they have decided to express their disgust by not voting at all.

This course of action taken by too many people would, in and of itself, be a tragedy. Not so much for the national candidates for president, but for the local candidates whose campaigns bear no resemblance at all to what has transpired at the national level.

Here on Aquidneck Island, we have seen local candidates debate state and local issues much as they have done in the past – with exemplary vigor, and minus the vile discourse that is on display nationally. And this week, in our local newspapers, readers can digest important information about their friends and neighbors seeking election either to the Newport City Council or School Committee.

Last week, Newport This Week published similar campaign profiles on candidates for the same offices in Middletown.

Another valuable online resource available to voters comes from the Alliance for a Livable Newport. Simply go ALN’s website to find responses to questions the organization posed to City Council and School Committee candidates. There are also videos of the lively public forums where the contenders fielded even more questions. Go to newportalliance.org to read their take on the issues.

There are also numerous state ballot questions that merit your consideration. They are summarized on page 15 of this paper and have been more fully described in previous editions of Newport This Week. Middletowners are also being asked to weigh in on two local bond questions, as well as a proposed charter change.

No matter who wins, one of the troubling outcomes of this presidential campaign has been the growing number of voters who proclaim that they have simply had enough – enough of the name-calling, back-biting displays of not just the two candidates but also of their numerous surrogates who gladly sit with a CNN or MSNBC interviewer each evening to eviscerate their opponent.

Whatever you do, we urge you not to allow whatever ill feelings you may have toward the presidential campaign to deprive you of voting for the local candidates of your choice. Judging from where we sit, even the most hotly contested local contests this election year never sank into the depths of the Clinton-Trump brawl.

You owe it to yourselves, and your community, to vote.

Return to top