On the EDge: We are electing the lesser of two evils

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OPINION – I walked away from Sunday night’s bloodletting with only one thought in mind.

It’s a quote attributed to Edmund Burke, the noted conservative Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

For months I have shared the anger, frustration, disappointment and fear of a rattled nation.

I’ve tried to bottle my anger, put a cap on my frustration, but it is impossible at this point to mask my disappointment and fears.

I’m not so concerned about the election itself. It’s pretty clear that Hillary Clinton has this one in the bag, particularly after last week when Donald Trump’s campaign completely imploded after some horrid things he said about women surfaced and his admission of a complete disconnect with his running mate, Mike Pence, who he said he hasn’t consulted on some very critical foreign policy issues. His threat to throw Clinton in jail exposed him as nothing more than a Third World strongman wannabe, a thug without a whit of Constitutional sense or grounding.

His off-the-cuff manner?

Unsuitable for the White House.

I think enough voters have come to that conclusion by now.

But, I worry about the deepening chasm between the Clinton and Trump camps and wonder if it is possible for any healing to occur after the election.

Look, these two have gone at it hard. In fact, if the first two debates are any indication, the final matchup on Oct. 19 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas should be an all-out war, an unprecedented political bloodletting without regard for the turmoil these two will leave in their wake.

And it will only get worse when the shouting is over and the last ballots are tallied, especially with the House now back in play.

There will be plenty of blowback from both sides with old grudges that won’t heal left bleeding.

In a perfect world, I would like to see Clinton step forward and acknowledge that the system is broken and pledge to be a one-term caretaker of the office while both parties go back and rebuild themselves to better reflect the people they are supposed to represent.

It would result in, without question, the largest landslide in political history.

This is, obviously, not a perfect world. If it were, we would not have Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as our final choices.

So, it is incumbent that the good men, and women, do something to keep a hand on the rudder and try to steer this troubled craft into calmer waters, at least for a while, to right the ship, find the proper course and sail back into familiar waters of civility, decency and integrity.

Most importantly, we need to find a way to rebuild the remnants of that which bridged our political differences; to find the essence, the core of what both parties once stood for, represented and were able to use as principals of a diverse democracy that allows for myriad and disparate opinion, vigorous debate and conciliatory relations when a decision is arrived at.

I’ve tried to find good in both candidates.

I find none.

I am not a fan, but my gut tells me Hillary Clinton would do the least damage as our next leader.

The thought of Donald Trump in the White House terrifies me.

An unpopular stance?


But, I must be true to myself and share my honest opinion.

You wouldn’t expect otherwise and it would be an insult to both of us to try to hide what is in my heart.

So, I have come up empty, just as I have in looking at a hopeless ballot of out-of-touch career politicians.

The incumbents are set and smug, the challengers are perhaps eager and good intentioned, but for the most part, weak and lacking the depth of experience to effectively lead.

I am anxious for the sun to set on this election season, to take the next four years and rebuild a nation that is quite shaky after years of obfuscation, obstructionist politics, obtuse Congressional leadership.

I was hopeful that voters would not stoop to the petty, childish levels of name-calling and bullying. It didn’t happen. We are a nation divided, as divided as during the Civil War.

We have given way to slurs and stereotypes, partisan forgiveness of egregious errors and developed a clannishness that is not only inappropriate but dangerous and offensive.

Still, whether you like it or not folks, we’re in this together.

If we can’t get it together somewhere along the line, we are up that proverbial creek without either a paddle or a GPS.

These are uncharted waters.

We’ve never seen anything like this before.

Even in the nation’s earliest days, the Founding Fathers had a rough idea of what they wanted to accomplish.

Not now.

This is more akin to Sherman’s March to The Sea, where he left everything from Atlanta to Savannah in cinders and rubble, than it is a political race.

This is like The Blitz over London, only we’re doing it to ourselves.

It’s Attila sacking the Balkans, except we’re stealing from our own vaults of morality.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

We could use a few good men and women right now.

We need them to patch things up, rebuild those bridges that have turned to ash, rekindle the spirit of a nation that once ascribed to the notion of “United we stand, divided we fall.”

We need them, most of all, to refresh our sense of humanity, dignity and honesty; to erase this lingering obsession with anger; to restore our stature in a world that, quite frankly, is aghast at how horribly wrong things have gone during this election cycle.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • tcrider October 11, 2016 at 9:21 am

    This is the end of the gop as we know it, Hillarious is going to win it because the the rnc
    is rotting from inside to outside and it started because of the radicals and teabaggers.
    Anybody that thinks that we can make our country go back to the way it was, is totally
    Hillary is not really winning, she is basically just showing up, our country is going to be
    so far out of balance that things will never be the same nor can be changed in the future, and its
    because of the radical idiots that supported trump in the first place, which is the rnc’s fault of
    catering to the good ole boys from south carolina and deep south, turn out the lights the
    party is over, and I mean gone.

    • Henry October 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Tcrider (aka the “true independent”) – good to see you spewing the same old conspiratorial invective. It must be tough, taking on all those “idiots”, “radicals”, and “cowards”. Sounds like you and Ed Kociela should share the same response to this terrible situation – just roll into the fetal position and smoke some weed.

      BTW, we never saw your own response to the question you posed to others, in another article. What sacrifices have you made for your country?

      • tcrider October 11, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        I don’t know what your dad did to you when you were a little tike,
        but there is professional help available, when you fill out the questionnaire,
        just enter a narrow minded coward, in the name section,
        that way they can identify you right away.

        • .... October 12, 2016 at 8:30 am

          Hillary has this thing sewed up ! RIP / GOP

          • Real Life October 12, 2016 at 9:04 am

            Quit talking to yourself Dumpster.

          • .... October 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm

            God bless you my fellow brethren. Still having anger issues are you ?

        • Henry October 12, 2016 at 9:40 am

          In an October 7 St George News article, you directed this to me: “ I bet you are one of these idiots that wraps a flag around themselves and call himself a patriot, when in reality you are nothing but a coward that never made any sacrifices for your country.”

          To which I replied: “I spent 27 years in the Army, including a year in Afghanistan, a year in Iraq, and 6 months in Kuwait. What sacrifices have you made for your country?”

          By obviously avoiding answering the question that you asked me, and now calling ME a “narrow minded coward”, you are describing yourself. What a pusillanimous, spineless human (not a man) that you are.

          • tcrider October 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

            if you go back to that article and actually read it, you will see there was no link to reply to it, I just figured you were probably blocked from the people that edit these opinions.
            I would remark to any other respectable individual on these links that I am retired military with an additional 10 years of inactive reserve, but you are not worth the drool that drips from your mouth and I do not respect a narrow minded cowards like you.

          • Henry October 13, 2016 at 8:53 am

            Liar. I just checked – there’s still a Reply link on that article, just like the one that I’m using to reply to you now. Are you so stupid that you don’t think people are going to check?

            You continually smear me and others as a “coward”, despite refusing until now to provide any your own (claimed) background. Yeah right, you’re “retired military”. Were your “deployments” 2 weeks of in-state Annual Training? LOL.

            Our local St George News contributor “Bob” has conspiracy theories as wacky as yours, but he’s civil in exchanges. You’re just a gutless, pathetic, name calling jerk, hiding behind a keyboard.

          • tcrider October 13, 2016 at 10:52 am

            your wrong, I only call you a coward, and no one else.

          • Henry October 13, 2016 at 2:44 pm

            Wow, you figured out to use the Reply button, the same type that you said wasn’t there on the other article!

            I laid out my military background, and can provide specific dates and locations; can you? Being both a Liar and a Coward must be a terrible combination.

  • .... October 11, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Go get a cup of coffee Ed and take your time getting back because with all the ( they think they know it alls ) that come to this site the B.S is going to get deep in a hurry LOL ! …God bless each and everyone of them.

    • Real Life October 11, 2016 at 10:08 am

      What commenters do you speak of, Dumpster? Maybe you can tell us under one of your many other “aliases”. Get off the dope, get a job, and get a life.

      • .... October 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

        God Bless you my fellow brethren. ( I’m smiling ) have a nice day. maybe you would find it wise to seek mental hygiene for your anger issues. ..Praise the Lord !

  • sagemoon October 12, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Why not a third party president? Why no mention that there are other political parties out there? Our choices aren’t limited to just Democrat and Republican. Libertarian Gary Johnson would have a good shot if the media acknowledged him. He is on the ballots in all 50 states. He is the moderate who could put this country back in balance.

  • JediJames13 October 12, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    We could all just vote for Gary Johnson.

  • tcrider October 13, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I accidentally ran over one of these with my bike today,
    It reminds me of you,

    • tcrider October 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

      I apologize for this going to the wrong place on this board, it was suppose to go to henry

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