By Kat Riddler, Editor-In-Chief

 

Thinking your vote does not count? Thinking about not voting? Think again.

Yes, this is one of the nastiest elections in recent memory. People are desperately trying to tune out all the negative commercials, unfriending folks on social media, and coming to near blows with strangers at their favorite bar. You have the Russian government actively seeking to undermine the election and the constant drip of hacked e-mails from Hillary Clinton staffers spinning the nation’s news media around like tops when they are not busy reporting yet another salacious sex scandal involving Donald Trump. Not to mention you have the steady stream of insults to minorities and women coming from Trump.

Neither major political party nominee has a high favorability rating and many Americans would like to just pull the covers over their heads until it all goes away.

But November 8 has real consequences, some very terrifying. Roe v. Wade has been a matter of settled law in this country, even for the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia. Imagine Donald Trump packing the Supreme Court with conservative judges specifically to have that decision overturned.

Think about the very real possibility that to back up all his alpha-male talk, a President Trump had to put up or shut up and commit America to war.

Then there are all those pesky environmental laws Trump would erase, and all the regulations on business, like those that keep our food and medicines safe. Or the millions of souls he would deport, splitting families of children who are United States citizens and were born here.

Hillary Clinton is not just the best choice for president, she is the only sane choice. She comes with the added inspirational benefit of becoming the first woman President of the United States. Her experience, demeanor and acumen will not embarrass our nation on the world stage and isolate us from our allies and other nations.

Does she have flaws? Certainly, who does not? But the rigors of a presidential election, especially this year, expose a person to their own flaws and can make them a better person. Hillary Clinton can rise to the challenge of being the President that we want and that we deserve.

Missouri has also become ground zero in deciding which political party will control the United States Senate. That matters if we are ever to see an end to the gridlock and a return to even the semblance of bi-partisanship. Let us face it, Congress is broken. In the absence of political compromise, our most pressing problems as a nation are not being addressed.

Hanging in the balance as well is the future of the United State Supreme Court. Some key Republican Senators have threatened to block any nominee should Hillary Clinton be elected President. We are already one justice short because they refuse to appoint the nominee of President Obama. The very nature of the Supreme Court is being threatened by political extremists insisting nominees be as politically polarized as Congress.

Big money is pouring into Missouri to sway your vote for a United States Senator. On election night, all eyes will be on Missouri, waiting to see how this closely fought campaign will end. Right now it is a virtual tie between Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and incumbent Republican United States Senator Roy Blunt.

Many millennials flocked to the Bernie Sanders campaign and were deflated when his grassroots campaign came up short. Many have doubts about Hillary Clinton’s commitment to the fundamental economic changes that must take place. But if the Democrats control the United States Senate, Bernie Sanders by virtue of his seniority is in line to chair the Senate Budget Committee, one of the most powerful positions. Senator Sanders will be in a strong position to help keep a Clinton Administration focused on Wall Street and economic reforms.

Jason Kander represents a new generation of Missouri elected officials, a chance for a fresh start. Roy Blunt is a long-time member of the Republican leadership in the Senate. At one time, that position could have benefited our state with more funds for highways, bridges, transportation, housing, and education. But the Republican majorities in Congress allowed themselves to become the party of “no,” of small government, of lowered expectations, of well…doing nothing. The St. Louis region, students, and higher education have far more to gain from an energetic new United States Senator with the vision, drive, and real goals of Jason Kander.

It is time to fix our broken government and move Missouri and our nation forward together.