Before you jump to any conclusions, this is not going to be one of those many opinion articles that make an argument for or against Democratic or Republican policies or ideologies. I enjoy reading my fair share of those, but quite frankly there are more than enough of them saturating the interwebs.
This is just one person's opinion of the types of people that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump seem to be, based on what we've seen of them before, during and after the 2016 Presidential campaign. And let me just start by saying, both of them are far from perfect.
Let's begin with Donald. He was an incredibly successful businessman and a celebrity even before he jumped into the American political arena. I think we can all agree that business is important -- I mean, to some extent, it makes the world go 'round -- but we can probably all relate to the feeling we get when rich, successful people brag about their wealth rather than being humble about it. This is 100% the vibe I get from Donald J. "Sick of Winning" Trump.
And don't even get me started on the nasty things he did and said during the campaign. He was actually really rude to so many people, from reporters to everyday Americans that he hadn't even met. He also had (and still has) an awful habit of saying whatever the heck he feels like saying, without regard for whether or not it is cruel or just plain untrue. I think we can all agree that, even if this hurtful or dubious speech is protected by the First Amendment, that doesn't automatically make it professional, polite, or even decent to say. There is a difference between saying the hard but necessary things and just spouting unfiltered nonsense, and I don't think Donald has ever fully grasped that difference.
Even though Hillary doesn't suffer from "foot-in-mouth disease" in the same way that Donald does, she has still made her fair share of mistakes. This could partially be a product of the hillary-ous (pun intended) way she is characterized on SNL by Kate McKinnon, but there's just something about Hillary's behavior that seems so ungenuine. One minute she claims to care about improving the lives of middle and working-class Americans, and the next minute she refers to a significant portion of the electorate with very deplorable language that does not need to be repeated here.
I must admit that I disliked her instinctively; it felt like she was grasping for power rather than actually acting out of concern for the people of this country.
Now, this is not to say that Donald is always entirely genuine either. But I must say, despite his near-constant stream of problematic tweets, some of his actions as President have struck me as incredibly heartfelt and sincere. The most recent one that comes to mind is his brief speech at the US Capitol when Billy Graham was honored there earlier this month. Although he's not as moving a speaker as Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan, his short remarks seemed very personal, especially when he talked about his own father had gone to hear Billy Graham speak.
There's just something about Donald that seems like he has really risen to the occasion and wants to be a good and effective President.
Of course, I'm sure Hillary also would have been capable of similarly magnanimous behavior had she been elected. But as it is, her post-defeat actions have seemed to cast her as the victim of a sexist society, as she lists off the various parties that are to blame for her loss in her infamous book What Happened.
Lest we forget Donald has played his fair share of the blame game, I don't think I've ever heard so much about a "rigged" and unfair system than I did before this election. I suppose we'll never know for certain whether Donald would have been a sore loser or not. He has not always been a gracious winner, but at least he seems to be moving on to more pressing national issues at hand.
Overall, it is undeniable that both candidates, like all the rest of us, are flawed, fallible human beings. At times, they are both selfish, disrespectful, dishonest, and worse. But both do have their virtues, and both had every right to participate in the American political system, and have the right to do so again in the future.
While I think that ideological and political issues should ultimately be the deciding factor in an election, there's no denying that it is vitally important to pay attention to the type of person that you are voting for (or against, as was the case for many Americans in 2016). I only hope that this tumultuous political climate can lead us to closely examine ourselves as well as our politicians, and hopefully to demand the same high standards of our society as we do of its leaders.