So I guess the only response is “What does a good candidate look like to you?” Is he or she charming, funny or witty? What’s the platform that you do agree with?
I’m 100% on board with the idea that the major front runners don’t jump off the page as paragons of virtue and leadership. But I think that’s because we don’t really know them and are only exposed to competing media narratives about them. We hear the literal best and worst. Everything you know about any of the candidates has come second hand from a rumor or some news story. So you’ve got to recognize that they’re not as bad as all that. Most people are just doing the best that they can. They may be misguided or misinformed. They may even be downright self centered or arrogant. But they’re going to make good choices and bad choices every day.
As far as their platforms, it’s not surprising that they don’t resonate with you. Most voters don’t look like you. At the end of the day, it’s these peoples job to get elected so they can do what they’re promising. They’re going to tackle either the biggest or loudest problems first. So the real question is “Why are these platforms resonating with Americans?” If people weren’t concerned about immigration, they wouldn’t support Trump. If they weren’t concerned about shifting morality, they wouldn't back Cruz. Income inequality for Bernie or a variety of progressive issues for Clinton. A lot of people do care about those things, so are they wrong or right? Confused, misinformed or just misprioritizing? That’s the basis of forming your political identity.
I guess I’m just frustrated with armchair quarterbacks. It’s easy to sit back and throw rocks at the establishment because “the system is rigged”, “they’re all the same” or “no candidate really represents me”. But to do so is to misunderstand the whole point of the system. We’re not supposed to vote for the ideologically pure candidate or even the candidate who’s going to do the most for me personally. We’re voting for the person who can best lead the Republic.
One way or the other, someone new will sit in the Oval Office on January 21st next year. That person is going to make decisions that affect the daily lives of millions of Americans. They’re going to be charged with defending us and maintaining this disjointed but beautiful thing that we call a country. I’m going to vote for the candidate that I think can show up for that job. I’ll vote for the person that I hope will be most likely to think of hungry children, incarcerated teenagers and war weary refugees when then sign their name to a piece of paper. That’s no small responsibility that we all share. I just can’t see sitting that out.