A false dichotomy view of politics: Daily Bullshit, November 2, 2016

Apparently a poll suggests that Donald Trump may be overtaking Hillary Clinton in the final week before election day.[1] This produces the predictable admonition (on my side) that we “must vote” for Hillary Clinton as “the lesser of two evils.”

But in a year when both major party candidates are incredibly unpopular,[2] it might behoove us to consider why the system is yielding such awful candidates. I take on that question here.

Yes, I’m well aware that there haven’t been many issues of the (Almost) Daily Bullshit lately. That’s because all my sources are obsessed with the election. And this election is particularly stupid, not only because both major candidates are so awful (see above), so I’ve really been trying to limit my coverage of it. I’m hoping things return to something more normal after it’s over.

  1. [1]Emily Guskin and Scott Clement<, “Post-ABC Tracking Poll: Trump 46, Clinton 45, as Democratic enthusiasm dips,” Washington Post, November 1, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/01/post-abc-tracking-poll-clinton-falls-behind-trump-in-enthusiasm-but-has-edge-in-early-voting/
  2. [2]Dan Balz and Scott Clement, “Poll: Election 2016 shapes up as a contest of negatives,” Washington Post, May 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/poll-election-2016-shapes-up-as-a-contest-of-negatives/2016/05/21/8d4ccfd6-1ed3-11e6-b6e0-c53b7ef63b45_story.html; Michael Barbaro, “Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Winning Votes, but Not Hearts,” New York Times, March 15, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/us/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump.html; Justin Carissimo, “Too many people would rather see a giant meteor strike Earth than Clinton or Trump as president,” Independent, July 3, 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/too-many-people-would-rather-see-a-giant-meteor-strike-earth-than-clinton-or-trump-as-president-a7116691.html; Michael Brendan Dougherty, “The existential despair of Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump,” Week, June 9, 2016, http://theweek.com/articles/628850/existential-despair-hillary-clinton-vs-donald-trump; Nick Gass, “Hillary Clinton’s favorability numbers have gone under water,” Politico, September 2, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/poll-hillary-clinton-2016-favorability-213251; Janet Hook, “Both Parties’ Presidential Front-Runners Increasingly Unpopular,” Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/both-parties-presidential-front-runners-increasingly-unpopular-1460898001; Patrick O’Connor, “Voters Not Happy With Presidential Choices — WSJ/NBC News Poll,” Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/10/21/wsjnbc-news-poll-reveals-an-uninspired-electorate/; Patrick O’Connor, “Poll Finds Lack of Enthusiasm for Clinton and Trump,” Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/poll-finds-lack-of-enthusiasm-for-clinton-and-trump-1464037289; Emily Schultheis, “Poll: More than half of voters wouldn’t back Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton,” CBS News, April 18, 2016, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-more-than-half-of-voters-wouldnt-back-donald-trump-ted-cruz-hillary-clinton/; Gerald F. Seib, “Voters Harbor Differing Concerns About Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/voters-harbor-differing-concerns-about-hillary-clinton-and-donald-trump-1462206229; Seth Stevenson, “Vote Trump, Vote Hillary, Stay Home, Pray,” Slate, March 2, 2016, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/03/republicans_against_trump_on_what_they_ll_do_if_he_s_the_nominee.html; Byron Tau, “More Americans Consider Third-Party Options,” Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2016, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/24/more-americans-consider-third-party-options/; Matthew Yglesias, “Hillary Clinton will be the most-disliked nominee ever — except for Donald Trump,” Vox, May 2, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/5/2/11565194/clinton-trump-unfavorable

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