What Do You Stand For, and What Do You Want For Our Country and Our Culture?

Now that both party’s nominees (or presumptive nominee, in Hillary Clinton’s case) have selected running mates, and firmly established their platforms through months of campaigning (auditioning) for votes, we’re presented with a clear answer to that question.

From seventeen early candidates, the GOP has chosen to represent itself with Donald Trump. From six early candidates, the Democrats will all but certainly choose Hillary Clinton as their nominee next week.

Hillary Clinton will become our next president in November by a significant margin of the popular vote.

It’s not Clinton’s positions on the issues or her past experience, or Trump’s abject buffoonery or his voicing of “angry white” sentiment, or even my party affinity (I have none) that informs this opinion. It’s the vision each candidate has expressed for our future. One candidate tells us what she is for, the other tells us what he is against. One inspires, the other angers and provokes fear. In that sense the 2016 election will be a replay of the 2012 election.

A winning candidate tells us of their hopes, their aspirations for a better, more just and more inclusive America. Describes how they’re going to work to effect change. Lifts our spirit with positive ideas rather than feed distrust, anger, and resentment with self-serving fear mongering.

The GOP of 2012 put forward an otherwise likable, successful and well-intentioned Mitt Romney, who promptly told us what he and the small tent wing of the party feared: people who “take” from those who “make.” That’s a losing argument.

The candidate who raises voter’s hopes and bolsters national and cultural unity is the candidate who wins the presidency. Remember Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on the hill” v. Jimmy Carter’s “feeling of malaise?”

Romney veered off into the weeds, dividing us in order to appease the lunatic fringe and wealthy elites who wanted a boot kept on the neck of the poor, the needy, the brown, the undereducated. Barack Obama once and again told us what better he wanted for America. Voters responded as expected.

So will it be this November.