I keep promising myself that I am done with this election, but like a bad addiction, I keep coming back to it.
We flew to Israel on Wednesday which gave me the great fortune of missing the 3rd debate.
But it also gave me some perspective.
I am of the opinion that there are very few countries in the world that were founded on a clear set of ideals and values.
Two immediately come to mind.
The United States- life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.
Israel- Jews need a place where they can be safe and not get killed and it should be the place to which they have a historical connection.
Other countries (say France) have incorporated ideals (Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite), but they weren't part of the founding of France (which obviously predates the Revolution).
There may be others (India?), but most European countries pre-date democratic or eternal ideals, and many Asian, African countries are artifacts of colonialism.
Maybe Argentina or some South American countries, I don't know.
But back to the election.
I suspect that what gets 70% (or whatever the number is) of people riled up about both Trump and Clinton is the perception that they don't have true core values.
Or at least core values consistent with America.
The perception is that Trump's core value is himself and Clinton's (actually both Bill and Hillary) have a core value of political expediency in the service of self-enrichment/power.
You may not like Obama, but he is principled. So is Gore. So is Kerry. The Bushes, McCain, Romney.
I suspect that, like Hillary said about previous GOP nominees in Debate 2, "I didn't agree with them, but I respected them," the majority of Americans felt the same way about each party's nominees.
"I don't necessarily agree with them, but I recognize that they do have principles and values outside of themselves."
For example, evangelicals who are pro-life/anti-abortion. I definitely don't agree with them, but I do respect their principles.
My sense from afar is that most Americans simply think that neither Trump nor Clinton really have values bigger than themselves...which is why so many of us are so disappointed with what is going on.