On Election Night Our Long National Nightmare Is Over...Maybe!

On Election Night Our Long National Nightmare Is Over...Maybe!

Condemned at the time, President Gerald Ford used a similar phrase believing that it was his duty to comfort a troubled nation by pardoning Richard Nixon.

Although some strongly criticized his decision at that time, others believed that Ford's courage and dedication to his country made it possible for America to begin the process of healing by putting the tragedy of Watergate behind us.

In fact on May 21, 2001 Ford was honored for that very act by the John F. Kennedy Library with it's Profile in Courage award.

Besides becoming president upon Richard Nixon's departure on August 9, 1974, Ford was the first and only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the United States without being elected to either office.

Forty-two years later we hear the word "Watergate" bandied around by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump who is comparing the "Watergate" crisis to the current FBI Director Comey-Hillary Clinton Email Investigation.

We may not know for some time - perhaps until way after this election is over and a new president is sitting behind the Oval Office desk - what exactly has surfaced in this latest treasure trove of emails.

According to some who may know a thing or two about "Watergate" including Carl Bernstein, who told Anderson Cooper on CNN's "AC360."

"It's not Watergate. Watergate was about a criminal President of the United States (Nixon) who presided over a criminal administration from the day he took office to the day he left."

However Bernstein did not brush off the latest controversy, and continued.

"This is nonetheless about a hugely serious event in which a secretary of state was clearly reckless, endangered national security by her handling of emails."

So, now the questions for those who have not already early voted - approaching thirty million by last count - What have we learned so far? Will it affect our choice for president? And where do we go from here as a Nation?

The question for all of us - With some state polls so very close can we hope and pray that on the evening of November 8 or at the latest the morning of November 9 that this 2016 "Presidential Election National Campaign Nightmare" will finally come to an end?

If the results are very close some states actually require automatic recounts, so here's hoping for a decisive and clear result on election night with no Florida 2000 "hanging chads" recount or a U.S. Supreme Court halted recount.

No matter who wins on November 8, hopefully this election cycle will have taught us some valuable lessons about ourselves and our system.

Maybe it will have also taught us something about measuring up to what our Founders had in mind 240 years ago in Philadelphia.

This October which has been full of surprises has shown us the unpleasant underbelly of our current political process in so many ways.

As mentioned, we know that Hillary was irresponsible when handling her email accounts...this continues to be her Albatross and if elected may plague her and the Nation throughout her term in office.

Not as serious, however related and a bit more revolting, we continue to be sickened as we are confronted daily by visions of a certain former Congressman from Queens, New York whose face, etc., seem to be on display everywhere - and who was married to Hillary' s closest aide.

In addition to her own email woes and those exposed by Wikileaks, Hillary got another unpleasant surprise about the cost of Obamacare - a program she hopes to build upon.

We also learned that Donald Trump the GOP's choice may not have paid any taxes in about 20 years. Trump clearly knows how to "work" all the weaknesses of our system so well because he is part of the group of the rich and influential that "purchased" these special tax breaks for themselves.

Trump may also be eager to become a post election "Right Wing Media Don" or perhaps Vladimir's latest "Putintate."

All this while Trump used the "rigged system" for his personal advantage - knocking off 16 of his GOP Primary rivals like an arrogant teenager at a Rockaway Playland shooting gallery.

And of course, the "sleaze factor" in this election cycle is bipartisan. Trump's braggadocious description of what he is entitled to do to women is enough to make the news itself x-rated and not acceptable for a young viewing audience.

Whatever happened to the President as an inspirational role model?

As one clever commentator put it "The voters are faced with a choice between a bad person and a person with bad judgment."

As an optimist at heart, I hope there may be some good news. Perhaps this "unique" election cycle may have energized some new voters.

On the not so good news side, the question is...Have we made the process of becoming president so overwhelmingly unappealing that anyone with new ideas, enthusiasm, energy, actual real life experience and a balanced ego and integrated personality would actually ever want to pursue this job?

Who needs it? Unless of course, you are a billionaire celebrity like Donald Trump then you can buy the nomination with a combination of your own money and free media drowning out all the other voices. Although no one can ever accuse Hillary of allowing anyone to drown her out.

In addition, it seems clear that although the system is not rigged, the two dominant political parties have devised their own systems to ensure that the establishment choices have a much better chance of winning the nomination of either party than any insurgent candidate... just ask Bernie Sanders and his myriad youthful followers - who believed Senator Sanders offered their generation what we so called "boomers" falsely thought was ours alone.

The other thing that this election cycle has taught us is that this process is no longer the best vetting process for the most important job in America - a land of over 300 million citizens.

Despite evidence to the contrary this is not a "reality TV contest", it is supposed to be an interview with the American People about who will make them proud as their leader.

So it is clear this has now become a damaged process that has given us two candidates with the lowest favorability ratings in our election history.

As we stumble towards Election Day, one thing seems clearer than ever, both of these candidates are so flawed and so damaged from this vicious and hateful campaign that neither seems likely to be the person who can actually bring the very divided American people together - a task even Abraham Lincoln would find challenging.

If we are to remain a great Republic, the challenge for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump when taking that oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States on January 20 will be to dig real deep down to their core to a place we Americans have not seen yet from either of them and enlist their better angels as Abraham Lincoln did at his First Inaugural address 155 years ago!

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." Abraham Lincoln

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