Election 2016 – Personality not Policy

Watching last night’s third and final presidential debate was an experience I’d put somewhere between a root canal and wearing a tight wool sweater in Central Park in July. It seems this year the preponderance of what we hear about Election 2016 is personality, not policy. Bespoke Investment Group recently asked 1,500 households around the U.S. to provide just one word to describe the presidential candidates. These are the results put into word clouds.

2016-10-20-election-2016Regardless of your political leanings. This is a big problem.

Parents now have to be legitimately concerned whether a presidential debate is age appropriate for their children.

Political discourse in the nation has become both absurd and disgusting, with the only rational response for many being a total loss of faith in the system, which leads to a hunker down mentality, which only exacerbates the economic headwinds we face.

If Clinton wins, she will begin her presidency with tens of millions of Americans convinced that she belongs in jail. If the Democrats are able to take the house and Senate, over 40% of the nation will likely be enraged by the ensuing legislation and feel utterly disenfranchised.  If the Republicans maintain the House and Senate, we will likely see increasingly furious and hate-filled deadlocks.

If Trump wins, over 40% of the nation will be enraged by his presence in the White House as growing numbers of his own political party continue try and distance themselves from him. During his campaign he alienated many of those who would otherwise have been great supporters of the Republican nominee. Some see this as a tribute to his “outsider” nature, but once in the White House, that outsider needs to work with others. That will require gaining their respect.

I believe the core of the problem here, the reason that any concept of civility is completely gone, is because government is simple involved in too much of our lives. This means that we all need to agree on one-size-fits-all solutions to a degree that is simply not possible. This was a nation founded on the idea that people of all preferences and persuasions could live peacefully together under a government that was created simply to protect their individual liberties.

If we want to return to civility, we need to respect our individual preferences, get back to running our own lives and by shrinking the scope of government stop running the lives of our neighbors!

About the Author

Lenore Hawkins, Chief Macro Strategist
Lenore Hawkins serves as the Chief Macro Strategist for Tematica Research. With over 20 years of experience in finance, strategic planning, risk management, asset valuation and operations optimization, her focus is primarily on macroeconomic influences and identification of those long-term themes that create investing headwinds or tailwinds.

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