The Train Wreck That is the 2016 Election and its Lasting Impression

The following commentary expresses the political views and opinions of the author and in no way represents the views of LPL Financial or Independent Advisor Alliance.

Since I usually have a great grasp of the obvious, I can easily say this is an election like we have never seen and hope to never see again. Never before have we been presented with two worse candidates that are such an embarrassment to their parties and to this country.

Can you really tell me in depth what either candidate’s stance is on any of the key topics facing this country? What is Trump’s or Clinton’s real stance on….

• Our deficit • Balancing the budget • The reformation of Social Security • Our military’s role in the Middle East • How to effectively fight ISIS • Bridging racial divides • Our energy policy • Creating middle class jobs • Tax simplification and corporate tax reform

Other than catch phrases like “Building a wall” or “fighting for kids and families,” what can you really tell me about where either candidate stands on real issues? Political discourse has been spiraling downward for the last 16 years. Consequently, nothing ever gets accomplished and the aforementioned issues never get tackled. Meaningful meeting on middle ground died with the Reagan Presidency and Speaker Tip O’Neill’s House. Our country has grown more towards the middle because of increased immigration, the growth of the millennial population, and social changes like same-sex marriage while our Parties have grown more extreme.

The fallout for everyday Americans is the future of our country will forever be altered regardless of whom is elected. If indeed Clinton wins as polls indicate, the likelihood of the Republican Party as we know it today will die. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing long-term, in the short-term (4-8 years), it’s not unthinkable that the US would be under one party rule. Regardless of your Party affiliation, one Party rule is never preferable. As the Supreme Court faces major turnover in the next few years, extremely Liberal Judges are no more preferable than extremely Conservative ones. Liberal social initiatives paid for by the highest wage earners have historically proven to fail on so many fronts. Extreme dovish views of our military’s role in the world are just as dangerous as extreme hawkish beliefs.

Besides one party rule, one of the most frightening observations of the 2016 race was the advent of a Progressive Party. Appealing to the most entitled of our society (the Millennials) proved to be ironically viable for the Bernie Sanders movement. The most coddled who have received the most from their baby boomer parents clamor for more “free stuff.” Entry level Econ courses teach there are simply not enough tax dollars that could be extracted from the highest wage earners to pay for that Party’s free college education, healthcare, and childcare. These same Millennials as they become upper middleclass and middleclass wage earners will be forced to pay for these programs they may or may not participate be participating in.

America will forever be changed by this election. Whoever is elected will likely be faced with some certainties like economic recession, tests from countries like Russia and North Korea, terrorist activities here and abroad, and continued social and racial unrest. Perhaps in our future Presidential elections, we will take primaries a little more seriously and credible and sane leaders will run in both parties and the electorate will get behind candidates with less baggage and fewer social disorders.

The previous commentary expresses the political views and opinions of the author and in no way represents the views of LPL Financial or Independent Advisor Alliance.