Genius Panel: Plenty of Angst About Both Presidential Candidates

blue 01This week’s question: The presidential nominees are known, if not quite crowned: Clinton and Trump. How do you feel about the choice, and do you have a favorite? Are you tickled pink, or downright depressed?

Steve Handy, state representative and former Layton City Council member. “This election will be like voting for the captain of the Titanic.”  Jack Handy

Although humorist Jack Handy is not a relative, I wish he were. This “deep thought” is on the mind of most of my near and far acquaintances in my political, business, social, and religious communities. There’s a funk in the land.

And you don’t have to be a genius to know that the angst will only intensify as we swing through the national party conventions and on into November. It’s personality politics at its worst.

On the one hand, Hillary Clinton’s nomination is historic and overdue. I’ve celebrated this event by sharing my thoughts with my four, fair daughters and hope I instilled within them the vision that they could be anything they wanted to be!

On paper, Clinton is highly qualified. However, in practice, she’s distasteful to me and many of my friends and I hear time and time again from women especially, “I can’t stomach her!”

What about the quasi-Republican nominee? The only thing I can say about him is “Trump @#$%^&*.”

I’m not going to vote for the Libertarian and suppose I’m just going to have to hold my nose and blink.

Any additional deep thoughts for me, Jack Handy?

Derek Miller, President, World Trade Center Utah, former gubernatorial chief of staff. 20 words sum it up for me:

Presidential Election 2016:  Two narcissists.  Two separatists.  Two authoritarians.  Two egomaniacs.  Two anti-constitutionalists.  Two shameless flip-floppers.  Two serial liars.  Two bad choices.  Too disheartening.

Larry V. Lunt, Brigadier General (ret), former state Republican chair and state legislator. I sympathize with the woman whose obituary read as follows:

“Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland chose instead to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016.”

Todd Weiler, state senator. I’m downright depressed about the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  I don’t want either to win. I don’t want my children to look up to either one of them. 

While I don’t care much for either candidate, I do care about the future of the Supreme Court.  I feel pretty confident that I can predict the kind of justices that Hillary Clinton will appoint. For that reason, I have little choice but to plug my nose and vote for Trump. 

Cody Stewart, policy director, governor’s office. One word: despondent.

Dan Liljenquist, former state senator and U.S. Senate candidate. It will come as no surprise to those that read my weekly Deseret News column that I am not a fan of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  I find Trump’s style to be offensive, abrasive and demeaning, and his policy positions to be inconsistent, impractical and reactionary.  He has both co-opted and fractured the GOP, and I am deeply concerned about his long-term impact on my party.

But I am more concerned with the prospect of a Clinton presidency.  We know exactly where Clinton’s liberal proclivities will push the country, and that alone is a disqualifier for me.  In addition, I can’t vote for someone who has so unabashedly leveraged her positions of power into a multi-million dollar enterprise.  Clinton’s “public service” has made her staggeringly wealthy.

Most voters don’t trust either Trump or Clinton – Trump because they don’t know what he will do; Clinton because they do know what she will do.  I don’t subscribe to the theory that the devil you know is worse than the devil you don’t.  I will vote for Trump because it may be that he is no devil after all; with Clinton, we know exactly who she is.

Boyd Matheson, president, Sutherland Institute. With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ascending to the top of their respective parties’ presidential tickets, it would be easy to say something like, “Fate of the free world and we are going with these two?” It is a fair question – a question that has many at both ends of the political spectrum wringing their hands and worrying out loud if America’s best days are done and gone. Am I disappointed about the process, the politics and the party options before us? YES! Discouraged, despondent and depressed? NO! This is America, and we are Americans!

We will all wake up on the first Wednesday of November and do what Americans always do – move forward. Our future is not dependent on whether Mr. Trump is trimming the White House with gold leaf or the Clintons are moving back to the old neighborhood on Pennsylvania Avenue. As the great Paul Harvey once said, “In times like these it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.”

America is great not because of who sits behind a desk in the West Wing but because of those who sit at a desk in a small business, those who kneel beside the desk of a young student, and those who make critical decisions from a seat at the kitchen table. Despite all the fear about future leadership in Washington, I am confident in America’s future because of the leadership in the homes, neighborhoods and communities right here in Utah. The fate of the free world? It is in good hands!

Nolan Karras, former House speaker, gubernatorial candidate. Disappointed. The process failed to produce a good candidate.  Trump is a disaster and will go down in flames…too undisciplined and has offended to many.  I have seen the picture before…deficits they don’t matter (but they do!)

Hillary has made an art form of getting rich through public service, but she at least would be presentable to the world. 

I will write in someone as I cannot vote for either.  I wish Paul Ryan would have held tough.

Mark Bouchard, senior managing director, southwest region, CBRE Utah. Related to the two options available for President in 2016 I find myself not having an option.

However, I further find myself asking the question what role does the president play that impacts not only my life but most Americans.

The answer is a little clearer in order of priority and even perhaps in order of magnitude:

1.     National Security (protects our citizens and way of life)

2.     Tax and Entitlement Policy (partnership with Congress)

3.     Economy (sets the tone)

At no time in our history may we be more anxiously engaged in knowing who the VP candidates are going to be. The role has historically had little impact, however, I believe the VP will shift voter sentiment unlike any time in our history.

I want to feel safe, pay my fair share and perhaps even a little more as I’ve been given much. I’d hope for strong, prosperous  times for business, large and small.

Finally, I’d hope for a leader who demonstrates dignity, compassion and restraint in his/her actions. Someone who listens, before speaking and respects others views.  I seek a statesman in its true form, and I don’t believe either candidate has a remote possibility of delivering.