2016-10-27 / Life in Leelanau

At Cherry Pie Debate, views sour on national politics

Both sides of aisle disappointed


CHERRY PIE and differing political viewpoints were on the menu last Thursday at the Cherry Pie Debate, sponsored by the Leelanau Enterprise and Interlochen Public Radio. Pictured here are Steve and Linda Young of Glen Arbor. CHERRY PIE and differing political viewpoints were on the menu last Thursday at the Cherry Pie Debate, sponsored by the Leelanau Enterprise and Interlochen Public Radio. Pictured here are Steve and Linda Young of Glen Arbor. The climate that is emerging from the national Presidential election has left a bad taste in the mouth of voters, according to several people in attendance at the Cherry Pie Debate held last week.

“Nothing seemed like it was on the up and up,” said Lorraine Mathes of Glen Arbor of the last of three national debates, held last Wednesday, Oct. 19. “I watched to see how they lie. It’s one big mess.”

Mathes’ disappointment was shared by others in the audience.

“I’m not soured on the political process,” said Bill Meserve of Glen Arbor. “I’m upset with how Congress blackballed everything President Obama tried to do. It’s people like Trump … give a guy a chance.”

An example given by Meserve was the refusal of the Republican-led Congress to vote on Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.

“If Hillary can’t drag some of these people along, it’s not going to get any better,” he said.

Eric Lind framed the soured atmosphere surrounding the Presidential election differently.

“The national media is working at the beckon of the Clinton campaign,” Lind said. “It’s blatant.”

Americans have also soured at their own institutions, he added, pointing to a decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over emails she had deleted after they were subpoenaed and her husband Bill Clinton’s private meeting with the Attorney General just days before the case concluded. The press sat on and then drummed up allegations that Trump acted inappropriately around women, Lind added.

“It is getting out of hand ...I think Trump is going to win in a landslide because people are upset with what’s going on in Washington D.C. Things are so corrupt.”

Linda Young, attending the debate with husband, Steve, was more optimistic about the political process.

“It’s stood the test of time,” she said. “We’re just going through a rough patch. We have a sound foundation.”

Her husband was more cautious.

“I have to remind myself not to get too caught up in it,” Steve Young said, adding that the political rhetoric has been a little scary. “I guess we’ll just have to wait until mid-November to see where it goes.”

Or maybe not. When asked in the Oct. 18 nationally televised debate Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump refused to say whether he’d accept the results of the Nov. 8 election.

Lind said the media has blown the comment out of proportion as all candidates have the prerogative to seek a recount and millions of ineligible votes make their way into ballot box.

Kay Barnell of Glen Arbor, who is not a Trump supporter, said it is Clinton whose reputation has been wrongfully damaged.

“I don’t know why anyone would vote for Donald Trump, particularly women,” she said. “Hillary Clinton has been demonized. Just because you say something over, and over, and over again doesn’t make it a fact.”

Barnell and her friend Mary Sutherland said they haven’t watched the televised debates.

“I watch a little and then turn it off,” Sutherland said. “I can only take so much.”

Regardless of party affiliation, there were two things most everyone agreed on at the debate: They will all be voting, and they’re ready for the election to be over.

This year’s election cycle, based on the first candidate to declare as a presidential candidate, will be 596 days long.

In August 2015 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper dissolved Canada’s parliament — 11 weeks before a scheduled election, making for the longest modern campaign season yet in that country, according to the CBC.

The minimum length of an election campaign in Canada is 36 days.

“We’re going to have to figure out the lesser of two evils,” Mathes said. “You can’t complain if you don’t vote.”

Unlike presidential debates in 2016, there were no candidate interruptions last week in the Glen Arbor Township Hall. Sponsored by the Leelanau Enterprise and Interlochen Public Radio, the Cherry Pie Debates have been held biennially since 2008.

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