The hidden issue in the 2016 presidential elecion: How will voters explain their vote to their children and grandchildren?

How will Trump or Clinton voters explain how they voted in 2016 to their children and grandchildren? That is a huge though hidden issue in the November 8, 2016 congressional and presidential elections.

“Dad, how could you vote for a man who disparaged the Muslim parents of a soldier who died for his country in Iraq?”

“Mom, how could you vote for a man who fueled racist emotions by claiming Barack Obama was not born in the United States for years, even after he produced his birth certificate?”

“How could you vote for a candidate who was so slow to diasavow the support of the Klu Klux Klan, or who attacked a judge for being of Mexican descent after he ruled against him in a case?”

“Grandad, how could you vote for a candidate who lied all of the time? Didn’t you know he was lying?”

“Grandmother, how could you vote for a man of such low character to be president of the United States? Didn’t you know what he said about other people? You knew, and you ignored all of that, and its implications? How could you have done that?”

“Mom and Dad, you said you just had a feeling the candidate would make America strong again. Is that the way you want us to vote this year? Just on the basis of our feelings?”

“Mom and Dad, why weren’t you thinking about your children, and grandchildren when you voted.?”

“Are these the kinds of people you want us to marry, or want us to become?”

“Dad, how could you vote for a candidate so ignorant of foreign policy, and who was pro-Russian and praised Vladimir Putin because Putin praised him?”

“Didn’t either one of you think of us and our future, and the nation and kind of politics we would inherit as a result of your vote?”

“Come on Grandfather, explain to us in detail your thinking and what led you to vote the way you did. We are listenung.”

“Are you proud, now, of the way you voted and the consequences of your vote?”

“Looking at what has happened in our country, don’t you feel any shame for having voted as you did?”

These questions suggest the real litmus test for voting one way or another in the 2016 presidential election should be:

How will you feel, in a year or five or 20 years, explaining how and why you voted as you did to your 11-year old or 20-year old son or daughter, or grandson or granddaughter?”

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.