It’s incredible to think that after almost a year and a half of relentless campaigns of some of the biggest personalities ever to hit the political scene, we’ve ended up at this point.
Arguing with one another as though there weren’t real American citizens on the stage to answer too at a town hall style debate, both candidates’ contempt for one another had reached a fever pitch.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the second presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
On one side you had a stale politician of more than 30 years whose empty promises and genuine lack of sincerity even turned off members of her own party.
On the other side stood a mouthy businessman just days removed from his latest scandal who looked downright bored when it wasn’t his turn to speak and when he did open his mouth often sounded like he had no idea how government or laws worked.
Throughout the more than 90 minute back and forth of mudslinging insults and irritated moderator interjections, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Sad because I was watching two of the worst possible people to represent our country standing in the two spots that indicated this is exactly what we as a county wanted representing us.
I monitored Twitter throughout the debate as supporters from both sides ravaged one another by text; some making excuses for Trump’s horrid locker room talk and others defending Clinton’s inability to have saved American lives when they had been pleading for help under her leadership.
It was difficult for me to grasp how anyone could defend either candidate with track records like theirs. How anyone with a conscience of principle could stick up for either morally bankrupt nominee troubles me as we had since our founding been guided by such principles.
Further reinforcing this were the live audience outbursts of support when one candidate would trash another strong enough to elicit such a response.
As the end of the debate neared I felt far more depressed than I ever thought I could have felt going into it. Each minute of that town hall was like another nail being hammered into the coffin of the America I once believed was above what we were witnessing.
And then one of the undecided voters at the town hall was given the opportunity to ask his question which would be the final one for the night.
He said: “Regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing you respect in one another?”
There was a brief pause from everyone in the auditorium and then the live audience erupted in applause.
It was a moment I knew I would never forget. One that I knew I would tell my grandkids about because it was a moment that transcended the politics, the personal attacks and the trash talking.
It was a moment of humanity at a time so void of it that it made the biggest proverbial splash of the night.
Until that moment I wasn’t sure humanity existed in this presidential race anymore, nor was I so sure it existed on a national stage for us as Americans anymore.
But that single question was able to pierce a national consciousness so full of frustration, rage and disgust, that it immediately changed the demeanor of both candidates as well as everyone watching both in the room and at home.
Karl Becker was the undecided voter who asked that question and he reminded me that there is still an America out there that values decency and grace. Something that I’m sure many of us have felt has gone by the wayside in this battle for the most important position in the free world.
Let Mr. Becker be an example to all of us that one brief moment of light and kind hearted thought can penetrate even the worst of situations during a time that feels like it’s spiraling out of control and that principles have become a thing of the past.
It’s what uncorrupted humanity is capable of.
Which is why in the midst of all of our civil unrest, distrust of authority and collapsing political system, we should act as Karl Becker has and never lose our humanity; for it is that element that makes us who we are, and as President Abraham Lincoln once described us: “the last best hope of earth.”
Wade Heath is Host of The Millennial Report Radio & Digital TV Show. Contact him: WadeTheBlaze@Gmail.com
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