Consequences are not quite cataclysmic, but voting is critical

“Well it’s coming. Right now. Right for us at 22,000 miles an hour. Not a soul on Earth can hide from it.”

That is how fictional NASA director Dan Truman describes an asteroid the “size of Texas” in the 1998 film “Armageddon.”

He might as well have been talking about the 2016 presidential election.

It is coming and none of us can — nor should we — hide from it.

Super Tuesday has already come and gone, bringing the race for the presidential nomination more clearly into focus with Michigan’s primary now less than a week away.

Regardless of which party or candidate you support, it is undeniable this may be one of the most important elections our country has faced in decades. America is more divided than ever and this will shape the face of our nation for the next four years and many more beyond that.

Michigan may not be seen as one of the traditional swing states like Ohio or must-wins like Florida, but that doesn’t make our voters’ voices any less important. Tuesday’s primary will be another piece of the puzzle that will become a two-person race before November.

It looks like Donald Trump is well on his way to getting the Republican nomination, despite his brash comments and the backlash from the old guard of the GOP. Seven victories Tuesday — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee Vermont and Virginia — kept him as the clear frontrunner.

Although Ted Cruz kept his campaign hopes alive by winning his home state of Texas — also grabbing Alaska and Oklahoma — he fell short in many of the states he was expected to do well in. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio earned his first win in Minnesota but it won’t be nearly enough. He and the rest of the crowded GOP field might as well pack it in at this point.

Hillary Clinton’s victories — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — gave her a strong boost. Sanders of course won his home state of Vermont, as well as Colorado, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

It is becoming more and more likely that this contest will drag out longer than the Republican race.

Many voters in Michigan and beyond remain confused about whom they should vote for, and even which party they most align with in today’s ever-changing political landscape. There is no easy answer. The only real solution is to research each individual and try to find the best fit.

CNN Politics offers, if nothing else, an interesting and entertaining tool that helps undecided voters find their political match by answering 10 questions about ideologies and beliefs. You can find it here: tinyurl.com/2016electionmatchmaker

Most important is that citizens go to the polls. Vote for someone. Make Democracy work.

Circling back to “Armageddon,” and the need to avoid that in the real world both literally and politically, this election is absolutely critical to our nation’s future.

“Through all of the chaos that is our history; through all of the wrongs and the discord; through all of the pain and suffering; through all of our times,” the fictional president says in the film. “There is one thing that has nourished our souls, and elevated our species above its origins, and that is our courage.”

We will need that next week and beyond, by both our electorate and our next president.

 

Michael Caldwell is the publisher of Leader Publications LLC. He can be reached at (269) 687-7700 or by email at mike.caldwell@leaderpub.com.

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