'End it already!': Americans sick and tired of election

2016-11-03 13:42
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Mount Vernon - Insults, obscenities, vitriol and sleaze: Americans have just about had it with this year's White House race.

As the clock ticks down to election day many are counting the minutes until the end of what often seemed like a bad political reality show, headlined by two deeply unpopular stars, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

"It's torture, we're traumatised," said Moira Hahn. "I'll be glad when it's over. Every day, it's worse, more vulgar, more violent, more divisive."

Maryland schoolteacher Nancy Murphy calls the entire campaign "an embarrassment."

"When we teach, we like to bring up the election, to teach the children about the democratic process," she said. "But we don't bring it up this time."

"I'm tired of the commercials, the negative aspect," she added. "I don't know about [the candidates' positions on] the issues, they just talk about each other."

In front of the tomb holding the remains of the former president (1732-1799) and his wife Martha, a small group recites the pledge of allegiance to the American flag, the daily ritual of schoolchildren across the country. Presidential history is respected here.

"The best thing George Washington did was introduce the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another," Hahn said. "And we kept that tradition, it has kept us internally peaceful, all these years except for the Civil War."

"Now one of our candidates is talking about not following that tradition," she added with indignation at the threat from Trump, "and that is very upsetting".

Whether they support the Democratic candidate Clinton or her Republican rival, the visitors appeared equally fed up, and anxious.

'Nasty'

They decry what they call the candidates' lack of dignity and vision, the campaign's viciousness and flood of trivial information.

"I've never seen anything like this," said David Long, a septuagenarian pastor who had already voted early.

Even Dom, a tin-whistle player entertaining visitors in period costume, joined the discussion.

"It's too long," he said of the campaign that began way back in the spring of 2015. "And they spend so much money."

He says he won't vote for either Clinton or Trump. "If a party wins, the other is going to be so disrespectful."

Susan Marek, 63, who travelled from Texas with three high school friends to tour Washington's historic sites, said she has already voted - and feels relieved.

"It was very nasty, I didn't like the language on both sides," she said. "And the media was really going after Trump, it didn't seem fair."

Other visitors say they have cancelled news magazine subscriptions - "they only talk about the election" - or stopped following the campaign on television.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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