On almost every issue that divides the electorate (in the US and abroad), the group that gets out the vote will win.
In most elections, the more some candidates spend, the more disillusioned the electorate becomes. The goal is to keep the opponent’s supporters from caring enough to vote.
These are not unrelated facts.
We’re being played, manipulated and pushed around. It’s important to not fall for it.
Here’s the simple math:
If you’re tempted to not vote because of the vitriol or the imperfect nature of the choices, then you’re supporting a downward cycle, in which the candidate who best suppresses voter turnout of the opponent’s backers wins.
On the other hand, if you always vote for the least-bad option, then a forward cycle will kick in, in which candidates (and their consultants and backers, who are also causing this problem) will realize that always being a little less bad than the other guy is a winning strategy. Which leads to a virtuous cycle in the right direction.
Don’t get tricked. Show up.