We're sorry....if this is the first time you or someone you love is casting a vote in a US presidential election, just know that we used to feel actual pride in carrying out our civic duty too. This year it looks like the mud slinging, lawsuit filing, name calling, and xenophobia will make every vote cast be more an act of fear than one of pride. Just in the last week we've seen ugly lawsuit threats between former best friends & candidates, giggles about waterboarding from other candidates, more anti-Muslim bigotry, and a very general sense that Republican candidates are in an all out war with one another. It hasn't been pretty, and that's only in the last week. With the South Carolina and Nevada primaries upon us, we're glad the debate stage has given way to town halls for more substantive conversations with each of the Republican candidates. Let's hope they find a way to inspire - not inflame and offend - the electorate. [Side note: that is even if 50% of Republican South Carolina voters apparently think creating a national database of Muslims is a good idea.]

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