Mute the television. Stop checking FiveThirtyEight. Log off Twitter.
It's all over but the voting.
The 2016 presidential race has been one of the most exhausting shouting matches in recent memory.
The ruckus appears to be obscuring what elections are about: creating a marketplace of ideas so voters can choose among those candidates and proposals that offer the best hope for the future.
In some ways, this year's marketplace looks more like a half-stocked convenience store. It offers, in Donald Trump, the least-qualified, least civil presidential candidate we hope we'll ever see, and a candidate of extraordinary qualifications (and considerable flaws) in Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At the state and local level, there's more reason for cheer. Oregon's economy is booming, and for newcomers arriving every day from across the country, Portland looks like a paradise.
But there's trouble here, too.
Elected officials at the state level have for decades failed to reform a tax structure that hits individuals hard and corporations barely at all. At the local level, city officials dither while our streets fill with homeless families.
Potential solutions have made their way to the ballot. In 2016's convenience store of ideas, the two biggest items on offer are tax measures.
At the state level, a public employee-backed group is asking Oregonians to approve a $3 billion tax increase. Its passage would mean a 33 percent hike in the state's budget. The measure will require voters to consider carefully whether the current level of services is adequate and how much faith they have in lawmakers' fiscal discipline.
At the local level, city officials are seeking an unprecedented investment in subsidized housing to address an affordability and homelessness crisis.
Those measures are perhaps the most crucial choices you'll have to make by Nov. 8. But you'll have a long ballot to fill out. WW doesn't endorse in uncontested races, and we also refrain from endorsing in the Oregon attorney general contest, because the incumbent, Ellen Rosenblum, is married to the co-owner of WW's parent company.
But in every other contested race and on even the most obscure measure, we've invited all sides to WW to ask them tough questions, on camera. (You can watch the full videos on wweek.com.)
In honor of an apprentice presidential candidate we'll never forget—no matter how much we may want to—we asked all candidates to tell us what reality show they'd compete in, if compelled.
This election sometimes feels like an episode of Duck Dynasty. But it's also important. And in the following pages, we offer reasons to hope it will make America—and Oregon—even better.