Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
I originally posted this in early November, 2016. It is worth revisiting.
2016: For the first time in my adult voting life I am afraid, mostly for our republic, democracy as a system and the loss of the American dream. I fear more stagnation among our leaders. I fear violence from Trump supporters when Clinton wins. I fear that Donald Trump could win, and if he does, I will no longer believe in America or a good half of her people.
Let’s start with things I believe to be true.
- We are not nearly as divided 0r as different as our politics, media and leaders say we are. I believe good reason and getting to know someone else creates connection. Connecting and compromise can solve big problems.
- Fundamentally our political system works. Most people in government right now fail to compromise and are not doing their job. Washington is mostly broken.
- Most Americans are feeling pinched economically and the consolidation of power and wealth into a small minority is the root cause. This is no different than the industrial revolution and the robber barons. I own one of these mythical small business that run America and we often feel like we are being run into the ground by America. We can fix this. I call for a break-up of monopolies and a break-up of wealth consolidation within the top 1%
- Corporate interests in politics has failed democracy. Citizens United must be overturned.
- Civil unrest, civil war is a possible outcome. Civic and discourse are a simple solution but seemingly impossible to achieve. Media outlets must return to facts.
- Facts exist and matter.
- By choosing an obstructionist position years ago Republicans have created this mess and now don’t know what to do with it. Democrats have lacked the backbone to stand up on principle and have muddied the waters by trying to game the system. Playing a dirty game because it is there doesn’t make you clean. The two-party system has failed, we need a constitutional congress.
I cried the other day when discussing all of this with Chris. Yeah, it is that upsetting. He and I both grew up on the east-coast being taught about civics and the birth of America an ideal- that the “idea of America” was equally as important as the system of American democracy. I grew up believing in a system where fairness, honesty, compromise and reaching for common good trumped personal gain. The current election calls into doubt some of the very fabric of my political belief-system and that is unsettling. Very, very unsettling.
We are poised to potentially elect a man who lies, is a rampant sexist, racist, and completely full of himself. He is proud of bankruptcy and shows no remorse for the harm cause on the working-class he has exploited. If you are voting for Trump, I believe some day in the future you will have a very, very hard time reconciling your actions. Hillary is not a perfect candidate, but I believe in her, she is qualified and she is the best the system has given us right now. She is the most experienced candidate we have ever had.
Here is one example of why I am even bothering writing this. Mostly no one will see it, so it is for me- I can get it off my mind (a little). However, just yesterday President Obama called out Clinton supporters for booing a Trump supporter. The President defended this man’s right to free speech, he applauded his military service and he asked the crown to respect their elders. Not much later Trump cited the SAME INSTANCE but instead told his crowd that President Obama shouted down the protester. He flat-out lied.
Don’t believe me- here is the recording
That alone should disqualify him- but what is more disgusting is that he lied to a group of mad, hurting people looking to hold someone accountable to the challenges they are facing. So his lie TRUMPS up the anger, adds fuel to a fire of discontent and gives his supporters more “facts” supporting their belief that Democrats and Obama and Clinton do not hold their values. A whole section of our country has been fleeced and they don’t know it or lack the intellectual curiosity or time to discover it. Trump exploits that lack of knowledge.
Last month I said to Chris, “If Trump wins I want to move out of the country.” I mean it. If this is what the US has come to, I might want out. Canada, Spain, Portugal, Antarctica… here we come! Lately, however, I feel a fight. If Trump wins, we stay and stand up for Democracy. He is a tyrant and a bully and we can do better than that. I’ll do my part.