So I’ve been relatively quiet on posting about the upcoming election lately. Really, I’ve just been trying to figure out how to put everything down in a neat nice way, but..
I can’t. Nice doesn’t seem to be a word that applies to any aspect of this election. Everywhere I look is just hate. Trump’s a racist, Clinton’s a liar, Johnson doesn’t know which way is up, Stein is an anti-vaxxer, etc. etc. etc…
My God. I thought Memes reached their insufferable limit when that stupid Minions movie was coming out, but seriously, you have all outdone yourselves these past few weeks.
Now, it is no secret that I have always been an adamant supporter of Sanders. In my opinion, he had the most progressive and honest platform, and could have started a completely new generation of politics in America. He was treated unfairly, the party that claimed to be impartial worked against him, and he was robbed of an honest chance. It is unacceptable.
But that is not what Tuesday is about.
If you try and make Tuesday about Sanders or the Primary, you are failing. You’re failing the movement, you’re failing your fellow citizens, and you’re failing the generations that will come after you.
At this point in the election, there are four things you can do. You can vote for Hillary. You can vote for Trump. You can vote Third Party. Or you can stay home.
Please do not stay home. Even if you can’t stand any of the people at the top of the ballot, we need your input down the ticket. There is so much more at stake here than merely who is set to be president. 469 members of Congress will be chosen in 4 days. Thousands of others for state and local positions. These things matter. Your vote matters. Whatever you do, don’t throw that away.
Now, many of my friends I have heard are planning on voting third party. I get it. Some of you feel burned (no pun intended), some feel they can’t, under good conscience, vote for either candidate, and some were planning on voting third party all along. For the past few months, all you have heard is people telling you that you are throwing away your vote, that you’re blind if you think your candidate has a chance, that a vote for a third party is a vote for [insert opposing front-runner here], and from day one you’ve been treated like you don’t know what you are doing. That is completely unfair, and I am sorry. Truly I am. I am not telling you to change your mind, but I do ask that you make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. At this point in the election, neither Stein nor Johnson have even a remote chance of winning. They have already lost. However, there are reasons to vote third party. Perhaps you want them to get to 5% of the vote so that we can start getting funding to other parties. If that’s the case, then take a look at the state you are in. If you’re in Texas and left wing, then vote your heart out. Conservative and living in California? Why not throw some votes to Johnson. But if you are in a state where a vote may actually make the difference (I’m looking at you friends in New Hampshire…) please make sure you are making the right choice. The term ‘protest vote’ has been thrown around a lot this election. Some saying that’s their goal, others saying it doesn’t exist. Well, it does exist, but a vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson is not one. In order for it to be a protest vote, both other options would have to be equally as bad. Now many people can argue about who is worse, but if you truly think there is no difference between Clinton and Trump, you’re just being obstinate. Stop that. There are many differences. If this is your thought for voting, then at least do me the favor of reading what I have to say below.
To those who are planning on voting for Trump, you probably fit into one of two categories.
To those who are anti-establishment, are screaming about a rigged system, and want to see politics as we know it burned to the ground: If you have ever once said the words “Make America Great Again” without three coats of irony, or if you see Trump as the man who is going to “shake up Washington,” you have been duped. Trump is a business man first and foremost. He may be trying to take the reins from the government, but it is just so he can hold onto them for himself. He does not have your interest in mind, and there is no time in the history of America where things were “Great.”
However, if you are a Conservative, or if you believe in the policies that are more right wing, then it makes sense that you might vote for him because he is the only shot at getting any of your ideas addressed. But stop defending him. You don’t need to agree with someone, or even like someone for that matter, to vote for them. He is exhaustively deplorable as a human being. The things he has done and said about minorities, women, practically anyone who doesn’t fall in line behind him, are awful. They are awful for a decent civilized human being, but more so, for a President, they are unforgivable. So stop defending him as a person because it weakens your argument and it encourages that behavior both in him and in others who look up to him. Simply admit you have conservative values and are voting him out of default because that is the only (some-what) acceptable reason.
And then there is Clinton. I have never voted for Clinton. I voted for Obama in ’08, and caucused for Sanders in ’16, both on voting day and again at the district level. I do not support all of her policies, both domestic and abroad, but she is also not the evil entity that her opposition has laid out. To all my progressive friends out there who were all about Bernie when he was around. Don’t you think if half the accusations against her were worth discussing, Bernie would have put more emphasis on them? Especially as things got heated towards the end? Yes, the way the DNC and Clinton campaign handled the whole primary system is an embarrassment to the democratic process, but you can’t fix the system by bowing out of the discussion.
Regardless, I doubt anything I or anyone else can say about Clinton at this point will really change your mind about her. Her image is poisoned for many of you, so instead of trying to undo what you have clearly already accepted as truth, please decide if any of the following are important to you:
Freedom of Speech
Overreach of Religion
Minimum Wage Increases
Many, if not all, of these Clinton has a stronger stance on than Trump. But more importantly, if we are able to get ANY of these passed in the next 20 years, there will be a fight, and that fight will almost certainly be brought to the Supreme Court.
This Tuesday is not only about deciding if Clinton is better or worse than Trump. It’s not only about what she may or may not get done in the next 4-8 years. It’s about what direction we are trying to head in for the next few decades.
There has been a lot of talk about Clinton not being progressive enough for many Democrats. What do you think will happen if we put forth a Conservative court? The House of Representatives will almost certainly remain Conservative, and the Senate will most likely bend the same direction as the president along with the Supreme Court. This means that if the country allows Trump to take office, he could be doing so with a Republican controlled Congress, and allowed to set up the most Conservative Supreme Court in modern history.
How easy do you think it will be to continue to make progress in this country if that happens?
This isn’t just about Trump or Clinton. This is about laying the foundation for what is to come, and we cannot afford to take a chance on our future.
Clinton was not my first choice, but she is still hands down the most qualified presidential candidate on the ballot. Trump said so when he wasn’t running. Weld (Johnson’s running mate) said so DAYS ago. Sanders has said so. It is a near unanimous belief in the political field for both Republicans and Democrats alike. With Supreme Court openings (one currently, and maybe even three or four more in the next eight years), a more liberal congress, and a mandate from the people showing her support, Clinton could end up being one of the most impactful and influential Presidents of not only the past century, but in American history.
So I ask you this one last question. Do you want to be part of the group that stands in opposition to the only chance of progress we have just to make a statement? or do you want to move on from the wrongs made, and be a part of finding a solution by standing with Her? Being with her doesn’t have to mean blindly following, or even necessarily ignoring past mistakes; instead it allows for you to be part of the discussion of improving our country. Because right now, that is the only statement that really matters.
For me there is really no discussion or choice left to be had. I easily stand with the only clear choice for progressive values. #HillYes #ImWithHer