I’m not one to go heavily into politics here because well, let’s face it, I’m an author, not a pundit. You come to me for your murdery bits and fried rice. I know this. It is not a surprise. But indulge me for a thousand words or less.
I’m pretty far left Democrat in all things but I do demand the right get respect and acknowledgement. The country needs balance. We’re too big, too unwieldy of a nation not to require at least two shorings to hold us up on our feet.
That being said… as you knew there was a “but” coming… I do admire and respect Sanders. I think he’s a decent guy. I would love to see him change the world for the better. And I can also say that about a few Republicans so keep in mind, I’m not a down the party line voter. In this case, and if this is a surprise to you, I personally would be shocked, but I will be voting for Hillary.
I have some pearls in the back if you need them to clutch. Go on. I can wait.
See, it matters to me what people have to say and how they’ve voted in the past. How much experience they have and how willing they are to listen. I want my representatives in the government to know how to comport themselves and speak concisely and knowledgably about what needs to be done. I need someone who understands not everyone is like them. Some people struggle, having to choose between food or utilities while others don’t even realize there’s a gas bill. A lot of people attend public schools and go to Ivy League colleges, others go to private schools and go to Ivy League colleges. Still others don’t go to college. Some write. Some act. Some weld. Others sell you used cars.
But we’re all here. In this America.
Thing is, I’ve seen a hell of a lot of elections. I come from a very political, world-view-minded kind of state. I also come from a family of immigrants and an indigenous family from before the USA existed. I am a person of somewhat colour from a mix of cultures. I have gay and lesbian and “other” friends. I know poor and rich people both in money and in life.
What I don’t want to know is fear. I don’t want those I love to know fear. Hell, I don’t even want those I dislike to know fear. What we need is unity and to remember what it means to be American.
Being American isn’t where you came from, how much you have or don’t have or how much you know. It is fundamentally about living in a place where you are free to explore what life can give you. Life, by nature, isn’t fair. I’d be a naïve fool to say otherwise but there are opportunities and we, as Americans, can certainly seek them out.
This country was built on a variety of people. It will continue to thrive with a variety of people. People from different cultures, religions, palates, and lifestyles. In order for this Great Experiment that is us to work, we need to compromise and understand. I’ve said this before and probably will again—we cannot enter into a discussion to dominate the person next to us.
It cannot and should not be done. The moment you hope to “win” a discussion, everything is lost.
We need to identify what is important for all of us to survive with (and sometimes despite) one another and look for common ground. There is no Us v.s. Them. I don’t think a lot of people get that. There isn’t a versus in this equation. There’s no minus sign. And a division sign, well that’s just fatal.
No one is going to magically go away if one person wins a crucial vote. We’re all still going to be here.
Together. In this boat. Rowing.
So we either row together or we go in circles. Our choice.
Or sink. We can do that to. But once again, our choice.
But the conditions of that boat is what’s key here. Look hard at the promises and decisions being made to and in front of you. Look really fricking hard. Search in your heart and really look at things. We need to keep our focus. Keep the rights we have and fight for equality for all people. We need to make sure our people… ALL of our people… do not go hungry and have a place to call home. The American Dream is a lofty one but the American Reality is within our grasp, especially if that Reality is achieved by all of us pulling together. We are a nation of strong-willed people and have risen to challenges before. We can rise to the one ahead of us. I know we can.
We have before.
For God’s sake, look at the changes just in the time I’ve been alive. Look at how far we’ve come, steering this lumbering, multi-headed beast of a nation. We can do this.
Vote. Vote not for what you’re afraid of now but for what we can be proud of in the future. Look to the world we want to leave ourselves in four years…in eight years… in two decades. But most of all, in this time, look to your neighbour. See that person standing next to you for who they are. Not for the clothes they wear. For the food they eat. For the language they speak to their spouses. For the colour of their skin. Or for the gender of who who they love. Look instead for the dreams they have for their lives. For their children and even for their parents.
We all want the same thing… a good life, a happy life and a safe life. Let’s make that happen for everyone…because we can.