Caution: Some ‘Murican Discussion Ahead

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.

15 thoughts on “Caution: Some ‘Murican Discussion Ahead

  1. MaDonna

    Canadian here with her two cents;) I liked Sanders as well. Hilary Clinton is smart and she’ll have, hopefully, good people around her. But OMG the Republican candidate is an absolute wingnut. He and his tribe are…just….no words. I can only sit back and shake my head.

  2. Erin Sharpe

    Amazing post and as always, so well spoken (or written as the case may be!) I always admire and respect your viewpoint so much. Thank you for sharing.

  3. isisrising4sandra

    Bravo. I also am a Sanders supporter who will be voting for Hillary. I am an immigrant, adopted into a Native American family as an adult, taught the value of different viewpoints throughout my life. I believe in unification instead of dissention, and I loved your commentary about discussion and the fact that “winning” a discussion is an elimination of discussion on all levels. Yeah *fist bump*

  4. Jane

    I’m a Clinton supporter from the beginning. I thought that Bernie had some very good ideas but his plans to implement fell short. Especially the financial analysis.

    I’m happy Clinton and Sanders are now working together to defeat Trump. It becomes more obvious every day what a threat he is to this nation. Today he invited Russia to hack into the former Secretary of State’s email server to help him win the election. This literally falls into treasonous territory and is unprecedented in the history of our country.

  5. Sadonna

    Feeling very sad tonight. Had dinner with a lot of smart extremely privileged people and I’m not sure when was the last time I felt this disheartened about this election and what we are up against. They even managed to get in a shot about tattoos and nose rings 😦

  6. Maryann

    I too was a Sanders follower but will be voting for Hilary Clinton. For many personal reasons I would never ever vote for someone who preaches hate, bigotry and violence. I’m 65 and I want to move forward, not get dragged backwards. We have to stay united and fight for the good, safe and happy life, not just for now but for the future. I totally agree with Rhys, well said.

  7. KittyLips

    Wow! I like to read fantasy, not live it. My fellow republicans look at facts and try to find solutions to the problems we have today. We do not indulge in how things should be, or could be in a perfect world. Let’s solve the problems we have today: big government, spiraling national debt, police officers getting shot down in cold blood, illegal immigration straining our social services, a decimated military , increased terror threats and the financial fiasco of Obamacare. Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt politician I can remember. She doesn’t care about you. She cares about Hillary Clinton and what the country can do for her. And Sanders just wants everyone to get everything for free. Keep in mind….a government that is big enough to give you everything you want is a government that is big enough to take away everything you have. I don’t see what is wrong with allowing someone to work hard and earn what they can. I don’t begrudge someone who has more than me. The opportunities are there for the taking. Every American has the right to a free public education from age 5-18. You chose not to take advantage of it that is your problem. Capitalism works. America is the greatest country on Earth. Our Constitution, and the freedoms it established are the envy of the world. It is heartbreaking to see young Americans saying they hate America. I shutter to think of what will happen to our country if the Democrats win.

    1. Well while I disagree with you on nearly every single point you make, I can agree with you regarding education.

      I’ve not heard any American of any age say they hate America but perhaps I just don’t know those kinds of people. 😀

  8. Joy Walker Hall

    And now, Rhys, thank you for a well-written blog. This is a difficult time and my stomach turns each time I think about what might happen if Hillary doesn’t win this race. I don’t think I’ve ever been frightened about a presidential candidate before. Let me be clear, I have supported Hillary since I was a young woman so my vote will be for her not against Trump.

    1. Madonna

      What a breath of fresh air the Democratic Convention in comparison with the apocalyptic pollution of the RNC.

  9. Kerri

    I’m a political science major and hopefully going to work in Washington DC next year and I can’t agree with you more!

    I’m just so, so glad that Donald Trump is losing in the polls. I never thought that in the year 2016 I would ever see a candidate run a nativist, pro-white, anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim, anti-woman, anti-baby campaign. Everyone loves babies. I mean, come on, babies. Smh.

    We’re better than this. Our country, our citizenry, we’re better than this.

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