Stop. I warned you in the title. If you proceed, this is a post about politics and, like all of my political posts, it’s full of opinion. My opinion because, you know, my blog.
If you know me, have followed this blog for more than ten minutes or have seen my political stumping for different candidates, it’s no secret who I’m voting for. #ImWithHer #StrongerTogether #HillaryForPres.
I like Hillary. I respect her service to the country and I think she’s smart. Plus I’m a firm believer in government regulation of business (see Flint water crisis, climate change, Charlestown water crisis, Toledo water crisis, unregulated fracking caused earthquakes, deregulation of state university costs landing college students in massive debt, etc.). I’m a firm believer that the free market system does NOT work in health care (epipen, et al) and education (no, competition does not make public schools stronger. Every bit of research proves this.)
On top of that I think Trump is completely unqualified for the position of President of the United States, and that was before he made fun of the physically disabled reporter, Governor Bush, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Miss Universe and women he finds unattractive. Plus, I don’t think “Build that wall” is the answer to anything.
The Republican Party has become a party I no longer recognize. But even if it hadn’t skewed so far to the right it teetered on the edge of scary and toppled over into that place at times this election season, I would still vote for Hillary. Because republicans have made it clear they want the US run by the whim of the dollar. The dollar isn’t good or bad. It’s just money. But it doesn’t take long to see the harm done when we let the dollar rule all of our decision making (see Pearson publishing and test-centric education, a slew of big pharmaceutical companies raking in giant profits while people go without meds they need because they can’t afford them, hospitals making schedules by computers to make sure they’re running at high efficiency levels even if it means patients are in danger over lack of staffing, for-profit charters bilking tax payers of millions and then shutting down with no warning, the list goes on and on and on.)
All that said, I watched about 20 minutes of last night’s debate. I watched it today because I couldn’t stomach it yesterday. 20 minutes in I was so done. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t watch a debate for no reason other than vitriol overload, but I’m there, and I know I’m not alone.
Here’s the deal: I’m a Democrat (redundant, I know). I have people in my life who I love who are Republicans. I have people in my life who I love who are Libertarians. I have people in my life who I love who swing socialist at times. And we debate. Often. About issues. And we do it without turning hateful because our differences aren’t based on hate. They’re based on political viewpoints. (If you’re reading this: hi brother dear! We’re due another long phone call!)
The Presidential election season is always tough, but this one is the worst I can remember and that shocks me because of the rampant racism of Obama’s cycles (Yes, people I love, I know you weren’t racist just because you were Republican.). I guess most of the people I knew were quick to shut the racism down in a way that hasn’t happened this time. Or maybe it’s just that we’ve spent so much time in this Real Housewives, Kardashian inspired, SnapChat crazy drama-filled world, we let this one get out of hand.
I’ve read a lot of “I’m done” posts. I even wrote a few.
But then I read something different and it inspired me.
I’m NOT done. This is my country and I LOVE politics. We the people can take the next election cycle back. We don’t have to let it go this way.
We can make our officials run on issues not attacks.
Will we? I don’t know.
My friend and I played a drinking game while watching the first Republican debate. I laughed at the awfulness of the personal attacks while I drank my Colorado Bulldog and patted myself on the back for supporting a different party.
But that debate started us down this path and it did because we (including me!) viewed it as entertainment and ratings went through the roof.
The presidential race isn’t entertainment.
We can never let it go there again or we face the worst kinds of consequences.
The Hunger Games is fiction. But at its heart is the what if. And this election season shows us at the tipping point of that what if. We should all be terrified.
If we’re not careful, we’ll lose all that is great about our nation. And we’ll lose it because we wanted to be entertained instead of educated. If that’s what we want, that’s what we’ll get. And next time will have to be worse to keep those ratings up.
So…I’m done with that. Trump is the nominee. Hillary is the nominee. If you don’t like them, you’ve got Johnson. I know there’s another candidate but no, just no.
I’ll talk politics here some, but almost always those politics will be dictated by education because that’s how I roll.
There’s nothing new in this post, so the real people in my life from all political affiliations aren’t going to decide to hate me because I’m a democrat. They already knew that. They knew me back in the Reagan/Bush years when I was a straight ticket R voter, too. And through it all, we’ve debated and still liked each other.
Remember back in the olden days when that was the norm?
Maybe the nation can get back there. But it’s up to us to make that happen.