This year’s crop of presidential candidates is thin. Of all the eligible people in America, are these really the best we can come up with? I was inspired by Sanders for a minute but chose not to pursue him. I’m throwing my hat in Hilary’s ring because of two simple words, Supreme Court. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. But this is just one of many reasons.
Every election is important and every election charts a course for America’s future. Both candidates are flawed, but one is broken and in my opinion irreparably broken. I am a democrat, a liberal and a progressive. I make no apologies for that. The only time I voted Republican was in 1968. I voted for Richard Nixon because he told America he had a “secret plan” to extricate ourselves from the bottomless pit of the Vietnam war. I was young and I believed him. Originally I was on track to vote for Bobby Kennedy but his tragic death in June of that year sent me into a depression. I was ripe to being duped into believing that the “secret plan” was hope and was real. I was wrong. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. (Or as George W. Bush so eloquently put it “…fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”)
Donald Trump has announced a secret plan to destroy ISIS (not the Egyptian Goddess but those terrorist thugs). Apparently, since he knows more about ISIS than the Generals, and more than our Security apparatus does, he has a secret plan to rid the world of this present scourge. Of course he will reveal his plan after he meets with the generals to hear their plan. And maybe he will reveal it, but maybe not even then. These types of “policies” (and there are many many more) lack one thing, substance. Fool me twice…
Trumps simplistic answers to complex problems demonstrates a lack of intelligence and serious study. He seems to be pandering to some of our basic fears. Sadness and anger of feeling left behind while the country rapidly moves forward. For whatever reason, the years of just below consciousness resentment of perceived advancements of others, mainly immigrants, that they are getting rights and opportunities that somehow his followers missed has bubbled to the surface during his campaign rallies. This anger has always been there and discussed around the water coolers and on-line for unemployment benefits and in coffee shops. Now it is encouraged to come out of the shadows. Examples of repeated Islamaphobic attacks on American citizens is on the rise. The recently planned bombing of a Mosque in Garden City, Kansas by a group calling itself “the Crusaders.” is only the latest. Donald Trump’s message of us vs them has given these shadowy people carte blanche to carry out these attacks and others in the light. He has justified it and has tacitly given these attacks his blessing with his rhetoric. It would be easy to dismiss the animus as belonging to a small group of fringe dwellers, but they are in the millions. Whoever wins in November will have a monumental task of trying to pull the country together again. The anger that became mainstream with the election of the country’s first black president will continue with the election of the first woman president.
But it is the next Supreme Court choices that will shape this country for a generation and Republicans are scared to death. There is no going back on advancements made by the court over the last half century. The tooth paste is out of the tube. We, as a country need to move forward not backward. A literal interpretation of the Constitution by some is the same as a literal intrepretation of the Hebrew Scriptures. It does not take into consideration flesh and blood people who are changing. Context is the operative word here. The Constitution is a guideline and can change and has changed over the centuries as people and society have changed. So the next few justices can make a big difference as our country moves from White European domination towards a diversity of minorities becoming a majority who are as American as our founders. This experiment in self-government is messy but it is the best we have. America is great because it is messy. If the idea of “taking my country back” appeals to you then vote. Participate and live with the results of the election. “Making this country great” means taking an active role in it’s governance, elect people who reflect your interests and hold them accountable. Make the most of whatever we wind up with without whining and yelling “rigged.” It’s not rigged, it’s reality. Obama is my president and he is your president. If Hillary is elected, she will be my president and your president. We are Americans.
Though flawed, I want my country, our country to move forward with Hilary Clinton. Not the optimal choice, but a better choice. The opposite choice is no choice at all, and maybe, if his words can be any gage of a Trump presidency, a disaster for the country and the world.
…and so it goes…