Friday, October 28, 2016

The Election

I was hoping to leave politics off my blog during this election cycle. I tried. I really did. But circumstances have altered somewhat. During the primaries I was extremely excited. I found the candidate I wanted in Bernie Sanders. He's basically a regular guy who cares deeply about all rest of us average people. He recognized that the money in politics were (and are) the leading factor in EVERYTHING that is wrong with our political system. Climate change won't be acknowledged as long as the fossil fuel industry has a say. Health care costs won't change as long as insurance and pharmaceutical interests can buy Congressmen. Keeping jobs in America won't happen as long as the corporations are allowed to outsource without repercussion. Bernie refused to accept corporate money because he was fighting against everything for which those companies stand. Follow the money and you find the source of the problems. But Bernie didn't win the nomination.

While getting fired up about a possible President Sanders, I watched the circus that was the Republican primaries with equal parts concern and amusement. As the primaries stretched on and the candidates all seemed to want to out-horrible each other, I was no longer amused. As candidate after candidate with some political experience fell out of the race, concern blossomed into fear. I fully expected at some point for clearer heads to prevail and not choose the one candidate that would be the worst choice.

But Republican Americans have spoken.

They want the outsider who speaks his mind. They don't care that most of what he says is not true; lies that are proven false through his own words. They don't care that he is racist, misogynist, and corrupt as hell. They're as bad as him. They revel in his racism and misogyny because it validates their own ugly thoughts. Like him, they call for violence and a twisting of our laws. He once said that he "could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," bragging about the loyalty of his voters. He threatens. He lies. He promotes an environment of fear and hate. He denigrates veterans, disabled people, minorities, and women. But his followers still love and support him. They threaten anyone who disagrees with them. They're willing to overlook every truth that comes out proving that he's a liar, a crook, and a sexual deviant because he's going to make America great again.

When Hillary Clinton was officially announced as the Democratic candidate, I was conflicted. She made history as the first female candidate of a major party and that is wonderful. But I'd heard so much negativity about her during the primaries that I wasn't sure I wanted her to be our first female president. I made the mistake of believing the lies and half-truths without looking into the stories myself. I was mad that Bernie lost and was willing accept the stories at face value. Benghazi. The e-mails. Anything the Republicans could dig up.

And I fell for it.

For a while.

I was willing to vote for Clinton simply to keep the Republican out of office. Then I did a little digging for myself and slowly began to discover just how blatant some of the lies were that supposedly intelligent people like myself were willing to accept as fact. Take Benghazi. At this point I'm not certain anymore what she supposedly did wrong. Things were said in the days after the attack that didn't always match what was previously said but that is only to be expected when the facts are slow to come. Once new facts come to light, a new assessment must take place. The actual scandal in that incident was the fact that a year before the attack happened the Republican controlled Congress called for budget cuts to security at US embassies to the tune of $300 million with another $400 million to be cut over the next couple of years. Then Secretary of State Clinton warned the GOP that the budget cuts would be detrimental to national security. And don't even get me started on the foolishness that is the e-mail scandal. I admit she's not perfect. But, guess what? Neither am I. Nor is Bernie. We're all human and at the end of the day we celebrate our accomplishments and live with our mistakes. Clinton's opponent can't even admit to the smaller mistakes much less his hate, fear-mongering, and outright treason.

What matters most to me and what will decide my vote is that Clinton is qualified for the job. In fact, she is most qualified candidate we've had in my lifetime.  She has overcome so many obstacles while being held to a different standard simply by being born female. She understands my concerns in a way no previous candidate could. And she worked with Bernie to adopt some of his ideals into her platform. She fights the double standard every day; she is seen as too cold, too shrill, too old where a male candidate would be seen as rational, passionate, and experienced. America is past due for a woman as our leader. I'm ready for Hillary Clinton to be the first female President of the United States. I'm ready to see a leader that looks more like Goddess. I'm with Her.

I just hope the other side can accept it without the vitriol and violence we've had to this point.