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Friday, July 29, 2016

It's Your Vote... Don't Waste It: The Downfall and Reality of a Two Party Democratic System in 2016

The 2016 Presidential election is a hot topic-- not just in the U.S., but around the world. The international community seems to have taken a bigger interest in this year's elections most likely because 1) this is Prime-Time American Reality TV starring one of our country's biggest celebrities and 2) America is an extremely powerful, passionate and strong country-- and the decision of who will lead such an International Powerhouse does, in fact, affect people around the world.

Back here in the U.S. though, many people consider this election "Business As Usual".
We do this routine every 4 years, right?
- A group of left and right politicians rip each other to shreds for a few months until the last one standing miraculously gains ALL of the support of their once rivals, to be nominated.
- Then 2 candidates attack each other's past, knowledge, rhetoric, history, mistakes, successes, failures, families, employees... (you get the point) until November comes along.
- Everyone votes.
- A winner is announced in a generally dramatic fashion.
- And then its over.
- People are sad.
- People are happy.
But in the end, what is the worst that could happen? These candidates were all qualified, right? They're respectable people who have the competency, patience and consideration to do this job??
Up until now, yes... but this year things have changed.

This year the stakes are even higher.
The reality and importance of this election should strike you to your core.
The candidates this year are NOT perfect. In fact, I'm sure if we could all rewind a year and take a closer look at the qualified people on the list, we would-- BUT since a Time Machine has not yet been invented (who's job was that, anyway? Einstein? FAIL!) we really all need to be realistic about November.

There are 2 choices: Donald Trump and Sec. Hillary Clinton.
To those of you saying, No! There's more than 2 choices! I can write in  (Insert Name Here)
Let me start here: I am all for the "Revolution" ... and I too LOVE Bernie Sanders and all of the political, economic and social reforms that he was planning to thrust upon this country. But Bernie didn't win the Democratic Primary. However that happened-- in whatever capacity emails may suggest otherwise-- Clinton won the votes. Period. Point Blank. So the romantic idea that a large group of people can write in a 3rd candidate (party affiliation unknown/undetermined) is just that... romantic.
The reality is: 1/3 of you will write in Bernie Sanders, 1/4 of you will write in Gary Johnson, 1/8 of you will write in your favorite Celebrity, Musician or Family Member, and at least 1 person is still voting for Ralph Nader.
That means that a large number of the intelligent, level-headed people in this country are splitting their votes up between some equally intelligent, level-headed people -- while the people who have already shown force in electing Donald Trump the Republican Nominee will continue to band together and make him our next President.

I don't know about you, but there is nothing that scares me more than having this man lead our country. 
Not Terrorism. Not Gun Violence. Not the threat of Nuclear Weapons. 
Nothing in this world scares me more than to think that this man will shape the future of our country and the world my children will grow up in.

Without going into a lecture on the reasons Donald Trump has NOT earned my vote in November (which I'm sure will spawn its own blog post in the near future)-- I just want to clarify to my friends why the answer is NOT to vote in anger, jealousy or retribution come November.
You may not like your choices-- but you need to make a choice.

The reality is: one of these people will be our next President. Sorry to burst your bubble.
If you "vote your conscious"-- whichever candidate that means for you-- then YOU may feel good about yourself for the day because you stood your ground and didn't conform, blah blah blah.
But how will you feel 4 months later? 4 years later? How will you feel for the next 4 years knowing that your vote-- as a whole-- should have made a difference?

In November I ask that you take into account the gravity of the situation. The entire world is looking to us-- the United States of America-- to do what we've always done: The Right Thing.
To say NO to hate, to bigotry, to unkind words and threats.
To not respond to these uneasy, scary times with fear and more hate-- but with love and trust and hope that things will eventually get better if we come together and embrace each other for our similarities and our differences.
The world is constantly changing and we want a leader to embrace that.
Not a leader who shuts people up, calls people names, threatens friends and allies, expresses support for enemies and dictators, puts up walls, blames others and makes more enemies.

This country's founders and leaders would NOT find this man to be a worthy leader.
Born into privilege, raised with a silver spoon and rewarded for his greed, hatred and disregard for others does NOT make someone a good leader. Not of this country.
This country means more, does more, stands for more.

I continue to hold out hope that the America I grew up in would not let such a person represent us all on the global stage-- and I sincerely hope that this is the America that shows up to the polls in November.

With Love, Respect & Kindness,