I have a book due in a couple of weeks that is consuming massive chunks of time, and I still feel as if I’m really far behind in the writing of it. So why, then, am I using what precious time I have composing an essay for my blog? Because I can’t get it out of my head. Spoiler warning: This is about politics. To wit: this individual, who has long said he will never vote will be voting in the upcoming election.
One’s natural reaction would be “Ha! Hypocrite.” Or else “Well, it’s about time you start exercising one of your most basic rights.” Or “Good for you, just make sure it’s for the right person.”
“The right person.”
The problem with politics – and the reason why I have so vehemently opposed voting up until this point in my life – is that there IS no “right person.” There are two reasons for this. The first is that there are so many checks and balances within the political infrastructure of the USA that the Commander In Chief will have very little active power once he or she attains office. What that means is that while the candidate might be amazing, it is the job¸ itself that is flawed. The second reason is that unless there is a radical – and frightening – shift in presidential requirements, the candidate will be human.
No, I’m saying there is nothing inherently wrong with humans save for our very humanity. Bear with me. Look at yourself. Are you happy with your physical body? Do you feel that you could lose a few pounds or maybe that whenever it’s time to say no to that one last little piece of chocolate, you cave in and go for it? Or maybe you know that you should clean the dishes immediately after eating, but only put water into the bowls and then go off to bed? Or maybe, you feel that there is something wrong with murder, and it makes you angry? Or how about when you’re trying to get to work and somebody cuts you off? Have you ever had thoughts about someone else while you were happily in a relationship? Have you ever judged anyone based on an appearance? If the answer to any one – it doesn’t matter how many – just ONE of these was “yes,” then, congratulations, you’re a human! And that is a wonderful thing because being human is one of the most wonderful things that I could ever imagine.
And that’s the second problem. The people who enter these campaigns are human. That means that they are as flawed as any other one of us. They make mistakes. They do stupid things. They believe – heaven forbid! – in things that we might not believe in. They might get caught up in a moment and say something that they don’t mean. But you know what? That’s all part and parcel of being human. I do not vote because I cannot elect a perfect being into office. So until now, I haven’t bothered. One human (in the confines of the checks and balances of the USA political system) is no different from any other. So I shrug at the whole issue.
In this presidential election, we are seeing something unprecedented: a highly polarized country that is throwing their support to two individuals whose platforms are largely the same, but equally polarized. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, or of just how much of a change people are looking for, but by the two candidates that the US public will choose as finalists, we are seeing that people are fed up with marginalizing and demand that something be done.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Capitalist and Socialist. Right Winger and Left Winger. Extremist and Extremist.
These are the people that the Statian* public is demanding represent them in the position of Commander-In-Chief. In their own ways, each is equally psychotic. One has dreams of throwing money at the problem in an effort to equalize the living quality of all. The other has dreams of throwing out everything that is different in an effort to bring peace of mind to those who are homogeneous. Stalin and Hitler. Yay. Of course I don’t see either as either, but one thing is for sure, whoever of the pair enters office, this country will certainly not be the same by the time he leaves office.
Since both are harbingers of change, and because both are radicals, their similarities run deep. Really deep. At this point in media warfare and sensory sales, the only way someone could get this kind of attention is through radical soundbites and extremist thoughts. So why the hell would I be swayed into thinking that one would be better than the other?
The secret is to look at the differences between these two political clones. Donald Trump: businessman, magnate, old money with infinite connections, an old regime, who is out to protect (what many believe to be) White America from outsiders who threaten to corrupt the foundations of this country. Thank all the gods that are or have been or will be created – literally – that he is no Ted Cruz, who has a horrible belief that that country was founded on Christian beliefs. It wasn’t. It was founded on beliefs that look at the betterment of ALL mankind, and the freedom of religion clearly states that anyone can practice any religion in this land. For anyone in this bracket – aka, the 1% who have the bulk of power and have, indeed possessed this power for the past 200 years, he is a wonderful chap, looking out for those White Americans that the late David Bowie sang about.
One the other side of the fence is a crazy man from Vermont. And what has Vermont ever done for the world, except give us maple syrup, the greatest ice cream in the world, and the greatest musical quartet ever. Nothing. They’re all cows and hippies and peace and love and green mountains. If anyone from China were to look at Burlington (the biggest city in the state), they would laugh and say “How quaint!” Being from Vermont, Sanders is interested in very socialist concepts like a high minimum wage (little realizing it would be the REDUCTION of available cash that would increase its value), free collegiate education, and free health care. In this day and age, such concepts seem pretty far-fetched. The Statian* public won’t allow that. Why would we want to share our hard-earned cash with others? Especially not when this IS a Capitalist society where personal gains and acquisitions have ever been directly connected to the Statian* Dream?
Ug! They both suck! Or do they?
As a novelist, I am so thoroughly caught in the concept of motivation that my colleagues sometimes want to bash me over the head with a frying pan. So let’s look at their motivations. Trump wants to become president because he can. Good for him. That’s the Statian* Dream, all right. “Little Donny, one day, even you could become president.” In doing so, he would give hope to everyone who has failed in upwards of three marriages, comes from old money, and has a whole lot of friends throwing their money at him. Sanders wants to take those crazy wholesome naturalistic concepts so deeply ingrained into the Vermonster mindscape and make them national. In the process, he hopes to share that silly hippie notion of peace and love. Go back to Woodstock!
But Woodstock is long gone. Our oil fields are drying up. We have two islands of garbage in the Pacific. Wealth in this country is drying up because companies are taking their businesses to cheaper countries. The world population is looking at Statian* obsession with firearms and scratching their heads. The world is looking at certain Christian groups and their fanatical devotion to the Bible (translated from multiple sources) and scratching their heads. The world is looking at the USA and our lack of care of our own people and scratching their heads. Fish are disappearing quicker than we can replace them. While President Obama talked about change, the changes that were instituted were so meaningless that this country is only marginally better/worse than it was 8 years ago. Quite simply, this place is in trouble, and the current infrastructure cannot maintain it.
The two US Presidential Candidates both seek to bring change. But the question is which kind of change would you like to have on your conscience? One that is rooted in love for the planet we live on and of the people who live here, or love only for people who are like you? We are all angry right now. We’re scared because our world is changing, but it is how we take this next step that will define us.
It might not matter in the end. As I said, there are so many checks and balances in the system that the new president will be stymied as much as Obama has been, but what if…? What if the new President can bring about his vision? Which vision do you really want? A vision of achievement brought about through cooperation and harmony with your land or a vision of a tower rising high above on the ashes and skulls of those we have defeated? Do we seek out benevolence or bigotry? Will we throw our chips in with misogyny or with maternity leave?
So what will it be Statians*? What will you decide? For every one of you who has stood on the sidelines, as I have done, there is no excuse. If you have a compassionate soul, one that is not tarnished by indifference or one that is not corrupted by racism or blind hatred for the sake of needing a target, please join me at the voting booths. Tell your friends and family in as many states as possible. Only together, as one country, can the United States of America defeat the regime that stands poised to trump all our freedoms.
See, I don’t see voting in this election as voting for a person. I see it as voting for a future.
*Statian – n. (stay.chee.an). One from the United States of America. Because Mexicans, Peruvians, Costa Ricans, etc. are all American, too.
– adj. relating to, about, describing something/ someone from the United States of America.