“The power to dream , to rule, to wrestle the world from fools
it’s decreed the people rule
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth’s revolution
we have the power
People have the power ..”
— Patti Smith.
If you know me, it shouldn’t surprise you that I am voting, with enthusiasm, for Hillary Clinton. I believe it is not only the choice that most matches my beliefs and my values but also I fully believe it’s the ONLY sane choice. It’s the only moral choice.
I will tell you that when this election season opened, I desperately did not want to end up voting for Hillary Clinton. I was ( and still am) a Bernie guy, and if you know me, that shouldn’t surprise you either. I know Bernie didn’t get enough electors to win the nomination. I also know the supposedly impartial DNC worked with the Hillary campaign to marginalize Bernie. I was not happy about that either. I didn’t think it was fair and I still don’t. But the stakes are so much higher now that the once great Republican party has shifted from a right/center-right party into a fascist party. What was once a participant in the dialog of the American republic had devolved into a hate group with no other legislative agenda than to obstruct progress, marginalize minorities and LBGT folks, and further enrich the corporate class.
Some background on me for the purposes of disclosure. After Sandy Hook, and the formerly Grand Old Party’s steadfast refusal to pass even the simplest, most common sense gun control legislation, I vowed I would never cast another ballot for a Republican candidate again, nationally or locally. That sounds like some momentous decision but truth be told, I wasn’t a big Republican voter anyway. I suspect over the course of my life the number of Republicans I have voted for has been in the single digits. We have some decent people locally who happen to be Republicans, some I consider friends, but I will never vote for them. The organization they align with, is one I believe in my heart and in my mind to be a hate group.
A hate group. A racist, ethno-nationalist, authoritarian, anti-American values, hate group. This isn’t just hyperbole, you cant do the things they do and say the things they say, and come to any other conclusion.
Many of my friends, good and decent people who identify as Republican have taken issue with me on this conclusion. I get that. Nobody wants to believe they are part of a hate group, that they have been sold a bill of goods to further a racist/nationalist agenda, but think of this, every so called mainstream Republican who were so vehement in their disgust for the candidacy of the openly racist Donald Trump has said they will vote for him. So much for integrity.
Many of those people, including the Speaker of the House, called his words “textbook racism”. But they still vote for him. The man who invented birtherism. The man who started his campaign with a racist tirade against Mexicans and has ended his campaign with a 2 minute anti-Semitic screed.
“If I win, I will jail my opponent, if I lose , then the election is rigged and I wont concede.”
We have seen this show before.
They believe every lie that is advanced because it suits their agenda. To promote such disinformation is by definition, propaganda. Much of what fuels their distrust does not hold up to scrutiny.
The Trump rallies with an undercurrent of political violence are byproducts of this hate. “Lock Her Up!” “Execute Her” Members of the press have had to be escorted out after rallys by secret service because of the violent threats from Trump’s followers.
The hate has been a slow boil , like the old parable about the frog in the pot. Witness the language I heard in an otherwise very open and respectful intellectual argument I had just yesterday. The word “hate”was used maybe 10 times in 3 minutes. “I hate” “I loathe” “I hate them” “I despise her” “I hate her”
This is someone I have known for a long time and love dearly, with so much hate in their heart that I was shocked to hear the words. This wasn’t the person I used to know. How did all this poison get into the bloodstream? It’s not the first time I have heard such pure hatred from people I have known and respected if not agreed with. The hatred made me uncomfortable and sad.
This is a party that has already promised investigations, impeachment and obstruction if Hillary is elected. Never mind what the charge may be, they will find something. Fascism is a strong word, but when the definition of fascism is met, you can come to no other intellectual conclusion.
We need a legitimate Republican party. For this American experiment to work, we need two parties, to engage in debate, promote their viewpoints and find compromise for “we the people”. Sometimes they are the majority, and sometimes the Democrats are. In order to do that we need to agree on a common set of basic provable truths and the Republican party, whatever that means these days, chooses to promote propaganda and hatred and has advanced this unstable threat to the nation as it’s standard bearer. You won’t hear this very often from me but we NEED a reasonable right/center-right party for this all to work, and of late, they have abdicated their responsibility entirely, in spite the the best efforts of John McCain (sometimes) and John Kasich (most of the time) and almost every living Republican former presidential candidate to bring this party back to it’s senses.
I’ll leave you with this sad anecdote:
A pediatrician I know told me about a young girl, just a little bit younger than my 8 year old son, who was being treated for severe anxiety. Her hair was falling out. They aren’t sure if she’s pulling it out. She’s lost weight. She’s not sleeping. She is worried that because she is Muslim they will have to leave their home, their school. Her friends at her school have stopped playing with her. Stopped being friends with her. Because she is Muslim.
The family’s Imam has advised them , that if they feel unsafe, to not go to their mosque for a while. Think of that for a moment. The family is so disrupted by the words of a Presidential candidate that they feel like they need to suppress the worship of their own religion. This isn’t something happening in say, Kentucky, or Texas, this is happening in Syracuse New York. Central New York. The birthplace of the women’s movement. The center of the abolitionist movement. Home to the Berrigans.
This is what happens in Donald Trump’s version of America.
When this kind doctor told me what was happening to this little girl, this child. I wept openly in the office. I never forgot this little girl. I never will. I am with her. And I am with Hillary Clinton.