Over the past thirty-ish years, I have heard my fellow Democrats demonize Republicans, call them names, and make blanket assumptions about the people across the aisle. All this time, on the ground, I have met Republicans who are compassionate. I have met Republicans who care deeply about people, some of whom have devoted their professional lives to helping others. They want the world to be a better place as much as anyone else. I have met Republicans who are passionate about the environment and conservation. I have met Republicans who continue to fight for the separation of church and state as spelled out by our founding fathers.
Elections have never been fun. It seems like they have gotten nastier. The discourse is more hateful than it ever was. The nastiness is coming from both sides and it's getting worse. I am old enough to remember when friends who were allied to both parties were deeply offended by the tactics and attitude we saw from Lee Atwater. By today’s standards, Atwater’s conduct would be considered refined, maybe even gentlemanly. This is tragic.
When people of my generation complain about “Millennials,” the first question that comes to my mind is, “Who is setting the examples for them to follow?”
Reagan and Bushs pere and fils were horrendous presidents. So were Clinton and Obama. A clear, critical look at the track records of Clinton and Obama show a few positive changes. However, when it comes to matters of social justice, when you look at their track records for cronyism, when you look at the ways they have aided and abetted the takeover of the oligarchy, when you see their obeisance to the corporate state, it’s hard to feel anything but shame on behalf of myself, the DNC, and my country for voting in these people.
I deeply regret not voting with my conscience. That will not happen again.
This morning, I posted this on the walls of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Shultz: I am no longer a Democrat because of people like you. You have no shame, nor do you possess even a vestigial moral compass. You make me embarrassed for my former party and my country.
I meant every word when I wrote it. I mean it now. If I could take back my votes for Clinton and Obama, I would. I have voted in the primary. My vote went to Bernie Sanders. In the upcoming election, my vote for president will go to Bernie Sanders. If he’s not on the ballot, I will write in his name.
It’s funny that it was so easy to promise myself from March 15th on I would only buy a pair of shoes if they felt good, were colorful, and delighted me. For some reason, it was harder to shake off the guilt and fear the DNC is trying to use to force my decision this November. It’s not going to happen. I will never again vote for someone whose ideals and values run so counter not only to my own, but to the tenets used to create this -yes, it still is in spite of it all- great country. I will not vote out of obligation or the need to belong. Most important of all, I will not vote out of fear. I’m voting for who I want to see in the White House.
copyright 2016 Jas Faulkner/Zen Dixie