Sunday, September 04, 2016

The Depressing Campaign

Well, just when you think it cant get any worse, it does.  So, forgive me for dispatching with my usual cheerinness, and throw a little more shade on the campaign.

There are always flaws with candidates, and we always have some dispute on policy and issues.  But I have not seen a campaign with less real debate about those major issues (we can disagree on what they are and their priority, but that too is how we do it  here) than this one.

What is Hilllary's campaign about?
What is Trump's about?

I am being generous summing them up as follows
Hillary; I am experienced, I have waited my turn, I am ready to lead, my opponent is dangerous and unfit, vote for me.
Trump: I am experienced but thankfully not in politics, Americans are being taken to the cleaners by free trade and immigrants and mostly our defective leaders, ,I know how to make deals, Hillary is worse than me, vote for me.

The third party candidates: We need something better than these two above and while I am no great leader, trust me, I am better than either of them.

Issues are really blurred and the campaign has become about personality- and the two top candidates now have unfavorability ratings in excess of 60%. Throw out the undecideds and regardless of who wins, over half of all Americans will not like, trust or support the likely next president.

How can we survive this kind of campaign, and these kinds of candidates?

Each of us has to make a choice and we do that, largely, based on our personal experience. As for me, I cannot and will not voter for any candidate who so easily lies to the American people on significant  issues of public import.  I cannot and will not vote for a candidate who is so uniformly uninformed on those same public issues and appears to believe that his judgment, sans information, is the best way to make decisions.

So, that leaves me with a choice of a third party candidate, or writing in someone that I can accept, when I go to sleep, I could trust with the fate of the world, despite my choosing the cheap electoral out.  My vote will matter only to me.

This cannot be the future of the republic. We have too many serious problems facing us as a people to take a four year pass on them. We have too much promise as a nation to sit on the sidelines of world affairs while the world burns.

And we cannot sit back and lament the situation, and let it slide.
We need a movement that addresses the fundamental disease in our politics, in our system, in ourselves.

Some days, long days, mostly alone, working here, I think back and realize just how much I miss teaching the classes to you all.  And i wonder what it was, the teaching, the generous and kind praise you gave me, that make my remembrances so delightful.

And I realize that it was not those things. Those emotions..
It was that among you all, with your life experiences, your intellect, your questions, that you were evidence of what I believe but could not prove.

That there is a body politic in this country that can disagree on issues, that can fight over them with deep passion, that can agree to disagree without becoming disagreeable, and that at the center of those disputes is a common desire to make our country and the world a better place for someone other than ourselves.

That is the movement- that is the heart of the mission.
And the motto of that mission is not "I'm with Her" or "Make America Great Again."
It is instead, the virtue which puts others first, because it often demands personal sacrifice:
"Equal Justice for All." , where justice includes social, economic, political, legal. And it demands that we make a world where every human being is freed from the shackles of ancient mores, and where the communities they grow up in are places where , ro borrow a phrase, everyone is judged by the content of their character.

And as I begin to assess the work that I have done, and the work that I have yet to do, one column seems long but empty, and the other, empty but long.

It is time for me, for us, to get to work.


1 comment:

Susan said...

It is depressing......but I try and maintain perspective! The historical view (one day) of how we got here will be fascinating. Still do miss you and your classes challenging us.