• The Grey Squirrel

Why I am Voting Today

This country is broken. We have turned against ourselves with each side more interested in causing the other side to hurt than helping our country to heal. We are in a rhetorical arms race hurtling towards an abyss that leads to a very dark future. A pendulum is swinging that arches from extreme to extreme while zipping past the middle. There is no synthesis of ideas, no common good, no grand collective purpose; there is only one-upmanship, stagnation, and obstruction.

Our leaders tell us that we should hate our fellow countrymen, that those who disagree with our chosen leaders are the enemy, and that our only hope lies in our loyalty to the party. But they are wrong. E Pluribus Unum. From many, one. The many are the hope, not the one. The one is not the end.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Will we be remembered for pontificating while America crumbles? Will future generations look back and believe that the only reason we could not see the sky was falling was because we had our heads in the sand?

Political parties be damned. A pox on both your houses. There are no innocents roaming either of your halls. It is time that the American people take control of our country back from these Cerberus dogs swinging their heads of greed, lust, and deceit. We hold their leashes and can muzzle their snapping jaws salivating and hungry for power. But it will take all of us to bring them to heel.

I am a Republican. Or at least I was. I honestly don’t know what Republicans stand for any more. Deficit spending. Breaking up families. Supporting philanderers and false prophets. This isn’t your daddy’s GOP. The Democratic party is no better with its lost focus, conditional morals, and petty dismissiveness.

All Americans should stand up to threats to our country. Donald Trump is a threat to our country. He has proven that again and again. However, Bernie Sanders is a threat to our country as well. Beyond the whole host of reasons that he personally is a threat to the country, Sanders is a threat because he is not the antidote to the cancer that is gutting this country. He is no more than a snake oil salesman, no different than Donald Trump, except that he claims that his snake oil comes from a different, prettier snake. Both are peddling the poison of division. Both are selling the narrative of a false savior to people hungry for salvation.

We cannot recover our country until we turn from those handing out pitchforks and cudgels and instead make ourselves vulnerable to change. Change is frightening precisely because it is different than what we are used to. How long will we cram our feet into ill-fitting shoes because we are afraid that the new ones will cause us to trip? How frightening is it to look at one you were taught to hate without the battlements of defensiveness and dismissiveness because it means that you might learn something you did not know?

I am sure that each side will hear this and think, “Yes, they should change. They should listen to me and not belittle my experience.” But if each side is thinking that, then each side is wrong.

I am voting today, because there is still hope. While one party has set its course, the other has not. I am a woman without a party but not without a country. I choose to put my country first and stand up to the threats of division and disgust that could be our undoing. I don’t have the answers. No one person does. This is why I can not stand idly by while two men claim themselves as the answer to questions they don’t seem interested in understanding.

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