Unless you have been living in an underground bunker with no access to any media of any kind, I’m sure you all have been unable to escape the coverage of this dumpster fire of an election season. Living in this country, believing in the democratic process, I’ve found things in this go around to be more terrifying than any other time I’ve ever voted. I am usually what is considered a middle of the road type person. I believe that people should work together to create a discourse that ensures growth and prosperity as a whole for the nation. It seems like a pipe dream. We have a man in the election, who has managed to whip up a furor against people of color, women, and anyone who isn’t a white American male. I’ve followed this man closely. Waiting for people to wake up and say, “What is going on with this lunatic?” At first, I, like others, felt that this man obviously couldn’t make it past the primaries because he has no substance, and not a single policy platform to stand on. I watched as his competition slowly cowed to his overbearing and narcissistic ways. I have been in disbelief that this man, who could be our next president, is willing to whip up mobs into insane frenzies and tell them that people of color are just poor criminals, that Muslims are all terrorists and should be put into camps, that women are willing to be sexually assaulted because he was “rich and famous.” This man could be our next president. I look at people defending what he has recently said as “locker room talk.” I see this, and I’m disgusted that I have to live in an age where emotion overrides reason. Where logic and facts are thrown out the window. This is what we have created in a society of consumerism, reality television, and corporate media. I watch as the Republicans disavow what he has said, but they do not take action to ensure that the man cannot post a person to the Supreme Court. They don’t walk away from him. It is like they see that this man is toxic, but they want votes, so instead of doing what is right for the country, they are willing to follow this man to their own party’s implosion. I see people being divided. I see people who live their lives terrified of everything—so much so, that they are willing to ignore the warning signs of someone who is basically following in the footsteps of Hitler. Anyone who has ever learned about or watched a dictator take power in a democratic country knows that this is the way it is done. To hear recent quotes from his supporters saying that they will be at the polls to ensure “democracy” works, or that anyone who isn’t a white person is too intimidated to vote—it is mind boggling. People are angry, I get that. I am angry too. However, I don’t let that drive me to do something that would be a detriment for my country. I’m hoping there are people out there, like me, willing to stand with people who are being intimidated out of voting. We need to protect the right for ALL United States citizens to do their civic duty and vote. We don’t like our kids being bullied, but we like to bully other people. Nothing can be resolved unless an emotionless and civil discourse can be achieved. I don’t fault people for being upset at the establishment. It’s corrupt—I’m not stupid. However, the answer isn’t to put a lunatic and his band of idiots into the White House. You may think that my opinion is stupid and I may not agree with every single one of your views either—but this is AMERICA. We are a nation of immigrants who managed to work together to create a pretty awesome place. We are a place people want to immigrate to. This is a good thing. You may hate people who don’t speak the same language as you, have a different culture, look different. I hate boiled Brussel sprouts and writing term papers. You have a right to your opinion. What you do not have, is the right to silence someone else’s opinion because they don’t agree with you. Sometimes, you have to deal with things you don’t like in order to further advance our society. Our nation is burning because we refuse to look at things as a whole. We are blinded by corporate media, television, and modern technology—the bright shiny lights. We have forgotten to be good neighbors—whether or not we get along with the person next door. I’m not calling for a drum circle and a rendition of kumbaya. I’m calling on us to remember what makes America great—the diversity, the innovation, the drive to better ourselves as a nation. The plaque on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t say “Give me the white native English speaking middle class people.” It reads:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”