We’ve Got to Get Out and Vote Folks!

by on May 31, 2016 · 0 comments

in Civil Rights, Election, From the Soul, History, Politics, San Diego

People lined up to enter building to vote

(Photo: Flickr/katie hargrave/CC)

By Ernie McCray

What’s up with us liberals? We’ve freaked out over a chair supposedly being thrown in protest of shenanigans involving voting in Nevada. And we’re beside ourselves that Hillary got booed and hissed by folks whom we say “aren’t really democrats.”

I don’t like all that but I’ve learned over the years that politics can get rather mean and we democrats are proving that based on how we’re treating each other just discussing matters I’ve just described: talking to each other in caps and exclamations, littered with a few vulgarities.

Shouldn’t we be celebrating a campaign that’s been marvelous if, for no other reason, because of the important questions that are being raised regarding and by two very passionate democratic candidates?

This is what a campaign is supposed to be about isn’t it, hashing out issues, challenging your opponent?

But a man on my Facebook page, full of a rage I can’t comprehend, says to the dynamic politicking that’s going on that he’s ready for Hillary to beat Bernie’s brain out in California, as she expects him to, so he and his supporters can shut the f__k up!

What! Really? You lose and you just take your millions of followers home and let all the hope for a better country you’ve raised wither and die? Why wouldn’t we want to see Bernie, with all his passion and energy, take his campaign to the Democratic Convention and help forge a platform with Hillary and all the big wheels in the DNC that, perhaps, all of us could appreciate? Is this what we want to model for so many young people who came politically alive during the beginning and rise of the Occupy Movement? Please say “No!”

I’ve come to live with the fact that many liberals are solidly in favor of Hillary Clinton for President. But, good grief, do we not want to help her grow, to continue exposing her to the full range of “progressive” views that exist? Are her ideas so the answer to our political and social needs that they can’t be tweaked?

How can we cry we need to unify while at the same time declaring that Bernie’s a bully, a sore loser, a man who condones violence and has no respect for women and is phony as a three dollar bill and his wife destroyed a university…

Now I know that this doesn’t represent all of Hillary’s supporters, just as chair throwing and jeering an opponent doesn’t represent Bernie supporters like me.

But what is wrong with letting this race play out until the Democratic Convention where it can serve as a kind of blueprint, with all the issues that have surfaced, for creating a platform that will allow us to come together as a party and “Stop Donald Trump”—a slogan that’s already being bandied about.

That’s not likely to happen if we can’t treat each other respectfully and dialogue with each other and solve problems collaboratively and figure out ways to somehow bring a divided country together for the well-being of all citizens: liberals; conservatives; independents; socialists; rich; poor; educated; illiterate…

With all that being said there are those of us who say they can’t or won’t vote for Hillary. I understand where they’re coming from because, as it is with me, Bernie speaks to their heart and soul. Hillary not so much. Everybody has their reasons for not wanting to support her. Some call her a liar and they talk about her email account and you hear the words Benghazi and scandals a lot in their conversations—and some feel that she let women down by standing by her cheating man. Much of that is human stuff as far as I’m concerned. We all make mistakes. I shudder when I think of mine.

My problem with Hillary goes to my core values. I’ve spent practically a lifetime railing against war and trying to lessen the military’s presence in our schools. In that regard she’s way too trigger happy for me. I can see scenarios in play right now where she’d have teenagers in harm’s way in a heartbeat.

The Clinton’s role in welfare reform that hurt millions of people and their sending tons of black and brown and poor white folks to prison shatters my soul.

So when November comes and Hillary is the democrats’ candidate for the President of the United States I’m going to have to do something I hate doing and very rarely do: compromise my deepest values. I’ve risked losing my job standing for what I believe.

It’s going to be very hard for me to look myself in the mirror after I put an X by Hillary’s name but the thought of Trump as the president of a country I love terrorizes me and I have to see my vote as “against,” in “opposition” to, in “resistance” of this monster of a man. I hope others take the same stand – using my rationalization if they can.

I view The Donald as an atrocious affront to all the good that so many of us have done to make our country better.

And our children don’t deserve him. I can’t bequeath him to them.

We’ve got to get out and vote folks!

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