Voting my Conscience for my Grandson and All the Children of the World

by on August 5, 2016 · 15 comments

in Election, From the Soul, Politics

By Ernie McCray

unnamedI don’t usually run scared but it frightens me to the bone when I hear so many people say that there’s just no way they would ever vote for Hillary Clinton for president.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m voting my conscience too. But I’m doing it in behalf of children, people like my little three-year-old grandson and his contemporaries.

My vote is based on what’s in front of me as possibilities, like the possibility that Donald Trump could, in reality, become the president and set the tone for how things are going to be in a society wherein my grandson is going to learn about his world. Well that’s terrifying to me – especially considering my 78 years of struggles in this country.

I see this coming election as a referendum on who we are as a nation, or who we want to be. I wish we would, in order to be able to look ourselves in the mirror and not make Tuesday, November 8, 2016, a day of infamy, defeat this man by the largest margin in our country’s history – as a way of saying loudly and clearly to the world: “This buffoon in no way speaks for us!”

Elevating a 3rd Party candidate (and I love Jill Stein) as a serious contender in our politics, I think, is for later in the “revolution” and not voting at all is like playing Russian roulette with our children’s future.

In California, of course, we’re so blue, that we could most likely give a vote to Jill and not change the outcome of an election. But I’m not willing to gamble with my descendants’ well-being even a tiny bit. I’m in a “Mama said knock Trump out” frame of mind. I’ve lived in the kind of world that this heartless man promotes.

When I was my grandson’s age it was okay to call Japanese Americans “Japs,” because they were seen as the enemy. In Trump’s mind, today, Muslims are the foe.

When I was my grandson’s age black people had very few rights. Trump has demonstrated that he’s not an “affirmative action” kind of guy, declaring at a time when black people are seemingly regularly shot down unarmed in the street, that “The police are the most mistreated people in America.” He’s refused to rent to blacks in his buildings and has stripped them of job security in his casinos and refused to disavow the KKK and white supremacists. White flight from people of color makes sense to him.

When I was my grandson’s age the country, although it had no great love for Mexican Americans or Mexican nationals, initiated a Bracero Program wherein Mexicans could work in the country and make up for labor shortages in agriculture created by the war. Trump brags about a mythical wall that will be built between the U.S. and Mexico. By Mexicans. “English Only” folks love this.

When I was my grandson’s age Adolph Hitler tried to conquer the world and our country helped defeat him with the help of other nations. There’s a war going on now against ISIS and Trump is talking about divorcing ourselves from NATO, our friends, and points out the “good” side of people like Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin.

He makes off the cuff comments about our country seizing oil refineries and halting the purchase of oil from allies like Saudi Arabia – with no more knowledge about how the oil markets work than I have, and I have none.

My point in all this is when a tone of disrespect and hatefulness is set in a country it lasts for generations. So many people of my era have fought mightily against every progressive step America has taken in the areas of human and civil rights because it doesn’t fit with how they want America to be.

To them the likes of Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez and Black Muslims and Harvey Milk and Gloria Steinem are trouble makers. It’s hard getting rid of negative belief systems.

Slowly, over time, however, their antiquated ways of looking at the world have been voted down. But they are as persistent as those of us who have engaged in struggles against them all our lives. And, like us: still they rise.

And they have a hero in Donald Trump who they see as making America like those “good old days” again. He speaks to their kind of anger. That’s scary.

But not all of his followers are necessarily raving racists. There are people in his camp who are angry very justifiably. They’re poor white people who have been ignored by both the left and the right; people who are unemployed or underemployed; people dealing with drug addictions and broken homes and losing their children to foster homes and living in multiple rundown homes – like so many depressed poor folks of color.

As to what to do about such a situation in our country, Trump doesn’t have a clue and, worse, doesn’t really give a hoot.

The choices for dealing with this mess that is America are: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

The man who would be our “voice” has nothing but madness to offer the world and Hillary, no matter what has been thought of her, has sat down with Bernie and come up with a progressive platform unlike any we’ve ever seen in our country, one we can work together on, one that can greatly benefit my grandson’s generation as they grow up.

So I’m voting my conscience and I hope that we defeat Trump so soundly that we leave no doubt that we are ready to create a loving and caring world for our children.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lowell August 5, 2016 at 1:46 pm

I’m With ERNIE!


Pat August 5, 2016 at 8:45 pm

I’m with Ernie also! Congratulations on having such a beautiful grandson.


Marc Snelling August 7, 2016 at 6:25 am

Personally I’m encouraged that so many will not vote for Clinton. There is a major trust gap there. Whatever promises are being made aren’t being taken seriously by many. Her main qualification is simply that she is not Trump. The moral relativism and political cowardice of the Dem machine just doesn’t appeal to some.

Trump supporters will be here the day before the election and the day after. Clinton winning will not change that. Emboldening hatred and violence is dangerous. Still I would rather see someone’s hatred on the surface, than be surprised about it when the chips are down. Opposition to Trump goes beyond the voting booth. The poor white demographic groups are not ignored. They are pandered to relentlessly by both parties.

Up in Canada we voted for Green candidates since the 80s before ever winning a federal seat, which they have the last two elections. This would never have happened with the blame-Nader/lesser-of-two-evils mentality of the Dems that is echoed by the Liberals here.


Frank Gormlie August 7, 2016 at 12:14 pm

We here will be doing everything in our power to ensure that Trump is defeated. He’s a fascist and racist and for anyone not working on this is not grounded in the reality of American politics 2016. To even hint that Trump would be okay because at least he’ll shake things up – which is a quote I’ve heard from Green supporters – is soaking in a dangerous privilege. We’ll be standing with all those who Trump will hurt.


Marc Snelling August 9, 2016 at 8:05 am

The Dems will win CA as usual, my absentee vote won’t change that. I vote for what I believe in and lose rather than vote for what I don’t believe in and win. The fact that the race is even close and the Libertarians/Greens are polling at a combined 20% is a testament to how poor the two-party system candidates are. Dangerous privilege are words that could also be used to describe the Dems nomination this year. Putting a thumb on the scale to help nominate a candidate that is viewed as a dishonest panderer with a sense of entitlement by a majority of voters. Dangerous privilege could also be used to describe the executive branch. Maybe after this election cycle the country will start rethinking how much power should lie in the executive branch.


Frank Gormlie August 9, 2016 at 8:30 am

No one is disputing your criticism of the 2–party system but if it ain’t fixed by now, it’s too late to wring our hands. It’s too late to complain with all the standard complaints – we’ve heard them for years; It is absolutely not a choice between 2 evils – which is what many suggest – it’s a choice between a fascist/ racist and a centrist feminist. If by voting their “conscience”, people allow Trump to win – they will have history to contend with and a lot of splaining to do to their children.


Frank Gormlie August 9, 2016 at 8:32 am

Personally, I am not encouraged by all those who want to vote their so-called conscience. Bullshit!!! Where have you been (not meaning you MS) – but where have all the high and mighty people been with all their high and mighty consciences?


Jan Michael Sauer August 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

The Democratic Party Platform is becoming more progressive. WE ARE WINNING ! Why not continue to work to make it even more progressive ?


Marc Snelling August 9, 2016 at 12:39 pm

So it’s a progressive foreign policy platform that is attracting the Neocons to endorse the Dem candidate? The mantra is the same every year, _____ is a fascist danger to the US we have to vote against. Everyone should compromise their values and vote strategically or explain it to their children. Before it was Trump it was Bush.

The USA needs more than two choices to vote for. Whether it happens now or later. The Progressive Party in the 1910s was the most viable third party in the US and Canada. In the US Teddy Roosevelt won 20% of the vote and no one came close to that again until Ross Perot. But in Canada every election after the 1910s has had a third (and fourth or fifth) party winning seats.

Feminist is a label that rings hollow for many people after the Bill Clinton years. It’s more than just planned parenthood, equal pay and comparing yourself to a misogynist. Is feminism about women breaking the glass ceiling in the corporate 1% and military industrial power structures? Does feminism mean attacking women who won’t cast a vote for Clinton?

Not sure who the ‘we’ is. Personally I’ve never been a Democrat, and couldn’t vote in the primary. Many of Sanders supporters are not Democrats. My vote has not been cast for a Repub or Dem candidate in any election since I was old enough to vote (’92).
My conscience is good with that.

Don’t know about everyone else, but my values come from a long line of people with high and mighty consciences. People like Norman Morrison, Eugene Debs, John Brown, Barclay & Edwin Coppock, William Penn, Mary Dyer. It’s all relative. Coming from that sphere both candidates foreign policy proposals look evil to me.


Frank Gormlie August 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

In more classical terms, Hillary represents the bourgeois social democrats and is trying to build a broad united front against Trumpism, a form of neo-fascist corporatism, racist, anti-democratic, and anti-Constitutional. The united front includes liberal elements of the ruling class, the masses of African-Americans, the masses of Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, unions, feminist networks, and most progressives. And now, even elements of the reactionary wing of the ruling class have joined the united front, as the most-reactionary elements of bourgeoisie are divided.

“We” – the people – look to see which force best represents “our” interests, and act accordingly. The people Trump will hurt – if he wins (which is seemingly less and less likely, given recent polls – but things can change…) may be secure knowing they have allies, and be saddened by those who voted their “conscience” while letting fascists take over the White House and executive branch.

This is what history teaches … we cannot repeat the very fatal mistake that the German left made during the rise of Hitler in the 1930s.

The German left saw the traditional parties as simply the liberal social democrat wing of the ruling class and the Nazis as the reactionary wing – and failed to develop a strategy against the Nazis in concert with elements within the social democrats. Most of them – the German left – were killed by Hitler.

Trump represents a qualitative different force than what Bush represented. Trump has a mass base filled with angry white people, armed, and who chant “Lock her up!” in reference to Clinton.

Sanders led an effort to build an energized electoral left – and has pushed the more traditional social democrats to the left. And now he requires that the movement he significantly gave life to join the united front against Trumpism. This is not the time to abandon the one politico on the national scene who many of us identified with during this entire electoral campaign.


Marc Snelling August 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

A united front can include more than one party and leader. Anyone who casts a ballot for someone other than Trump is part of that.

Likening the decision to vote Dem in 2016 with the rise of Hitler in Germany is overly simplistic. The Dems will win California. Me voting Green will not change that.

Bernie has encouraged people to get involved, run for office themselves, take action to influence the government. My vote is in line with my values, and if the Dems adopt those values they will have my vote.

That is my way of using my vote to influence things. But it is the least of the things I do. In Canada the Conservative government brought in Bill C-51 – basically a Patriot Act to allow spying, pre-emptive arrests, information sharing and more. A bill that was clearly aimed to include environmentalists and First Nations. I was part of several networks of large public demonstrations, wrote and called all the candidates on this issue, did my part to influence government in the ways that are important to me. The Liberals won the election and have not changed the Conservative position on C-51. They didn’t get my vote because of that.

Many of those organizing were Quakers. As they were during organizing against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The Quakers have been told throughout history that their refusal to take sides amounts to support for one side or another. My ancestors answered their history, as I am answering mine in my time.

Bernie is an Independent who ran as a Democrat, he is not a Green. Why should registered Greens vote for Hillary ‘Not-Trump’ Clinton because he is?


Frank Gormlie August 10, 2016 at 12:02 pm

I understand. Voting in Calif which is guaranteed to go Dem for the Greens. One of the editors of the SDFP has that position. I understand it but still there is the popular vote total overall. Which has legitimacy. (Saw and spoke with Enrique this a.m. briefly, he said his bro is good.)


Betty August 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Marc, I agree with you. Never again will I vote for a candidate who is on the corporate payroll, let alone one who is a war hawk. I’m voting Green.


Frank Gormlie August 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Voting Green will help Trump, period. If that’s what your conscience tells you to do, then so be it and you will have to answer to history.


OB John August 10, 2016 at 2:55 pm

4 years of Trump>8 of Hillary. Centrist Democrats have dragged the party so far right that neo-cons and a growing list of Republicans are for Hillary. With that coaltion, HRC definitely does not need Progressive vote to win. HRC won’t do much of anything considered “progressive”. She will pass TPP, step up endless wars, and push through only the most moderate Supreme Court nominees who appeal to Mitch McConnell’ and the reactionaries in Congress.

A Vote for Jill Stein is not a vote for Trump. It is a vote for the future of American democracy. A vote for a true Progressive. A vote for a woman for President. And a vote agaist endless wars US cannot seem to extract itself from under current two party paradigm. A vote for Hillary is a vote for the current system of Wall Street bankers, AIPAC, and campaign cash king!


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