Like so many of us, I’ve been caught up and perhaps even a bit mesmerized by the twists and turns the current presidential cycle. I’ve engaged some on social media during the debates and during some of the coverage of both major candidates rallies. But I reached my breaking point during the second presidential debate last week. Full disclosure, I am a Hillary supporter. But I’m an American first and I think it’s important that everyone understand and consider the REAL stakes in this consequential election. It goes beyond party, race, religious beliefs, sexual identity, socio-economic background, level of education, or even who sits on the supreme court. It’s fundamental. Who are we as Americans? What are we willing to stand for and accept in a leader?
The second debate was particularly painful for me to watch as a woman and as a mother of a 12 year old boy. It started with the pre-debate press conference that was orchestrated by Secretary Clinton’s opponent which was nothing more than a further victimization of those women, the Secretary and her family, as well as any woman who’s been treated by a man in such a repugnant manner. And to what end? To humiliate and degrade. To try and break a woman, wife, mother, and grandmother who has the audacity to be smarter, more capable, more self-possessed, more prepared, and utterly fearless in the face of a relentlessly cruel and uninformed opponent. Author and Writer-at-large for New York Magazine Rebecca Traister summed up my feelings precisely in her October 10th interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
In my opinion this presidential contest stopped being about winning a long time ago for Hillary Clinton’s opponent. If he truly wanted to win, he’d be laying out actual policy prescriptions rather than peddling crazy conspiracy theories fueled by stigmatized knowledge founded in racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, and fear. If he truly wanted to win, he wouldn’t use his platform to hurl insults at women, latinos, muslims, and other Americans who will be out on November 8th to vote and won’t forget his bigotry and cruel disregard. If he truly wanted to win, he would accept responsibility and offer sincere and heartfelt apologies to President Obama and all African Americans for perpetuating the blatantly racist birther lie no matter who started it first. He would also apologize and retract his statements regarding The Central Park Five, Judge Curiel, Alicia Machado, Chelsea Clinton, and every other American he’s intentionally disrespected. If he truly wanted to win, he would apologize to his daughter Ivanka for allowing Howard Stern to objectify her and express admiration for her ass in his presence and for agreeing with it. If he truly wanted to win, he would stop insulting his accusers. If he really wanted to win, he would stop blaming the fact that he’s losing on everyone else. If he truly wanted to win.
It saddens me that several of my fellow American’s have decided that political incorrectness is synonymous with cruelty, incivility, vulgarity, disrespect, intolerance, and in some cases even violence. When what it truly is, is intellectual laziness and ignorance. Can’t articulate a real argument? Time to be “politically incorrect” and “tell it like it is” which usually involves hateful words, insults, and deflection.
But one of the most unfortunate narratives of this entire campaign are the supporters, surrogates, and elected Republican officials of Secretary Clinton’s opponent who choose to deny reality and embrace fiction. Especially the women. Even more painful to watch and listen to are the black women who support Hillary Clinton’s opponent. I can’t even talk about that right now. It’s tragic that people have allowed themselves to be convinced that it’s possible to go back in time. This isn’t Outlander. There is no going back. There is no “again”. We are here. Now. Time will continue to march onward. Foward. It’s called progress. Further, the Republican nominee is not a true conservative nor is he is an evangelical. I was raised by a faithfully conservative Republican, devout Catholic mother. I attended Catholic school for twelve years. Although a practicing Catholic, my son has attended the same evangelical Christian school since he was two. I choose to be a liberal Democrat, but trust me I know what Republican conservative values are. And so should you. If you vote for him you are embracing a lie. A mirage. For example, examine his flip flops on immigration, and gun control. What about his incoherent tax plan? So if you aren’t voting for his so-called policies since they go against most Republican and conservative values, why exactly are you voting for him? The Supreme Court? You trust that he would appoint another Judge Scalia? Based on what evidence exactly? Because he said so? Ask some of those contractors and students of his so called university how good he kept his word.
The seeds of fear and distrust being sown by Secretary Clinton’s opponent are divisive and irresponsible. Not to mention dangerous to our very democracy. People wearing red shirts and perhaps carrying guns at polling stations? Revolution by so called “Patriots” as a response to defeat? Conspiracy theories being used as a justification for losing? I encourage all supporters of this candidate to look up the word Demagoguery and recognize how effectively they are being manipulated. Its akin to what a pimp does to his ho when he turns her out. He convinces her that he is the only one that can meet her needs, he is the only she can trust, he will take care of all her problems as long as she does his bidding and let’s him have control. And he will say and do anything to keep that control. And fear is his most effective tool. But it’s not too late.
If you are still reading this, then you are probably as exhausted as I am! I cried when I listened to our First Lady give that much needed heartfelt speech this week on behalf of ALL Americans. She reminded us why we must reject the racist, sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, doomsday rhetoric of Hillary Clinton’s opponent. She reminded us what is really at stake.Hillary Clinton is by no means the perfect candidate. However, nor is she a criminal, a demon, or the devil himself. Here is where I stand:
I choose to deal with reality rather than fiction and conspiracy theories
I choose to focus on real policy ideas based on facts using real data, rather than headlines and hashtags that have no real substance to support them.
I choose compassion over cruelty.
I choose experience over ignorance.
I choose HOPE over FEAR.
I choose to VOTE rather than sit this one out.
I choose all Americans and the idea that there is room for all of us including immigrants.
I choose Hillary Clinton over her opponent.
There is only one path forward. And that’s with her. So I’m with her. On November 8th let us reject demagoguery and dangerous rhetoric that run contrary to our American values. Let’s stand up for her and say once and for all; Mr. Donald J. Trump enough is enough. YOU'RE FIRED.
Did I say too much? I hope to hear from you soon!
Hayes, All In W/Chris. ".@rtraister on Sunday's Debate: "It Was Terrible to Watch" #inners Https://t.co/upSpdyf1bh." Twitter. Twitter, 11 Oct. 2016. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.