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Vote for America

Vote for America

[I only have one post about politics on this blog. It’s time for a second one…]
As America heads to the polls again, we must recognize that this election is not just a choice between different policies. Even though the majority of Americans are against most of what the GOP supports, this election is not just a choice between bigger government or smaller government or conservatism versus progressivism.
This election is a referendum on who we are as a people. On whether or not we’re going to preserve basic precepts of American democracy. On whether or not we’re going to restore fundamental human decency to our nation. Unfortunately, we must recognize that a vote for Republicans right now – or for any non-viable third party candidates (sorry) – is an affirmative vote for four more years of…
Voter suppression instead of assuring the Constitutional right of every American to vote
Nearly 1,000 dead Americans every day from the coronavirus (and no national plan or help in sight)
Trying to take away Americans’ health care (even during a deadly pandemic)
Trying to take away Americans’ food, housing, and employment supports (even during a deadly pandemic)
A sycophantic cult of personality instead of the rule of law
Presidential and First Family narcissism that sees no obligation to the rest of America
Non-stop, shameless lying and gaslighting (and dishonoring of the Presidency)
Conspiracy theories and outright lunacy instead of science, facts, and the truth
Using the power of the federal government – particularly the Department of Justice – to punish ‘enemies’ (like in tinpot dictatorships)
Amoral (and hypocritical) grabs for power at the cost of everything and anyone else (see, e.g., Merrick Garland and Amy Coney Barrett)
Ongoing obstruction of justice and outright refusals to cooperate with legitimate legal and governmental inquiries
Self-enrichment, self-dealing, and outright corruption at taxpayers’ expense
Gutting of government ethics enforcement
Nepotism and temporary (and sometimes illegal) appointments of key officials that result in governmental dysfunction
Appointment of Cabinet members who are antithetical to the mission of their own departments
A non-transparent federal government that destroys or hides public records and data and is unaccountable to the American people
White supremacy, racism, bigotry, and hate toward our family members and neighbors of color
Denial of ongoing racial injustice and attacks on social justice-oriented remedies and protections
Sexism, chauvinism, misogyny, and sexual harassment toward our female family members and neighbors
Attempts to deny women the basic right to choose what happens with their own bodies
Homophobia toward our LGBTQ family members and neighbors
Xenophobia, nationalism, and the denial of the humanity of others – particularly Black and Brown people – around the globe
The elevation of the interests of fundamental Christians over those of other faiths
Ongoing Presidential mockery of women, our military, our war dead, and people with disabilities
Russian election interference
Unrequited Russian bounties on American soldiers
Global warming and the denial of human-accelerated climate change (do you like hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires?)
Dirtier air, more polluted water, and the destruction of environmental protection laws (do you like mercury poisoning?)
Oil lobbyists over clean, renewable energy self-reliance
Drilling and mining in our beautiful and precious national parks
Gutting consumer protections and favoring corporate profits over people
Removing food safety protections (do you like diseased chicken?)
Attacks on the poor, increasing inequity, and favoring the interests of rich people over those of average Americans
Cozying up to dictators who commit human rights violations
Alienating our global allies
Continued erosion of America’s global reputation and prestige
False claims about ‘fake news’ and the destruction of citizens’ trust in professional journalism
Fake piety toward – and frequent Presidential denigration of – the people who serve in our nation’s armed forces (they are not ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’)
Simplistic patriotism that is more concerned with an athlete’s knee on the ground during our national anthem than a police officer’s knee on the neck that kills
Protecting military-style weaponry instead of the safety of our citizens
A Department of Education that favors the 10 percent of students in private schools over the 90 percent in public schools
Separating infants from their asylum-seeking mothers and caging small children
Gassing (and worse) of peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights
Armed White supremacist domestic terrorists (aka ‘militia’) in the streets that intimidate, harass, and injure others
Manipulation of the Constitutionally-required census
A political party that doesn’t even have a policy platform (it’s just whatever Trump wants)
The historical dominators over the historically-dominated
White people in red MAGA hats screaming vitriolic hate at the rest of America
The worst of America, not the best of America
Utter chaos and exhaustion
America has always been an imperfect nation. We have yet to live up to our espoused ideals of liberty, equality, freedom, democracy, and justice for all. But like in previous chapters of our history, we have a stark choice this fall: we can vote for America as it should be and the continual striving to be better and more inclusive, or we can vote for the dark forces of division, ugliness, and autocracy that have emerged once again.
The Democratic Party has numerous flaws right now. But I’d be willing to stack up that list against the one above any time. Sadly, over the past four years Republicans have shown us who they are right now. There seems to be no corner of America that they are not willing to erode and destroy. They currently favor a declining minority that is desperately and tyrannically attempting to hold onto power at the expense of the rest of us. They are more than willing to proudly support a President who spends his time golfing, watching Fox ‘News,’ rage tweeting lies and insults, and destroying our country. It’s time for us to vote out as many of them as we can, and force the once-proud party to confront its internal demons, cowardice, disrespect for the norms of democracy, and growing irrelevance to a younger, multicultural population and electorate (since they won’t do it themselves). We not only have to vote out Trump, we have to vote out every single enabler as well.
Our more-fragile-than-we-thought democracy deserves nothing less. Vote for America. And then talk with your family members and neighbors about how we move forward from here.

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