I’ve been troubled over the last few weeks and months as the presidential candidates have become bigger and bigger news. Next year, most of us will go to the polls and elect the president that will bring our country into the next decade. If the law of averages applies, the new president will likely serve two terms, which will make he or she one of the key influencers of the world that my children will grow up in. They will have a hand in shaping the world that my kids hope to succeed in.
Yet, I am terrified of the options that we have. We are looking at a race – both Democratic and Republican – in which no single candidate seems truly capable of leading a divided nation. And, after the last eight years, we are truly divided. In my lifetime, I have never seen the country split so decisively into socioeconomic and racial lines.
Barack Obama’s presidency gave so many people hope in 2008, but it also fully exposed the racial and religious fractures that America has never really healed. The Civil Rights movement changed things in the 60s, but I think that most would agree that we have still have a lot of work to do in this country. Our country and its citizens, founded on the tenets of equality for all and freedom of speech and religion, often seem to believe that applies if a person believes in the same things that they do and articulate it the same way.
Inherently, I think Americans have lost the ability to discuss our differences and compromise, and it is a skill that we desperately need to relearn. This is my opinion, and you are allowed to disagree. That’s the point!!!
My opinion is founded in observing the huge popularity of the Tea Party movement after Obama’s election in 2008 and their continued success in 2012. In watching Ted Cruz gain his national platform through stalling the entire government system through a filibuster. But rather than using his time to offer real ideas and solutions that could lead to change, he read a silly children’s book and wasted hours of taxpayers dollars and time. In essence, he had the adult political equivalent of a 2-year old tantrum, yet it made him famous…
It comes from watching a significant portion of the Republican party embrace a candidate like Donald Trump – who absolutely terrifies me for what he’s doing to the country now. While he preaches bigotry and hate, bullying and ignorance, no one mentions that he has used bankruptcy as a tool that enabled his personal wealth to grow while eliminated at least $1 billion in debt. He has not offered one realistic policy that America can enact in the real world. Not one! He is bluster and ego and nothing more. He doesn’t even know how to use his money for the greater good – he was deemed the least charitable billionaire in the country earlier this year. How has he gotten so far???
I see how Fox News anchors, and many other news programs as well, blast anyone that they disagree with and utilize fear as a weapon for ratings. In the last month, I’ve sat down with two woman that I love dearly that are avid Fox News watchers and listened as they spotted off one half-truth after another as if it were gospel while they explained why the feel the world is falling apart. It seems that Fox is smart enough to ensure that every sensational story has at least one verifiable fact.
The Democratic party isn’t perfect either! I absolutely acknowledge that. If anything, it’s the lack of viable Democratic candidates beyond Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that illustrates the party challenges. No other democrats have really led and driven change in the last 8 years because they were so afraid of rocking the boat. They’ve lost their voice and need to find it again.
I’m writing this today because I feel it. It truly is my opinion. In 2016, I don’t know who I will vote for – as long as it isn’t Trump or Cruz because I just can’t few them as “real” candidates.
I hope my opinion starts a dialogue. A respectful dialogue where we can say what we think and not be called bad names or labeled as “stupid” because we disagree. I want to learn from you just as you can learn from.