This Year’s Election

This year’s election for me is about not who is running against whom, but it’s about right and wrong. We have one candidate who wants to make, he says, ‘America Great Again’. I don’t understand that because with all its warts the USA is the greatest most envied nation on earth and it is true because even though we struggle at times to actually be the great nation we are, we keep trying to do the right thing and make a difference in the world for the betterment of all.

Right for me is about helping people and giving everyone a fair chance at being all that they can be (to borrow a phrase from an old Army commercial). It’s about making sure that what happened and what is still happening in Flint Michigan doesn’t happen anywhere again ever.

Building 50-foot walls won’t make things better for America. Making our nation into a theocracy won’t make things better for our people. We were founded on the principle of religious freedom for all and we were never meant to be forced to worship one religion over another. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said, “The reason we separate church and state is because the founding fathers believed a government should be guided by a balance of morality and reason, not blind religious faith. Practice your religion in freedom; just don’t make everyone else practice your religion.”

And oligarchies are not what America is or should ever be about. Candidates wanting to take the Koch brother’s lead and make us over into an Oligarchy doesn’t cut for me either. The very idea of being run and controlled by a cabal of cranky rich old white guys is as abhorrent to me as being forced to adhere to one specific religious philosophy.

None of the candidates running for president are perfect nor do they have perfect platforms to run on. They all have warts and they are all politicians of one sort or the other, but the gaggle that is the GOP Nightmares on Elm Street do not stand for the average American and nothing they say or do makes them any more palatable as a candidate, in fact the opposite is true pretty much every time they open their mouth to speak.

You have to be a politician to get elected and you have to do and say things that will make you look electable. But these GOPeers don’t just stretch the true they prevaricate it to the max (to use an old Valley Girl axiom). They lie long and often and without any compunction at all that they do. The media can call it not being totally honest, or stretching the truth, but no it’s just a lie that perhaps has been sugared coated to make it sound more edible. But no matter how you dress it up it is still a lie. And for the politicians inhabiting the GOP Nightmares on Elm Street gaggle of geese, lying has become a way of life.

But in the end for me, it is about what’s right and what’s wrong. For me, it is wrong to ramp up fear just to get elected. And that’s what they are doing ramping up fears because they know that if they can make enough of us sore afraid they have a chance to gain the prize they seek. They do their level best to make fear palatable because they know if enough voters take the fear they are selling into their hearts, minds and souls they will have accomplished what they set out to do.

But what they are selling is hate, bigotry and racism. They are selling division and that is just plain wrong. It’s not a new way it has been used in the past. It was used in Germany by Adolph Hitler. It was used in Italy by Benito Mussolini. If you give people someone to hate and despise, someone to fear and blame then they will begin to believe what you are saying is true. It is a despicable way to gain votes but, unfortunately, it often works.

The GOP Nightmares on Elm Street hate this nation and they hate its people and there is no way not to see that if you really listen to what they are saying. They have written off the last seven years as never having happened.

They refuse to acknowledge that more people have affordable health insurance than have ever had it before. They will not acknowledge that our economy sluggish as it is  has added over 12 million new jobs in those seven years. That’s the longest sustainable job growth in the history of our nation. They refuse to notice that unemployment is down to 5% the lowest figure in over 20 years. Our president despite the mountain of roadblocks their party has placed in front of him has accomplished more than any other president in his two terms in office except for FDJ and LBJ.

This election should be about making sure every citizen of this nation has the right to vote unencumbered by any restrictions save the fact that they are citizens. This election should be about making sure that the safety nets for those in need and those less fortunate are in place to keep them from falling through the cracks unnoticed. This election should be about love, peace, and compassion, not hate and avarice.

I am a proud veteran who served my country in time of crisis and I love this country, but like James Baldwin said,

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

We live in the most diverse nation on earth. It has its warts and it isn’t perfect but it better than any other nation on earth. We don’t need some charlatan rising up to make America great again, America is great now and it has always been great. What we need is someone who actually cares about America and who won’t go about spreading fear as a way to govern.

Bob Bearden


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