Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Politics: Democratic Party in 2016

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I have been a Bernie Sanders supporter for the duration of this Presidential Primary season.  I feel that his positions come closest to my own stances on the various topics in question, and I believe that the direction he would lead our country in is the one that would be the best path.  Those are my opinions, and so that is where I have thrown my support.  Others have different opinions, and they have thrown their support elsewhere.  That's kind of how this whole election thing works, after all.

The Primaries are winding down, and it appears that whether I agree with the mechanics of it all or not, the Democratic Party nomination will be handed to Hillary Clinton.  There will be a lot of debate in coming days / months / years about whether there was fraud in various States or not, whether the Democratic Party manipulated the situation so that there was no way anyone but Hillary could win, and about the whole SuperDelegates issue.

That is not what this blog is about.

This blog, dear readers, is about the prominence of extremism and the inability to have rational discourse that goes along with it.

You see, I am a Bernie supporter.  I would definitely prefer that he sit in the Oval Office and influence the road our country takes toward the future.  But I ALSO admire many things about Hillary Clinton. I read her autobiography, I watched her career move forward through her husband's Presidency and her own turn in government.  I happen to believe she made an excellent Secretary of State.

Are there things about her that I don't like?  Of course. No one is perfect.  There are things about Bernie Sanders that I don't like.  I feel he is exceptionally weak on foreign policy, that were he to be elected and the composition of Congress not radically changed we would have another four years of gridlock as the Republicans spent more time worrying about how to block him than about what is good for the country, and I feel that he wants to move too fast in some ways and the instability that will cause could bring the whole house of cards tumbling down.

I believe that Hillary Clinton is too involved with corporate interests, that she won't do anything to begin removing big money from politics, that she is too steeped in the traditions of politics as usual and game playing to be able to shake things up the way they obviously NEED to be shaken up, and I also have a real problem with political dynasties such as we have been seeing over the past couple of decades.  America is not a monarchy, and the same few families should not be handing positions of power around like prizes.

Both are better options, however, than Donald Trump. He quite genuinely scares me.  He doesn't really have positions because he isn't smart enough to think through to consequences.  This is obvious from the many times he has just opened his mouth and let words fall out without thinking about what will happen after he says whatever it is he is thinking at that moment.  I believe that the world will hate us even more than it does now if he gets elected, and sadly, I believe that they will be right to do so.  He is dangerous in so many ways, and is one of the LAST people that I want to have representing me and my country.

So one would think that Bernie supporters and Hillary supporters could at least agree on this, right?  That Trump is a danger, and that for him to be elected is one of the most frightening potential realities to come along in a long, long time?  

But no.

They are so busy sniping at one another, screaming insults at one another, swearing that they WILL NOT VOTE FOR THE ENEMY that the real danger is likely going to waltz right past and into the Oval Office. But apparently that doesn't matter as much to most people as being right.  They want to be totally and completely right about who they supported.   They don't want to admit that any other choice might actually have some good points. It has become a world of all or nothing, black and white with no grey.

I'm not an absolutist, and I firmly believe in shades of grey (more than 50 of them, even!).  I believe that the vast majority of people have good in them, and the vast majority of people have evil in them, but that they keep it from taking control of them most of the time.  I believe that mercy is important but that the punishment should fit the crime.  I believe that misogyny, racism, body policing, ableism, and other forms of discrimination will always exist but I also believe that as humanity continues to grow in awareness such opinions will become less and less socially acceptable.

I believe that there is a lot of potential in this world and that someday we will actually unlock it all.  But that won't happen until the day comes when we can stop acting like toddlers and throwing temper tantrums when every little thing isn't done exactly as we wish. We have to keep working for change, but we also have to accept that it takes time, there will occasionally be steps backwards as those who are frightened of it all temporarily gain control for a time and try to rewind the clock, but that will pass and gradually change WILL happen.  Patience, persistence, and flexibility in our thinking is what will win the day.