I got an “Official 2016 Democratic Party Survey” in the mail yesterday. Now, let me start by saying that while I did run the office of a democrat in a state legislature earlier in my career, I have never actually officially proclaimed to anyone that I am a democrat. Because I’m not. I decide each issue or person individually. Some issues I’m certainly more liberal on, some I’m definitely more conservative. But all in all, I like to think of myself as a pragmatic liberal, and a proactive conservative. I’m also Aaron Sorkin-esque in my belief that there are still good people running my country. Here’s my problem. Looking at the way my fellow Americans are treating our Presidential hopefuls, I’m exceptionally discouraged.
Back to the survey I got in the mail. I was asked “Do you support President Obama taking action on issues that Republicans refuse to bring to a vote?” The answers I could choose from were “Yes” “No” and “Not sure.” My answer wasn’t there. What’s my answer? I’d like to respond: “I want grownups in office who will work together even if they don’t like each other or agree with each other.” Politicians shouldn’t be forced to choose this controversial option. We should have passed legitimate gun control laws 50 massacres ago. We should have truly reformed education years ago. We should have provided universal healthcare decades ago. We should have fixed Social Security years ago. I have a MA in Peace and Reconciliation Studies, and I’ve taken a course on Dispute Resolution. People all over the world and throughout history have solved problems larger than “should transgender people be allowed to use public restrooms” (seriously? Are we that judgmental a society?), or “should we send the parents of children born in the US back?” (No… but we should spend some legitimate time on immigration reform).
We are a big country with big problems. We need smart people to solve them. And yet, when I pass a TV with a 24-hour news station on, all I seem to see are polls saying Donald Trump could actually be the Republican nominee. This has been growing for months. And yet, I can only say I’m still speechless. I really don’t know what to say. Except this. He appears to be a man full of hate. And arrogance. Extreme arrogance. A divisive man is looking to lead a divided country. That math just doesn’t work for me. My country is better than that. Please, let my country be better than that.