A Heartfelt Plea

I generally don’t get political here.  I talk about movies and games and books, writing, riding, etc.  But as this long (too long) campaign season winds toward its conclusion I have to speak up, and plead with Democrats and Independents and progressives to think very hard about wounded feelings.

I have repeated stated that I am team blue.  I will vote for which ever candidate wins the nomination.  For the record I will vote for Secretary Clinton in the New Mexico primary, but if Senator Sanders takes the nomination I will happily vote for him for president.

There have, however, been many calls — from both sides, though my personal experience has been more calls from Senator Sander’s side — that if their preferred candidate doesn’t take the nomination they are going to take their marbles and go home ie not vote, or vote third party, or vote for Trump or Senator Cruz because that will show them!

First, it’s a great tragedy to not exercise that right.  Countless numbers of Americans fought and died so we would have that right and even now we are seeing that precious right being rolled back by Republican state legislatures and we have a Congress that won’t re-authorize the voting rights act.  So please vote, but think about the power of that vote and use it wisely.

Which brings me to the plea.  Please, please do not allow your personal feelings to have potentially dire consequences for real living, breathing Americans.  If we don’t unify and come out in strong numbers to vote in November we make it far more likely that a conservative will win the White House, and in the worst case scenario have control of both the House and the Senate.  Please consider what that would mean for —

The poor woman in south Texas who can not afford to make the drive to San Antonio and wait days to have an abortion.  There are already woman who have endangered their health by trying to self abort.  Consider this exchange —

Amy Hagstrom Miller, owner of Whole Woman’s Health… tells the story of a woman who called her clinic in McAllen to schedule an abortion. It was the day after HB2 had taken effect, and the clinic was unable to provide abortions under the new law.

A clinic worker told the woman that she would need to travel 250 miles to a clinic in San Antonio, get initial counseling, and wait 24 hours for the procedure.

Ms. Miller said the woman responded: “I’m a working mother, I have a job, I have two children at home, and I absolutely can’t travel to San Antonio.” The woman added, “But I need this abortion, I can’t afford to have another child.”

Miller recalled the woman’s next words. “She said, ‘If I tell you what is in my medicine cabinet and what is under my sink, can you tell me how to do my own abortion?’ ”  Effect of Texas Abortion Rules

Think about that for a minute.  This is a real person.  Maybe a neighbor who is willing to risk her health and possibly her life.  How much worse will it get if a Republican fills that vacant seat on the Supreme Court?  I’m old enough to remember when women went into back alleys for illegal abortions and they died.

Or the minimum wage.  There are millions of Americans working two and three jobs to try and support their families and keep a roof over their heads.  Do you think they’re going to get that minimum wage increase if we stay home and don’t vote?

There are children whose only meal is the lunch the receive at school.  The Congress would like to cut funding for those programs.

There are elderly people who are no longer allowed to vote because they can’t gather the proper documents or can’t afford them even if they can locate them.  Students whose college Id’s aren’t considered valid identification, but by god you can vote if you have a concealed carry gun permit.  (Perhaps we ought to start a fund so every minority voter, elderly voter, or college kid can apply for the concealed carry.)  Consider this situation in North Carolina — North Carolina’s Voter ID Law.

And how about health care?  The Republicans have sworn to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  If they do that and roll back the medicaid expansions millions of people are going to lose access to doctors and hospitals and many of them will die.

Immigrant families that are going to be torn apart, separated by borders, and if Trump has his way, walls.  Or our Muslim citizens who are going to becomes The Other in their own country and subjected to more and more suspicion and harassment.

The LGBT community that will find their right to marry rolled back and disallowed.  Or find themselves unable to adopt.  I can’t imagine how that must feel for a family.  And then there are the so called religious liberty laws that are merely an excuse to discriminate.

What I’m saying is taking a “principled” stand and staying home because your guy or gal didn’t get the nod from the voters and the delegates might make us feel good or happily bitter (I’ll show them), or noble, but it might very well have dire consequences for our fellow citizens.  Real world consequence as in hunger or death.

I also don’t buy the argument that by allowing a man like Donald Trump into the White House will “bring the revolution sooner.”  First it’s not going to happen and second revolutions usually don’t turn out well.  We have a constitutional system in place that has allowed us to work toward a more perfect union.  Do we wish certain things could have happened more quickly?  Of course.  Were there missteps?  Naturally.  But overall it’s a system that has allowed for progressive change without violent upheaval.

So please, let’s all of us swallow our resentments and set aside our personal feelings and think about people outside our own circles who are hoping we’ll all remember them and their needs.   I think the motto of our nation sums it up pretty well.

E pluribus unum — Out of many, one.

49 Responses to A Heartfelt Plea

  • Trapper says:

    Truly brilliant and echoes what I’ve been saying. Thank you for posting it.

  • Susan Lenderman says:

    Thank you for this. May sanity and common sense prevail.

  • Rick Claussen says:

    Republicans and fear mongers have changed our motto to “In
    God We Trust”. If they gain power again we will become a theocracy like Saudi
    Arabia where it is illegal not to follow the state religion, or if you question authority.
    We are already halfway there.
    George Orwell was not wrong, just 30 years too early.

  • Sjjwest says:

    I don’t see it as a resentment vote. I will vote for any candidate that earns my support. Period. I don’t play the game of politics. I couldn’t sleep at night doing a back and forth lesser of two evils thing. That’s just me. Call me bad. I am who I am and have to live with myself.

    • Cristi B says:

      You can still vote for state and federal representatives, even if you don’t cast the presidential ballot!

    • NeverTrump says:

      If you’re worried about sleeping for election night, consider this:

      For your thirty seconds of self-righteous “peeing in a wet suit” warmth, 350,000,000 Americans could get four years of no sleep. Because what’s REALLY important is that you feel vindicated. We could get a truly horrible president. And if you didn’t vote against him, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE, NOT VINDICATED.

      Yep. And you could be one of those 350,000,000 who really regrets the unintended consequences of your pure white conscience…especially if a right wing SCOTUS ruins the lives of your children for decades.

      Sleep well.

    • Chris Tate says:

      You may not play the game of politics but how about playing the game of life. How about picking the existing remaining candidate who reflects more of a majority of your political viewpoint than the other. There’s too much at stake just to say I’m taking my marbles and going home. Would you prefer that the other party gets to choose the next one to three Supreme Court justices? Would you prefer to kiss goodbye to gay rights, abortion rights, rights to affordable healthcare and etc., etc., etc.? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing when you choose not to participate when your chosen candidate doesn’t make the final cut. I’m a Bernie supporter. However, I’m also a realist. If he doesn’t get the nomination, I will grit my teeth and punch the button for Hillary because the stakes are too high and I know that if enough Bernie supporters stay home it could mean the election.

  • Jerome Kozlowski says:

    Melinda, I will vote, and it will be for either Clinton or Sanders. I will urge all my Democratic friends to the same.

  • Ray Kuzmich says:

    Nope. Not going there. It is a long story that starts even before Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. and The Business Plot, moves on to the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. memorandum, skips along to Kevin Price Phillips and on to the Third way Democrats who have helped drive the working class into the ground. Forget the modern day big D mild slavery party. If we are going down let it happen now. We have two non-establishment candidates running today – one will win the election. Why? People have had it. Enough is enough. Chose wisely.

  • David Fouchey says:

    I’m voting Blue, period. It is far too important to let personal pique get in the way of responsible citizenship. Shared this on FB & Twitter.

  • Sheila Rivera says:

    Thank you for this, you said it much better than. I have in the past. I have felt this cycle has been more acrimonious than it had to be. The Democrats are hurting themselves.

  • Don Randall says:

    I don’t find its “picking up your marbles and going home”….I feel betrayed by Democrats who see the DNC stacking the deck for their “preferred ” candidate, when the nomination is virtually given to Clinton by the media and Clinton supporters say “oh well, it’s how the game is played” or “would you rather have Trump”?
    I would prefer to see Clinton Democrats question these actions but they won’t because it favors THEIR candidate. THIS is picking up your marbles during the game and wondering why no one wants to play with you.

    • Edie says:

      Don, It is odd that there is complaining now, when the rules for the nomination process have been in place for years. Perhaps you should become involved in the process and you will see how the Party brings forward the ideas and support from counties to states to national convention, and in an orderly and fair fashion. Are you going to claim a stacked deck, even though Hillary is ahead by 2 and a half MILLION POPULAR VOTES? How is it you discount our votes and her popularity? I don’t know what media you are watching, but Bernie has been on every show in New York. I guess we don’t have equal time for candidates anymore. I used to like Bernie and I thought it was a good thing that he helped to bring out the real issues and the things we need to talk about and solve, but he has deteriorated into a one issue candidate who does nothing but smear his opponent with untrue accusations. He is detrimental to us getting a Congress that the White House can work with…. I suppose it is because he is not a Democrat, but he is not supporting and doing fundraisers for the Democrats down the ticket, which is what it will take to accomplish what we need in the country. Hillary is.

  • Chris Engle says:

    Agree with this so much (but I’m a Bernie fan)😊‼️

  • johninpa says:

    Thank you for a well thought comment. I agree, a government controlled by the GOP at this point in time would be devastating. We all need to vote, and with a good turn out, I cannot believe the likes of a Trump or Cruz can win.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I’m not going to enter into a one on one debate with those of you who disagree. I’ve had my say in the essay. It’s now up to individuals to search their own conscience.

  • Kenneth Hargis says:

    I agree with the comment above that the DNC is apparently stacking the deck. But that’s not something that we need to deal with by how we vote in the general election. As much as I like the idea of having a woman POTUS, I’m not terribly thrilled with HRC. She’s far more Republican Lite than I care for. But ultimately, my only choice is to vote for whichever of them gets the nomination, because as much as I would also like to see better and stronger representation of our third-party candidates, I doubt that any of them is going to be a match for whoever the GOP’s selection is.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I’m embarrassed that I missed another group that is going to be horribly impacted if we end up with a Republican in the White House. The LGBT community. What happens to those families if marriage equality is rolled back? It’s horrible to contemplate.

  • Richard Pera says:

    Ms. Snodgrass, I would love to Empathize with your pain…..but the TRUTH be told every example you listed above is relevant to the Blue D who has already had 7+ years to address your “HEARTFELT PLEA’S.” BOTTOM-LINE is the US vs. Them mentalities (FACTIONS) that are causing the problems. I’ll leave you with this very relevant quote from Our very first Commander-in-Chief. Suffice to say until WE come to grips with his assertion on Factions, things will continue to get WORSE before they get better. Warm Mahalos

    “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.” George Washington

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp

  • barbara ruhmann says:

    Beautifully written, and echoes my feelings exactly. I have been posting the same over and over and over, and encouraging the vote. BTW, I’m on the other side – I happen to be a moderate Republican, who will probably be voting for Trump in our California primary if only to keep the GOP convention in July from being brokered. If Trump does not get enough delegates going in, there can be nominations from the floor, and we may well be looking at Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, after no campaigning, as the candidate on the November ballot. I will be voting blue in November, and if a Republican is willing to cross party lines to vote for your candidate, the supporters of Hillary or Bernie should certainly be willing to pull together. Unfortunately, if they do not, it is as you put so well, horrible to contemplate…

  • Hannah Louise says:

    Thank you for expressing what I feel, without anger and with compassion. This is a pivotal election, and too many people (all of us) will be impacted by the result.

  • Susan Olesen says:

    Maybe we can start a fund to buy seniors their voting rights back. I would certainly donate for that. Where is the AARP on that?

  • Philip Vassar says:

    Hillary can quit the race problem solved. I am done with the DNC. I will support progressives in downstream races but at 62 I no longer feel part of “Team Blue” Obama cured me of that. Hope and Change became a joke. Americans deserve whatever it votes for.

    • rand says:

      Yet you don’t specify your reasons behind your disdain for President Obama. I guess affordable healthcare, marriage equality, saving the economy, creating 8M private sector jobs, appointing 2 women to the SCOTUS, bringing home the troops, et al, isn’t enough for you. Not surprising.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    All I’m really asking is for a bit of empathy. If you are a member of a marginalized group — women, particularly women of child bearing age, a member of the LGBT community, a minority both racial and religious, poor, old then the devastation that will be visited upon you by an Republican controlled government is, frankly, terrifying. If you are male, white, educated then the changes enacted by a Republican controlled Congress, White House and Supreme Court may not be as alarming as it is to the rest of us.

  • Newton Rules says:

    I’ve had some ridiculous discussions with a number of “BernieorBust” people who feel that Bernie is the only person worthy of their support. So many of them just don’t seem to care about the ramifications of losing the White House, and they surely don’t understand what it means to have majorities in Congress. They hate Democrats, but when I ask them why Bernie ran as a Dem, they come back with gibberish. I am convinced that these people are teabaggers, they simply come at it from the left. When I ask them how Bernie is going to get republicans to agree to tax increases when they have sworn to never, ever vote in favor of even the most modest increase; they tell me that he has a plan. Okee dokee…..

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Yeah, I remember Nixon telling us he had a plan for Vietnam too. Process is dull, but necessary.

  • Susan says:

    You hit the nail right on the head. I fear that it will fall on deaf ears in many cases, but I hope to be proven wrong.

  • Susan says:

    Thank you for trying.

  • pat says:

    I wish there was less press and social media energy/time spent on the buying of the White House and instead much more discussion of the races for Congress and taking back the House so that some movement can actually occur.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Yes, I wish my party was better at voting in the off year elections, and voting for the school board, and running for local office. My father always wanted me to go into politics. I even got the law degree, but I decided I wanted to be an artist, and the fact I’m a non-believer means I couldn’t even get elected dog catcher.

  • Ookpik says:

    YES. Thank you for stating it so well. Sharing.

  • Laurie Mann says:

    I completely agree with you Melinda. Either Democratic candidate is MUCH BETTER than any Republican candidate.

  • Jeff Gregory says:

    I will not, have not, would not, could not, should not, nor will I ever vote.. period. And even though that seems like an awful lot of not’s, it’s only a partial list. This is Capitalism. It seems nobody really realizes that one hopeless truth. Well, people realize it of course, but what nobody understands is that it is entirely possible, and possibly probable, even probably inevitable that someday the entire world including this joke of a country (USA) will understand Capitalism is the absolute worst system anyone ever had the gall to think up. Greed driven to the extent of “the one’s with the most wealth” – win. No matter how they stumbled into it all. Anyway Misery, I mean Missouri is a RED State. Adios.

  • Lily9999 says:

    Melinda, you beautifully said what I have been trying to say all along. I have Bernie or Bust friends and can not get through to them. OK, I may have gotten through to one by talking about the supreme court. If Trump or Cruz gets elected the revolution will NOT happen. If people studied any history they would know that. Women’s, LGBT, minorities will all be thrown under the bus because some people can’t see the forest for the trees. It makes me very sad.

  • Thomas Balfour says:

    Eloquent and heartfelt as it gets. My own response more often resembles the written equivalent of a face palm.

  • I’m an independent progressive. I generally support Democrats and I am supporting Sanders. If Democrats are concerned about losing in November then they should nominate the candidate with the best chance to win in November. Sanders polls better than Clinton against any Republican. I will not vote for Clinton because she is a warmonger and corporate shill. She is Republican Lite, closer to Reagan than to FDR. If Clinton is the nominee I will vote for Jill Stein.

    As a disabled veteran I know very well what is at risk if there is a Republican in the White House and republican control of the legislative branch. It would be an unmitigated disaster for many people for a very long time, perhaps decades. But I will not be bullied or intimidated into voting for Clinton out of fear of the Republicans.

    I understand and respect your position, but respectfully disagree.

  • Tortie_Mom says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m all for Bernie. But, I will vote for HRC if she is the candidate. I’m working class and I’m scared to death to lose my new health coverage. I’m recovering from cancer surgery right now, instead of dying – with no insurance. I’m scared to death with the racism and homophobia coming from the right. So, yes, I’m terrified of a Republican being elected. Especially Trump. I want to keep believing in America, but I’m losing hope with what I’m seeing and reading. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” I’m the granddaughter of immigrant refugees. I really want to believe.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Dear Tortie, I hope your recovery is speedy and relatively painless, and I’m so glad you were able to get the surgery. For years it was a struggle for me to get insurance because of my pre-existing condition. There is nothing more terrifying then facing the world knowing that one illness can wipe you out financially and potentially kill you. Thank you for sharing that with us.

  • Michelle Karon says:

    Come election time we will have 3 Supreme Court Justices ages 79, 80 and 84. Scalia’s passing, not withstanding that is a compelling reason to vote even if candidates aren’t a person’s ideal choice.

  • Pat Byrnes says:

    Not much discussion about third party candidates and where they might fit in. A tough question is how “good” and how trustworthy a candidate has to be to earn our support. For some, a lesser evil will suffice, but others may not be able to hold their noses. Each voter may legitimately have some notion of what is a minimally, rock bottom “good enough” candidate. Yeah. Politicians. And, standards.

  • Al Volun says:

    Everything you complain about, the right to choose and the loop holes to get there, the restrictions to LGBT entering into a contract with the government, the loop holes to vote, the countless dead “fighting” for our “right” to choose a new master. All these things were created by government, your authority. It doesn’t matter if the blue boot is kicking you or the red, they are both beating you senseless and patting each other on the backs while they do it. All these people, Clinton, Sanders, Trump, Bush, are best friends among each other and the banking / military / foreign aid machines that feed them. You vote to support a murdering bunch of racist warmongering misogynistic thieving psychopaths. When you vote you give your stamp of approval to creating resentment around the world by killing thousands, and bringing home the men and women with missing legs, arms, faces, and PTSD. No I won’t support the lesser evil, I shun evil. I wish to give generously and not by mandate or gun point. I will not condone deception, violence, and thievery. I should not obey man.

  • Jeffrey Plate says:

    Here’s one small group who should vote Democratic, no matter who is the nominee — anyone who has children, or grandchildren, or nieces, or nephews. Because one critical issue that Melinda’s wonderful essay leaves out is the climate we will leave for those who come after us. Either of the Republicans would scrap every bit of the progress that we have finally started to make under President Obama. We’re already a couple of decades behind in dealing with climate change — there’s no more time to waste on another four years of inaction. Still less can we afford to move backwards, as either Trump or Cruz would do. You may believe that Bernie is better on the climate than Hillary — or you may believe the reverse. But to stay home in November if your preferred candidate doesn’t win is simply insane. We — the country, and the planet — can’t afford a climate change denier in the Oval Office, working with a denialist Congress. The repercussions would be felt, not just for years or decades, but centuries.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I debated about putting in climate change, but it is, literally, a global problem, and I was trying to personalize this. I was thinking micro not macro — about the woman who dies in a botched self-induced abortion, or the person, like George’s friend who died from a fixable heart condition because she couldn’t afford even a doctor’s visit much less the surgery. Or a gay couple who could conceivably lose custody of their children….. I think that’s one of the difficulties with climate change. It’s such a monumental crises it’s hard to personalize it and make it feel real and immediate.

  • Al Volun says:

    https://youtu.be/OwqIy8Ikv-c “Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?” Politicians are playing you to get the only thing they really care about, money and power. Also Hillary (all of them really) support Saudi Arabia. Do you think Saudi Arabia supports the LGBT community? If you’re worried about our children, or grandchildren, or nieces, or nephews and many more generations how about all the debt the government piles on them. They’re taxed without representation. We don’t pay any of the principal, barely the interest. Voluntarily buy green products instead of praying to the demagoguery for clean air. The only thing the government does well is violence, shun the evil.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      The only thing the government does well is violence

      And provide police and fire departments, and water treatment facilities — and we’ve seen what happens when a government in an effort to cost cut fails in that regard — and maintain the roads, and provide for public education, and help build and maintain power grids, and fund the Centers for Disease Control, and the national science foundation, and grants to universities, funding the human genome project which has the potential to change lives at the most basic level, social security so the elderly don’t end their lives in poverty, medicaid so the poor don’t die in the streets. I could continue for pages, but I’ll leave it at this.

      Governments are flawed because humans are flawed, but there are good people who want to make a difference. This idea that the government is some Other is baffling to me. Most of the government workers with whom we interact are neighbors, people at the PTA meeting, in a church for those who do that, in a soft ball or bowling league. They’re not aliens, lizard people from Mars.

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