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.