Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Very Serious Post

There is no sardonic voice here, no self-deprecation (well, maybe... can't promise the impossible), no convoluted language, and no musings about existential dread.

I write this today, not under the pretense that it matters, or that I have much an audience - or even, dare I say it - much a voice. I write this today knowing that it breaks a rule I have with this blog (no political posts. I made this choice for various reasons). I write this today because, it is, unequivocally, an important topic, and one that deserves a modicum of seriousness and thought and consideration.

I write this today to let any and all, or none, of my readers know, that I will be casting a vote on Tuesday, November 8th, for Hillary Clinton.

I could lie and say this decision is easy. I could lie and say it's the only obvious choice, because we are tasked with voting in an election that pits four major candidates, three of which are essentially unelectable, unqualified, and woefully undereducated on matters of policy and politics, and so the one remaining one is obvious.

But I can't. Because right now, America is engaged in bombing campaigns in seven countries throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. Because right now, America is giving almost unconditional support to a Saudi regime that is unleashing wanton destruction and loss of life in Yemen, creating a human crisis that the media in this country refuses to cover or ignores. Because right now, America is still an imperialist country, forged in constant wars, constructed on the labor and prison of black and brown bodies, and spewing enough destructive pollution to all but guarantee global warming will run rampant, with its ensuing loss of life and created conflict. It is easy to diminish these, to cast a vote, and try to put them away, to compartmentalize the fact that American lead wars and sanctions have left 20 million dead civilians in its wake since the end of World War II. To do that is a terrible atrocity in itself, to minimize the loss of life of those who don't look like me, or those who live half a world a way. I know that, by participating in this election, and in this system of government and country, I am, if not happily, offering my tacit support to further conquest and destruction.

But I also know my limitations. If there is one thing that my undying love of baseball and sabermetrics has offered me, it is an understanding that we are all working with limited understandings. And while that is little comfort to a war victim, or a poor mother, or a jailed weed dealer, it allows me to understand the limitations of the society we have constructed.

Democracy is, if nothing else, an imperfect science. And to think that my values and desires are always going to be 100% correct is folly. At any given time, sure, we all believe we are correct. But we must understand that we have been wrong, and will continue to be wrong. Democracy works as a system because it has built within it systems of dialogue, compromise, and understanding.

One candidate, undoubtedly, represents those values. Hillary Clinton knows more about policy, economics, Washington negotiation, political machinations, and international relationships that I will ever know. She likely forgets more in one day than I forget in one year, to steal a cliché. And while I will not always agree with her positions, much like Obama before her, I trust that she will be making them after examining all facets of the situation and coming to the conclusion that she feels is best.

But as with all things, her candidacy is not in a vacuum. Hillary's opponent, one Donald Trump, is perhaps the antithesis of every value that I, and hopefully others, hold sacred. He is a flagrant bigot, racist, and misogynist, whose reliance on cheating, destroying, and lying seemingly knows no bounds. He has given a face to a violent, disgusting movement that holds white supremacy at its peak, and holds the poor, the disabled, immigrants, women, people of color, refugees, Muslims, at its base, forever to be trampled on, mocked, rejected, and in some cases, forcefully and violently eradicated. This can not be allowed to flourish, to stand, or to be given legitimacy. The fear that many feel about his ascendancy is real because it is based on the very things he has said and done over his existence.

It is, then, most vital that we reject it, wholesale. And the best way to do that, in a democracy, is at the ballot box. There are no perfect solutions in a democracy, no perfect solutions in life, or baseball, or congress, or anything, and the very stubborn hate that has driven a desire for nothing but moral purity is the same strain of thought that has given us the Tea Party and Trump and modern Republicans. I choose to reject this.

I do not pretend that Hillary is perfect, that she will not do bad things, that America will cease to be the country it currently is. But in Trump, we have magnified all the bad things that it currently is, and can be, and so that, at all costs, must be defeated. With that I say:

I'm With Her.

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