Note: I did vote for Gary Johnson, the BAMF from New Mexico, and have yet to vote for a Republican or Democrat for POTUS. Although I have a BA in political science and history (seemingly a lifetime ago), I only watch the news when a major event takes place. Such as a presidential election. I mention that only as background; standing behind degrees is one of the most insecure things to do, anyhow. And I voted for – and donated money to – Ron Paul in 2008. #itsactuallynothappening
Nothing fires up Facebook like a political debate. To date, I believe zero people have changed their views based on their research from their Facebook news feeds. I see this more as catharsis than advocacy. And no, venting, ranting, and screaming at (former) friends doesn’t “make you feel better”. It actually increases anger. And social media depresses us (it makes us “sad” we’re not partaking in the activities of our awesome friends, it’s science). Go read a book or run. Or listen to an audio book while running.
In the shocker of the century, Trump beat Clinton. Or, more like the Democrats picked one of the worst possible candidates (a quintessential Beltway politician). Trump, an immoral, silver-spoon, billionaire, reality-show “Republican” won in a surreal real-life spiff of Saturday Night Live. I’m still waiting for him to come out with “Surprise! Just kidding! But you all fell for it!” He’s probably more surprised than us that he won.
I think there are two key points to take away from this election: what did we think would happen from our political apathy, and let’s learn from this and keep it from happening again.
When Americans don’t treat the primary election with reverence and respect, we end up with the worst candidates. When only staunch Republicans or Democrats choose to follow and vote in the primaries, we end up with extreme candidates. (Save me the “Uncle Bernie” talks, the man knows less about economics than I do heart surgery.)
I’ve long heard that candidates go to extremes during primaries then the middle for the general. Huh? So, they’re changing stances? Oh yeah, they’re after power, which
most many use by all-means-necessary to get there? Have some self-respect and keep your stances, if you actually have any (Hillary, I’m looking in your direction).
On the other hand, we have a candidate that used social media, a strong following, a core group of people who thought that Washington didn’t represent and look out for them, and found a way to “convincingly” win. I’m not talking about Obama, I’m talking about Trump. He capitalized on what Hillary and other Democratic elitists took for granted: the blue-collared, American worker. Or, the “uneducated” voter. (The irony is that many of those “uneducated voters” probably make more money than the East Coast, pretentious liberals who are in debt up to their eyeballs for their over-education.)
Another argument is that Trump didn’t win on election day, but Clinton lost — which is fair, because voters for Democrats were down. Apparently, Clinton didn’t excite anyone. And I agree. Or that no one thought Trump could win, so why go out and vote? It wasn’t until late in the evening that Midwest blue states turned red. At that point, Trump looked like he was going to win.
Point being: presidential elections start years before election day. Choosing better candidates during the primary will ensure better candidates during the general. Maybe we can vote for someone instead of against, for once.
Let’s use this election cycle as a lesson moving forward, like me using this tendinitis as a lesson to recognize lower-leg pain. Okay, the electoral college may not be fair (then again I’d argue that the preponderance of counties voting Republican with only metro areas and California, which apparently has an affinity for Germanic ex-pats running for governator, voting Democrat as a viable counterargument). Trump is President of the United States. If we don’t like the electoral college, we can change it via a Constitutional Amendment, but since we retired the Constitutional after 9-11, … Those are my exhaustive thoughts on the US Electoral College. Schools out for about four years.
The way I see it is we can come together and all work to make the country a better place by working together, or we can divide, so every time a new party is in office, we can start this over again. Never-ending cycle, or work together? Very simple concept, but apparently very hard to execute. After all, no one’s opinion of anything is ever wrong, because, it is, after all, well, an opinion.
As for the marches yesterday, that’s why the US is awesome. We can do that without being (legally) shot at. As for our President saying demeaning comments about women, well, what do you think we wind up with when voting in an immoral, silver-spoon, billionaire, reality-show “Republican”? That’s why we don’t elect that. I hate to say it, but we kind of deserve what we have in Washington. (I’d argue that most people are too comfortable to really care, most of the time. We care now, after Trump won in a shocker; the hubris of the Democrats never thought that that would happen — I hope everyone who marched yesterday voted.)
Learn from this. Elections matter. Big, small, primary, general, presidential, or off-year. If we don’t vote, how can we complain about the way our cities, states, and country are headed? Sometimes thing have to get worse before they get better. Otherwise, we’re complacent. If things aren’t bad enough, we don’t feel a need to change. Real change is good.
But at the end of the day, let’s make our own lives better. Let’s not live vicariously through the news, Facebook, or Washington. What can we do to improve our own lives? I bet we have more control over our lives than some people in Washington do. Stop playing the victim and make things happen. If nothing else, Trump taught us that he became President from his own ambition. Not from being a supported member of Washington, but ambition. He’s now our President. Let’s support him, otherwise don’t bitch when the other guy doesn’t support your President after s/he wins.
And I’ll stop talking about politics for a long time.