Sunday, November 13, 2016

Why I've Abandoned My Apolitical Stance

If you know me at all, you know that I'm not a melodramatic person. I'm usually very nonconfrontational. To the best of my recollection, I never posted anything politcal on Facebook in the 9.5 years I've been there prior to 11/8/16. I've never been one to proselytize. In fact, for most of my life, I've avoided politics as much as possible, seeing it as a negative and corrupting influence.

I'm talking about politics now because I cannot in good conscience keep quiet any longer. Many people I care about supported Trump. I believe this was a monumental mistake and I'm trying to understand how people I know to be caring, intelligent people could have made such a disastrous error in judgment.

I'm writing about politics now because I believe most of you are well-meaning people, not evil or hateful. I believe you are open-minded enough to try to understand a different viewpoint, intelligent enough to recognize logic and mature enough to admit when you've made a mistake and learn from it.

If I'm right and we can have a respectful discussion about this, then maybe we can work together for change. If I'm wrong, at least I'll be able to sleep at night, knowing that I've tried.

The stakes are high. Despite the polarization brought about by this election, nearly everyone I've had political conversations with agrees on numerous important points:

  • Neither of the major political party candidates this season was an appropriate choice to run our country
  • Neither major party truly represents the will of the American people anymore
  • Money has too much control of our government
  • Our healthcare system is on the brink of collapse and the Affordable Care Act has not helped in a meaningful way
  • Crime, violence, terrorism, unemployment, homelessness, racism and abortions are undesirable
  • Hard work and good ideas ought to result in success
  • The social safety net needs to be re-examined and restructured to more effectively provide for the needs of truly disabled Americans while encouraging all people to be as productive as possible
If we work together, we can generate substantive change. In order to work together, we have to listen to each other respectfully. This is going to be hard for people on both sides right now. But I believe the effort is worth it. 

The stakes are high.

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