Horror of horrors, Donald Trump just got elected President.
Until about 3 AM Wednesday, this article had another potential first line.
Horror of horrors, Hillary Clinton just got elected President.
The election results shocked everyone, I think, and none more so than the mainstream media, who just couldn’t believe either the election results or its own culpability in the disaster. The Trump campaign identified it as a huge part of the problem, being in collusion with the Democratic Party and biased against the GOP candidates. And lo and behold: they were surprised when their own pundits and pollsters were proved wrong, a damning indictment against their own bias and lack of credibility.
Yes, I am a third party voter. And no, it’s not my fault Clinton lost. You can blame that in its entirety upon the Democratic Party. They knowingly backed a corrupt candidate, even to the point of dividing their own party in an ongoing fiasco of incompetence from the primaries to the last days of the general election. There’s a reason that the House, Senate, and White House were all won by the GOP, and it’s not because all GOP voters are bigots, misogynists, homophobes, or racists.
And considering the Clinton campaign’s own words about minority communities, that’s not a particularly smart way to express Democratic disappointment today anyway.
The reason the Democrats lost is that throughout this election season, they were portrayed as corrupt and dishonest, and their actions throughout just confirmed that yes, they were. Clinton didn’t lose because of her genitalia; she lost because she is untrustworthy.
Trump didn’t win because he was morally superior, either. He successfully played the government outsider, and whoever was advising him skillfully led him to become the voice of the dissatisfied – as incredible and ridiculous as that truly is. He is everything that a POTUS shouldn’t be, and yet today he’s the President-elect.
The Republicans won because throughout this election season, they were seen as the element of change from a system popularly perceived as dishonest, and their actions (reprehensible as many of them were) just confirmed that opinion.
So as the liberal side of the country searches for someone to blame, they really have no one to blame but their own party. The handling of the Bernie Sanders movement was stupid, and easily portrayed as some Gestapo-like brutality because it was. Let us be frank: Sanders would have beaten Trump. Well, pretty much anyone who had the sense God gave a rock would have.
Can’t blame the Trump voters and call them every -ist in the book. A vote for Trump isn’t some woman-hating reactionism to having an African-American commander-in-chief.
Can’t blame the third-party voters either, although I see a lot of that today. Again, let us be frank. Independent voters are disenfranchised in the primaries, their voices are ignored by both major parties and the media, and every election season they feel exactly the way Clinton voters feel right now. I personally did not vote for either Clinton or Trump, despite a nearly overwhelming amount of pressure to do so by friends and associates. I could not morally support either candidate, so couldn’t vote for either.
And here’s where things always get tricky.
“You’re just wasting your vote.”
“You’re just ensuring that *insert major party candidate the speaker doesn’t support here* wins the election.”
“If *candidate name* wins, it’s all your fault.”
No, it is not.
As an American citizen, I have the constitutional right to vote for any eligible candidate I choose to. As an independent moderate, I have no voice in my government and am disenfranchised through the early part of the process as well –which gives me very little interest, by the way, in voting for any Dem or GOP candidate on principle. We are a country of moderates governed by extremists on either side of the aisle, but never right down the middle. My vote did not make Donald Trump the President of the United States.
The Clinton campaign did. The Democratic Party did. The corrupt two-party system did.
As I said back in July, our election system absolutely must be overhauled. The parties with their platforms must be eliminated. Candidates shouldn’t be tied to campaign platforms that are dictated by donations from corporations and special interest lobbies. Voters should not have to register as a Democrat or Republican in order to vote in the primaries that determine our ultimate general election candidates.
Because if the party system isn’t destroyed, and if our citizenry is not given the right to look outside of the far right and the far left to fill the most powerful positions in our government, our entire society is endangered.
In July, perhaps, you thought I was being unreasonable. Tell me, America, how do you feel today? Still think the concerns of the independent voter are unimportant? Still think that core of people who don’t meekly follow the liberal or conservative line are the ones to blame?
Still think that the American population is too stupid to care about corruption? Personal integrity? Let’s stop for a moment and really, really think about our future. Not the immediate future – the next four years are going to be difficult to say the least. But let’s think about our political future, the one that will begin during the 2020 campaign.
Can we afford political business as usual?
No, we cannot.
As long as the two-party system exists, half the country is going to wake up on the second Wednesday in November feeling just as mad as they do today. As long as special interests like the NRA have such a direct impact upon the electoral process, by imposing their will upon exactly half of our candidates and the party platform they are tied to, we will continue to awaken to a new, unworthy POTUS.
After all, it is only logical that candidates should be able to support the Second Amendment while also being in support of green living, or abortion rights, or equitable civil rights for all Americans, don’t you think?
There must be finite term limits in our government. The Congress of the United States shouldn’t be a lifetime career for anyone. And no voter should be disenfranchised by his or her own government for the refusal to register as a Democrat or Republican.
Yesterday morning, Hillary Rodham Clinton in her concession speech preached the reunification of the country. Those are pretty words, but they don’t address the real problem here. Our country is divided, because of our political system and the media that propagates those divisions.
The country cannot be unified until we are allowed to have candidates who stand on their own principles, and not those of a political party. Until we have that as an undeniable right, we will continue to be a country divided – not by ideologies but the perceptions of each other our political system dictates.
So don’t tell me I wasted my vote. Don’t call your neighbor who voted for Trump a bigot, or the lady across the street who voted for Clinton a dishonest person. The real blame lies within our political system, the media that supports it, the major political parties, and the career politicians who will fight tooth and nail to keep that bastion of corruption in place because their livelihoods depend upon it.
Today, America is angry and scared – on both sides of the political spectrum – and it damn well should be. The 2016 election was a vote for change in Washington, sad though that may be. Now we have a responsibility to make certain that real change occurs. As American citizens, we must demand our electoral system be overhauled in its entirety before the 2020 campaign to make certain that this kind of travesty never occurs again. The real consequence of this election must be to effect an equitable political system in which every American’s vote counts for something other than a continuation of the status quo. Because the American people are not to blame for the results of this election.
The American political system is.
Two hundred and forty years ago, the brilliant men who founded the United States set this country on its course with a hope for the continued development of our democratic republic as our citizenry expanded. They had to make compromises for the cultural and social divides within a fledgling people – compromises that led to an absolute division in our nation and the blood-soaked resentments that stemmed from the Civil War.
The time for compromise must be over. We can no longer afford it. And if the United States is going to continue to exist, the mistakes that were made over two centuries ago must be addressed. The path to that necessity must now be clear, and we, as citizens, must follow it.
Because right now in whatever existence may occur after one’s mortal span, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams are both weeping.
We should be too.