What I bring with me into the voting booth tomorrow


hillary-trump-supporters-mix

Thoughts one day before the election:

Months ago, I committed to voting for Hillary because of the unique threat Trump poses. I’ve been vocal about my decision to vote for Hillary and have written about why it is important to stop Trump and have asked others to vote for Hillary as well. I have also asked for tolerance and understanding for the myriad experiences taking place during this election cycle. I have tried to offer perspective on why it is difficult for many to vote for Hillary even under these extreme circumstances and those like myself who will vote for her, but for whom it is a deep and oftentimes painful and confusing struggle. I had hoped that as a liberal reaching out to other liberals, I would be met with some measure of understanding. In some instances that has happened. Unfortunately, in far too many, it has not.

Hillary is not as dangerous as Trump. I believe that with utmost certainty. That is why I chose to vote for her. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that in this final week, I have been on the receiving end of and have witnessed much that has forced me to second-guess that decision to vote for her, that has made that personal struggle even more intense.

Yes, Hillary is not as bad as Trump. However, I have found that far too many Hillary-supporters are as dangerous in my mind as your average Trump-supporter. The level of intolerance and shaming I have seen has left me feeling that the divide between conservatives and liberals isn’t as wide as we might think or believe, that we are all susceptible to being both manipulated and instigated by fear. Even though I am voting for Clinton, I have still been called “selfish” and “irresponsible” for trying to express and share with others why that decision is such a difficult one; to offer perspective for those out there struggling to understand why and how this decision could be fraught, could be immensely challenging, even painful.

This has come from people who believe they speak for and represent the party of inclusiveness, empathy, open-mindedness, equality, freedom of speech and choice, and are fighting for the “common good.” I have witnessed a level of hate and intolerance and bullying that has left me spinning. In addition to the names that I have been called, in addition to the immense intolerance I have been shown by so very many, I have also watched women attacking other women for expressing their difficulties in voting for Hillary, for having a different perspective or a different struggle. I have seen groups of women calling other women “twats” and claiming that those women don’t even have a right to be called “women.” To me, this is incredibly destructive, it is the antithesis of empowerment. It is most certainly not inclusive or compassionate. And it certainly isn’t working toward any “common good.” The phenomenon or “trend” I am witnessing, of fear and anxiety manifesting as intolerance and discrimination and taking the form of browbeating and hostility, feels like a rampant response that has only escalated as election day approaches. Hate and intolerance doesn’t lead Democrats to a different place than it does Republicans. It’s the same road.  Continue reading “What I bring with me into the voting booth tomorrow”

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What I bring with me into the voting booth tomorrow

McCain Calls Obama ‘Decent’, Crowd Boos Him


After losing several high-profile Republican supporters and being criticized for running a frighteningly indecent campaign, it looks like John McCain finally started realizing that inciting anger and hatred is not “politically” correct. At a town hall meeting in Minnesota today, a man proclaimed to Mr. McCain:

“The people here in Minnesota want to see a real fight. We want a strong president to lead us through the next four years.”

McCain responded with:

“I think I got my marching orders.”

But then he uncharacteristically shifted tone to start doing some damage control:

“I am enthusiastic and encouraged by the enthusiasm and I think it’s really good. We have to fight and I will fight but we will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments and I want to be respectful.

“I dont mean that you have to lose your ferocity. I just mean you have to be respectful…

“There’s a difference between rhetoric and record… [Obama] has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate, even more liberal than Bernie Sanders…

“I want all of you to tell your neighbors about the difference between rhetoric and record, but let’s do it respectfully.”

Later, a man in the crowd told McCain that he was “scared” by an Obama presidency. McCain replied.

“I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States.” 

The crowd then “booed” and yelled “Come on, John!”

While I’m happy to see Mr. McCain stepping up here, one can’t help but feel it has more to do with bad press and less to do with what’s right. Unfortunately, McCain has placed himself in a lose/lose situation. Enact damage control now and you risk pissing off and alienating the folks you riled up and got all hot under the collar (people, I might add, calling for blood!), or you continue down this path you never should have been on in the first place and risk everything. I’d feel sorry for him if I didn’t believe this was a product of his own making and endemic to who he is.

Better that he put himself in this position now, than to place the entire country there later.

McCain Calls Obama ‘Decent’, Crowd Boos Him