This Election Cycle has been the most alarming in the course of my life.
Allow me to state my political positions:
First, as a gay man and a member of the wider Queer Community, I don’t have the luxury of ignoring my own cause and the cause of my immediate family- my husband and my stepson. The Republican Party has made a concerted effort to prevent me from exercising my rights in this country for the past 16 years (and likely far before that), all the way to writing it into their 2016 Campaign Platform.
Therefore, until such time that the Republican Party of the United States of America ditches the bigotry and works toward equality complete with a whole-hearted apology not only to me but to other minorities that have been massively affected by the GOP, I will NOT vote for or endorse a Republican candidate for ANY office.
I do not hate Republicans. I don’t hate conservatives. I didn’t hate George W. Bush, and I don’t hate Donald Trump. However, not hating someone doesn’t mean that I immediately think they’re remotely qualified to be the President of the United States. Donald Trump is not, and has never been, qualified to be the President. He lacks character, he lacks reason, and his entire campaign has been drawing on the demographic of Angry Straight White Men voters.
That demographic alone isn’t strong enough to win an election.
Beyond that, I don’t find this reciprocated. While I haven’t hated the Republicans, I’ve watched as Republicans have bashed President Obama for some time now. The hatred for President Obama is not only unfounded, it’s bizarre, and I’ve been thoroughly disgusted that for a party that screams so loudly everyone should take personal responsibility (because all problems can be overcome if you just pull yourself up by the bootstraps), the Republicans surrounding me have blamed President Obama for everything that has gone wrong in their lives over the past eight years.
Second, I have watched during this election cycle otherwise intelligent, reasonable human beings (some of whom pride themselves on how intelligent and reasonable they are compared to their peers) fall prey to basic propaganda, bad lines of reasoning, and fear-mongering. Watching otherwise good and civil people obtain the majority of their political information from memes shared on Facebook or from clickbait websites is heartbreaking; watching people who buy into conspiracy theories they would never have believed otherwise about virtually anything else in the universe besides Hillary Clinton has almost made me cry on more than one occasion.
The reality is, and has remained, that we don’t have a regular Presidential Election Cycle this time around because we don’t have two qualified candidates running for the office who simply have different ideas on how best to run the country (which is what typically happens at this point) – we have one qualified candidate (whether you like her or agree with her positions, policies, and implementations doesn’t change the fact that she’s qualified) versus one unqualified candidate (who was pushed to his position not because he’s qualified but because he’s charismatic and stirs up a great deal of emotionalism by making vague promises, often appealing to the sentiments of the worst people in society).
Third, civility and manners have been left behind by so many as I see perfect strangers and sometimes intimates and friends and relatives attack one another with slurs and insults over their chosen presidential candidate. Yes, a number of us see the potential damage that Donald Trump could do, a number of us see that he could indeed be a fascist- we understand that- but screaming insults will not change people’s hearts or minds.
I have friends who support Donald Trump; I haven’t felt the need to unfriend them on Facebook, and they apparently haven’t felt the need to unfriend me, either. We still get along, and for many people, that’s how it should be.
Fourth, I have been and still am an avid Bernie Sanders-supporter. Voting for and electing Hillary Clinton will bring Bernie Sanders closer to a position where he can help implement aspects of the platform he ran on.
Hillary Clinton, if elected, can make an excellent President of the United States. The reasonable question is whether or not she will make an excellent President of the United States- and this is what many of us super-liberal people are wondering.
In other news, I have to register as a Democrat in Florida because we don’t have open primaries