Update!!! (3/15/2016) I just want to add to this (can’t believe I didn’t say this when originally published. I’d like to blame typing this up quickly before work but…no excuses!) that although the Presidential election is important and glamourous, it is not the only election that matters. There will be other names on your ballot and they matter just as much, if not more! They’re the people making decisions about your immediate surroundings, your city, your state! They’re the ones trying to climb the ladder to potentially earn themselves a spot in the presidential election or other prestigious positions (some of which keep for years and years and years and years…) so educate yourselves about those names as well! Don’t just be a voter…be an INFORMED voter! Go in there knowing who you want to vote for…don’t just leave it to chance! And remember….I’ve got love for you all!
Ok so this started out as a Facebook post but then, upon realizing how long it was, I figured I would just post it here. I mean, why not? If I’m willing to post it to my Facebook account where countless people that I know personally will see it then I might as well be able to post it here because let’s be honest…..once you put something on the internet anywhere…it’s there. I know some people might see it as taboo to post on your blog about politics but this is an important subject. We SHOULD be able to talk to one another about all it involves without tearing one another down. Maybe that’s an idealistic view but so be it. I choose to believe that it’s possible.
With all that being said, I might be opening Pandora’s Box with this but here goes anyway.
I’ve been able to vote since 2008 and I was very excited about it. I see voting as a right. I intend to let the government know that I’m here, I’m watching and I CARE enough to do what is required to have my voice heard until the very end. Over the years I have typically been very quiet about who I’m voting for and why because 1. It’s my right to not share any information about myself that I don’t want to share and 2. I’ve been learning. I’ve been watching and listening and forming opinions. I don’t know all there is to know yet and I certainly don’t understand the system 100% but I have enough understanding of LIFE in general to form certain opinions on certain things as I continue to grow in knowledge about our system, but I also have some questions.
My first opinion/observation? POLITICAL PARTIES ARE A HUGE PROBLEM. Too many people seem to only be voting their party just for the sake of voting their friggin party that the whole point is lost! We should be voting for the best person for the job, not just picking the lesser of the evils from our party’s options or whoever got our party’s nomination. Why? Because no one person/candidate can fit into a box like that! One thing I think that time has told is that there is low probability that there is one person who would satisfy every person in this country’s desires. I feel we should vote for the individuals, not the party.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, a few questions I wrestle with:
Why does it seem to be a popular stance to some that if you’re working a minimum wage job for an extended period of time (even when it’s 40+ hours a week) or you’re not in the upper class tax bracket already (even though some people did nothing themselves to get there), you’re lazy? I’m really trying to understand this position that the poor of this country are all lazy and good for nothing. I have a hard time understanding it because I have seen the hardworking poor. That’s why I get so defensive about it because I look at it and I say, but I know these people are working their asses off and still struggling to get ahead and then to hear people tell them they are nothing but lazy, good for nothing moochers truthfully breaks my heart.
Why must everyone fighting for the raise of minimum wage be considered people who don’t want to work for what they have? First off- most minimum wage jobs are high work load and often deal with people who just like to be terrible to minimum wage workers. But beyond that, is it a common understanding that there isn’t an infinite source of money? It doesn’t grow on trees, resources run out…the only way to keep this nation strong (other than the people being united) is to keep the economy going and the way to do that certainly has nothing to do with hiding your money in offshore bank accounts. Is it understood that if inflation happens and the minimum wage doesn’t go up, the majority (those of us who are not in the 1%) doesn’t have enough money to live or put their money back into the economy?
Is it accepted that the middle class is in fact shrinking? If so, is it truly believed that this is due to nothing more than laziness of the poor? If we are in fact entitled to keep all the money we earn in this great country (which I wholeheartedly believe in) is the storing of said money in other countries banks and using other loopholes to avoid paying taxes (which is in turn keeping the money from flowing into back into the U.S. economy…) here in the U.S. acceptable?
All of those are serious questions. I truly do want to understand. I still may not agree after receiving answers but that’s what’s great- that we can all believe what we want to believe, say what we want to say and be what we want to be. That’s what makes America great to me, even though that also means people have the right to say (not always do) mean, hateful things. That breaks my heart. I do wish we would seek to at least try to understand one another better apart from judgement. I think that’s what would make us greater. I think the true key to making America great is trying to understand one another despite our differences and all. Maybe that makes me an idealist…but again- I can believe, say and be what I want. I’d rather be an idealist than someone spewing hate everywhere.
So contrary to my past choice of keeping my voting decisions to myself, this year I have been open and vocal on and offline about the candidate I support for the 2016 election…Bernie Sanders.
Here lately people have been asking me why? “Why do you support Bernie? He’s a socialist who is going to give everything away for free!” Ok first- with the socialist stuff. His father was a Polish immigrant, of course he’s going to have some socialist ideas. But really and truly, I have a hard time believing that in 4 (or 8) years one president could turn The US into a totally socialist nation. First off, he’s got way too many people to go through when it comes to making decisions (hello checks&balances) so I feel like we all really know that’s not going down.
Ok so now lets talk about free college for all. Yea, it might be idealist but you’re not going to tell me he’s the first presidential candidate who has offered idealistic ideas during his campaign. And free public college? What’s so bad about that? If we could make it happen and fund it with money from the right place, what’s so bad about easier access to education? Again- what has happened to the idea of unity and one nation INDIVISIBLE? To me that says we motivate our fellow citizens, help one another, we support one another how we can- which creates a strong nation for ALL! For us, our kids, our grand-kids and beyond! Where we ALL thrive! Sure, some will thrive more than others depending on how hard they work– but a nation where we don’t all have to work ourselves to death, spending the majority of time away from our families to maybe achieve the dream? What’s so bad about that?
I don’t like Bernie because he’s going to give me free stuff. Hard work has been essential to human life for as long as there have been humans who needed to eat and stay warm. I’m perfectly okay with the fact that few things in life are free. Free stuff is not why I support Bernie Sanders. I support him because he is consistent. I support him because he cannot be bought (…and he isn’t a corporation himself…). I support him because he doesn’t believe corporations should have all the power in this nation. He believes our voices truly matter.
Maybe it’s all a bunch of bull- sure. Only time will tell I suppose, but his message is one that I can stand behind because it promotes unity of the majority. It says NO– there’s no reason why the middle class should be disappearing while the corporations and their top guys are getting richer and richer with no care or concern for the rest of us….because not all of us are lazy and trying to abuse welfare…there actually are plenty of hard working Americans who love this country and want to see it prosper and who don’t deserve to be living in poverty but do. This isn’t because they are lazy, but because between our government’s outrageous spending habits and corporate jerks who hike up our medication prices and ship our jobs overseas while sipping champagne on their yachts (with their government official buddies who signed the deals for tax breaks for said yacht….) there’s nothing left.
I believe the least these corporate billionaires could do is filter their hard earned money back into the economy of the country where they hold citizenship by paying their fair share in taxes…paying their taxes AT ALL maybe would be nice. Is that really too much to ask? Is a nation where we really do all have the same chance to thrive because our economy isn’t in any way held back by the greed of the few…is that too much to ask? Is a nation where we can stand united (despite our differences), supporting one another and in turn ensuring a bright future for this place…is that really too idealistic?
At the end of the day, he may not get the nomination. He may not win. But I will rest easy knowing I exercised my right to vote and I did it in favor of the person I truly believe is the right person for the job.
I hope you know these thoughts, opinions and inquiries come from a place of love for my country and fellow citizens. ♥