I am embarrassed for America. There are no other words for it. I will never make the claim of understanding politics, but our system is broken. From a practical perspective, if a country of nearly 350 million presents these two individuals as our best candidates, something has gone terribly wrong. The system is broken, because it is the mechanism responsible for putting these two in front of us, and the world. In my opinion, they do not deserve the privilege of representing us.
Thankfully, the president is not as powerful as most people think. Yes, the signature at the bottom of the page belongs to him or her, but there are a lot of people who help get it there. The cabinet, and the appointments they make have equal, if not arguably greater power due to their position and length of service. I think the candidates should be required to declare their cabinets and potential appointments now, so we can assess and make educated decisions about those that will help create and drive policy that will impact us all. It would provide clarity and insight as to how either will govern that is not readily apparent.
I want to talk about the future for my kids. I want to discuss the economy, taxes, immigration, border security, and supreme court nominations. These issues demand respect. They demand an objective discussion individually, and separately. All of those topics were presented during the debate, I did not hear a single solid answer among them. Why? Because the sideshow that we are presenting to the world as an election is using the most effective weapon on the face of the earth, fear. They want you to be scared. All answers are given in the form of deflection towards the imperfections in the other candidates past, present, and even sometimes forecasted future. I want to have an educated discussion, absent of character assassination and grandstanding. I want the candidates to actually answer the questions that are asked of them.
I have struggled with the feeling that there is no way my vote could make a difference. I have battled internally with the idea of voting for no one, instead of voting for the lessor of two evils. I have heard the same feelings expressed by many others. It is not the answer. If you feel that a professional athlete is disrespectful by kneeling during the national anthem, how do you think the soldier who gave his life for you would feel about your decision not to vote? Do not let your patriotism be convenient, stand for all of it, or stand for none of it.
This election cycle has reinforced my belief that the government is not where we should be looking for change, progress, or salvation. I do not recognize the values I dedicated my life to in the candidates. They are not the best among us, and do not represent who we are.
I am going to vote for the candidate I feel best represents the values I hold dear, then go do something that matters, and will actually help make this country a better place. I will go home and be the best example I can be for my family. I will raise responsible and respectful children. Children who will stand for what is right, regardless of who is watching. Children who desire and respect hard work, honesty, integrity, humility, and courage. I will stand for what I believe, and make the community and the lives of the people I interact with on a daily basis better than they were the day before. I will not allow this broken system to define who I am as an American. I don’t need the government or either of these candidates to do anything for me. When I need to find the person responsible for making this country great again, I will go look in the mirror.
Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave?
If you believe that, then it is time to start acting like it.