Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Voting is SO Important

I have been avoiding writing a column all year, because I knew I would write about this. And I try not to offend my readers, but I am taking that chance today. 

On September 27, I wrote "Bullying is NOT Okay." I try to keep politics out of my blog, but there is some major bullying going on from the leading candidate of one party. I keep hearing that people like him because he is not "p.c." and "says what others want to say." I am not sure it is anything more than ignorance, although I think he thinks it is hubris. 

An old friend of mine has a major position at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, Vermont, and she worked the event. For that reason, I knew about it in advance. I was not surprised when he told people to kick out a person who was heckling him. I was majorly irritated when I heard this:

- Donald Trump
WHAT? "...don't give him his coat"? Thankfully, it was not "ten degrees below zero outside;" it was 18 degrees above. Still below freezing, though. I doubt this candidate has ever been out in the freezing cold without a coat. Maybe if he was walking the 15 feet from his building to his limousine. And, I believe that is theft.

This is far from the only abusive thing he has said - making fun of someone with a disability, insulting the looks of the female candidate in his party, disrespecting the media, saying Iowans are stupid because he fell behind another candidate, and more.

He has also been critical of women and his competitors. The worst, however, is his disparaging remarks about other religions - Muslim, Seventh-Day Adventist, and other nationalities - Asians, Mexicans. 

It is so easy to say nasty things about "the other," whomever that might be. Blame someone else for the way life is - they take our jobs, they are all terrorists, they come in and rape our women. When a powerful person gets away with saying these things, where does it stop?

I was watching a show about the rise of Hitler on the History Channel. As I was watching it, I kept thinking of the similarities with the candidate I have been talking about. It also made me think of the quote,

Hitler started with Jews, but they were not the only ones he persecuted. He also persecuted Poles, Catholics, Roma Gypsies, people with disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals. I may even be missing some groups, but where would it have ended if he had not been stopped? 

Is my reaction extreme? Maybe. However, I fit in several of the groups who were persecuted by Hitler and insulted by the current party leader, according to polls. It makes me wonder what would happen with the USA's relationships with other world leaders and countries. The United Kingdom just had a big discussion in Parliament about whether to allow this particular candidate into their country again. The video of the discussion can be found at:

I live in the state with the first primary, so I think my worry is warranted. It may be a small state, but a lot of decisions are made after the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucus - who will stay in the race, and who will drop out. I think it would be terrible if the candidates who stay in the race are, not only the candidate I have been writing about, but a couple more who are also spewing vitriol. 

If you are an American, please vote in the upcoming caucuses and primaries. Please consider who you vote for carefully. What works in the board room does not always work in the Oval Office.

If you are not registered to vote, it is important to do so. Need ID, but you do not have a ride to get there? Call the nearest party office and ask them if someone there can provide a ride for you. The same with voting day; we cannot allow redistricting to stop us from voting, which is what it is designed to do.