The part of my heart that is at all political broke today.
A Republican since Reagan, there was no possible way I could countenance a vote for Donald Trump. I told myself I had to vote for Hillary Clinton or I would be wasting my vote.
It seems I wasted it anyway.
In an excerpt from her forthcoming book, DNC Interim Campaign Chair Donna Brazile* has revealed that the Clinton campaign forced a debt-ridden DNC into a financial arrangement that gave the campaign operational control over the DNC nearly a year before Clinton was selected the Democratic nominee. That meant the caterwauling I heard from the Sanders campaign was instead a true cry about the unfairness of the DNC operations during the primaries – at least in so far as the budgeting of operations impacted decision making.
Had I known, I would have written someone else in on my ballot in November instead of casting it Clinton’s way. It may have been a wasted ballot, but it would have been an honest one.
There is still no way I would have voted for Donald Trump. Every horror I felt he would visit on this country is happening. He was never qualified by background, experience or temperament to hold the office he holds. I still believe the Russians worked to influence the campaign in his election, and I still believe there are people on his campaign – if not Trump himself – who participated actively with the Russians in this collusion, whether collusion is the legal term or not.
Donald Trump should not be President of the United States for many reasons.
But politically speaking, the electorate would have gotten robbed had Clinton been voted in as well. It’s just the country would have been better off if she had. Or at least at this point I still have to conclude it would.
For many years I had been your usual casual voter, meaning I cast my vote along party line every four years, felt I did my civic duty, wore my “I Voted” patch for the rest of the day and went on about my business.
I now realize this is what they count on…people like me who go like lambs to the polls. Our trust that all will go well is the sacrificial blood on which our politics is appeased.
I am not naïve. I was a teenager during the Vietnam years and a young adult during Watergate. I have known for a long time the world in its various institutions such as business and politics has a seamy underside-I even knew joining the Catholic Church it has two thousand years of institutional horrors along with its offering of glory to God.
But even as a reporter, I never felt there was much I could do to affect all that except to live my own life as honestly as I could, although I have to add that I sometimes came up with some weird permutations over some personal situations in my love life to justify what I did as “honest.”
But I honestly thought I cast my vote in this year’s election in the best way that I could. Now I know I might as well have stayed home.
I am not saying I would have necessarily written Sanders in, although now I wish I had done at least that rather than vote Clinton. As beautiful as his idealism of “healthcare for all” and “free college for all” may be, while those may work out beautifully in smaller, more homogenous socialist-democratic societies, I do not think it would be possible here, at least at this time. But I thought Clinton would inch us in that direction. I still believe the government should exist for the benefit of the citizen and not the other way around.
Now I don’t know what direction I was voting for. I just knew the direction I wasn’t willing to go in. I wish more people had been willing earlier on not to go in that direction as well. Say before Trump won the Republican nomination.
This all leads me to conclude we must, if the individual citizen and his or her vote is to mean anything, get big money out of politics. And we must give serious thought to the Electoral College and whether or not it is working as it should to guarantee that if such things as gerrymandering can override the popular vote count, and that vote count would have given us at least a President who was sane, if power hungry, then the will of the people should prevail.
Our political system is in serious need of reform. And it is up to us as individual citizens to be the ones who do it – and no longer leave it in the hands of the people who allegedly represent us, but are there to serve their own interests alone.
P.S. About that debt-ridden DNC. Why did Obama leave it in that condition? He was the head of his party all four years after he was elected to his second term. He deserves a bit of scorn in this story as well.
*My first post misspelled Ms. Brazile’s name. My apologies.