I’m writing this because there are a few people in my life who I consider mentors, but sometimes we fall very opposite when it comes to politics. There is one in particular who has helped me grow and still does, but unlike me who never voted for the second George Bush, either time, she did. She also voted for Donald Trump and will again in 2020. I intentionally stayed away from this subject with her because we all know how heated politics can make people. It was interesting to say the least.
I’ve been called a cunt by someone I no longer have on Facebook. He’s one of those loyal, diehard Trump supporters where he can’t do anything wrong. I understand you have to respect other people’s beliefs, even those that clearly can’t see the other side(s), but it’s hard to find any common ground with two polar opposite people. His principles and viewpoints are not mine and mine are not his. If you’re not a patriot (wearing the American flag kind) and my assumption also a hardcore second amendment advocate, then you’re open to his attacks. So, how do we find common ground between him and me? In this case, we don’t because passionate beliefs tend to get in the way of good discussion.
I’d be hard pressed to vote for anyone from the Republican party, especially nowadays, based on my core principles. I lost a few acquaintances on Facebook because of my belief in equal rights for everyone. These people don’t. They live by their religion. I don’t. One of them trolls people on the internet, in order to pick fights, as it gives her satisfaction. Why do I know this? Because she told me. I don’t judge her because it’s her thing. She has a right to do this. The intent of this post isn’t to agitate the already agitated, but if you believe this is the reason for it, so be it. I can’t make anyone read between these lines or see the bigger picture, which I’m realizing is different for everyone. The political climate is drenched in instability with friction found in every corner.
Social media users go from 0 to 60 in such a short amount of time. Every subject turns into a debate about politics without ever really having a true debate. It turns into a word slug fest without much respect or intelligence. My mentor expressed the need to see the big picture and how CNN lies about what’s really going on, meaning they purposely leave out positive facts about Trump. In her belief, he has done great things for American communities and has protected a country (not the U.S.) she holds dear to her heart. While there is a sliver of truth to this, it doesn’t erase the numerous blunders, viewpoints, and crudity that spills from his mouth. I really wonder how genuine he is and for this reason, he will never get my seal of approval. If I didn’t care for people with his attributes long before he became President, why would I support him now? The answer is I don’t unless he changes. Put another way, he is not my cup of tea.
We both don’t watch CNN. I watch MSNBC. She watches Fox News. So how are we able to have a semi decent conversation about Trump with a little bit of Obama and Clinton mixed in? It happens because she holds back and I definitely hold back. Is it good we do this? Yes because if not I could go to a dark place that allows me to attack someone on his or her beliefs. I don’t want to do this. She was trying to convince me to see the positive in Trump as a few others have I consider friends. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in the beginning. I’d much rather have him succeed than not, but he hasn’t done much to persuade me.
Do I think he has the mental and emotional capacity to be a leader? No. Do I think he has the intellectual capacity to bring the highly divided country he partially created to an end? No. Do I think his compulsion to tweet morning, noon, and night is excessive? Yes. Would I rather have someone else in the White House? Yes. Will someone else elected in 2020? I sure hope so.
My roommate asked me a good question. Would I vote for someone on the Democratic ticket who was similar to Trump (lack of experience and personality) or would I vote for a Republican nominee of sound body and mind? This was hard because I used to be Independent before I forced to pick a political party when I lived in CA. I adhere to more Democratic values over Republican ones, but paraphrasing Nicole Wallace, the Republican party has become the Trump party. She doesn’t recognize it anymore and that is why in 2020 she will vote for the Democratic nominee. If you don’t know, Wallace worked under George Bush, Jr. (as I call him) and has her own show in MSNBC. She used to be a Republican. Is this going to convince more Republicans to not vote along their party line in 2020? Probably not. The glue has hardened already. Time will tell if a few cross back and forth on this red and blue line. I don’t think the Democratic party would ever nominate a candidate like Trump, but if they did, I might have to vote for the Republican nominee to not repeat what happened in 2016.
I have core values I will not sway from much like my mentor will not sway from her core values. She votes for the candidate who gives support to one country. On the other hand, I vote for the candidate (so far all Democrats) because they align with my principles of environmental conservation, equal rights, and a woman’s right to control her own body. Where do I fall on guns? Outlawing guns will never work. Should there be tougher restrictions on who can buy guns? Yes because someone who is severely mentally ill doesn’t need a gun and neither does someone who likes to rob stores over and over again. It’s called common sense. Do I get freaked out when I see people carrying guns? No. Do I think people who want to carry guns should be able to? Yes. Again, it’s called common sense.
While many of the people jockeying to win the Democratic nomination have a long ways to go, I’m still undecided on who I want. There should be fresh faces in any party, but we shouldn’t disregard the politicians who have been there for a long time such as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. When 2019 comes to an end, hardcore Trump supporters will remain that. What they like about him varies. Has Trump changed enough for me to vote for him in 2020 or ever want to meet in person? No, as he seems only to care about his base time and time again.
This discussion I had with my mentor was necessary as it had been brewing for a while. It is one of those agree to disagree moments, but as in the past, we have learned to approach with caution. Heated topics creates heated discussions. It’s easy to feel threatened and get personal. We did not do this. I respect her beliefs and hope she respects mine. This hasn’t been happening within the Democratic party and between the Democrats and the President. We definitely need less grandstanding among some and less silence among others. I hope in 2020 we get rid of the politicians collecting a paycheck without doing much. Mitch McConnell comes to mind.
Whether Trump gets elected again hinges on whether the Democrats can nominate a good, middle of the road, challenger. If government is to support those that elected them, it has a long ways to go. This is why Trump was elected. Some of us were getting tired of Washington advancing their own interests. The issue is we now have another problem although some don’t see it, others ignore it, and more justify it. I can’t do any of the three. The current institutions, while not perfect, don’t need to be chipped away even further. I haven’t seen much swamp draining, but I have seen things being exposed for what they are (in the two major political parties and with the President). Who people vote for in 2020 or if they even vote at all is up to them, but never did I think I would have to say I wanted a President who doesn’t mind reading. There’s always going to be small, medium, and big problems in the world. It’s a revolving door. I would love if the swamp was drained, but what good is it if what’s replacing the smelly, dirty water is equal to or worse?