Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Public Service Announcement

I don't like to talk politics on this site. It opens up a Pandora's Box of gargantuan proportions, and this site is about having fun and celebrating cool things. As bad as some of the Star Wars discussions get, they rarely approach what political subjects can devolve into.

But I feel like this election is too important to ignore.

So I'm going to urge people to be civil. I won't say "if you don't want to hear it, avoid it," since the entire reason I'm doing this is to reach out to people. However, think before you comment. Too much baseless accusations and negativity without respect or decorum and I will not only delete offending comments like I've done in extreme cases for Star Wars, but disable comments for this post altogether.

I hope I don't regret this...

The idea that a man like Donald Trump has any chance to gain the power of the Presidency frightens me to no end.

The idea that anyone can look at Trump and actually think that anything he says or does could be good for our country frightens me.

The idea that anyone can look at any of the other candidates and state any of them are "no better" than Trump frightens me.

I don't want to tell anyone who to vote for. Well, that's not true, I do, but people don't like being told who to vote for and the last thing I want to do is shove my opinions down anyone's throats. But there's a difference between opinions and facts, and when all the facts are looked at the only blatantly correct choice is: Not Trump.

Donald Trump, all things considered, is nothing but a snake oil salesman. A con man. He talks a big game and then scarpers with the cash without delivering anything substantial. It has happened time and again. He has been bankrupt multiple times, he has failed numerous start-ups, and he has all but admitted to tax fraud which should legally disqualify him but since all the evidence hasn't been collected yet there's nothing else to be done.

Moreover he is crude, openly bigoted, and acts like a toddler when things don't go his way. He accuses others of wrongs he has done, and swears up and down by statements proven to be untrue. This is not conjecture or opinion, there is significant video evidence.

This man should never be let within miles of the nuclear codes under any circumstances, especially since he can't seem to fathom why we don't use them if we have them.

Now, I will reveal who I support, and the reasons why.

Back when the primary was starting, I was like many my age and younger and liking what Bernie Sanders had to say. The more I looked into him, though, the less substance I saw. His goals were nice, yes, but he didn't seem to have any real plan on how to get them done - at least none that seemed feasible. Remember, most of the low points of President Obama's administration came from constant and often petulant blocking by congress.

So then I started looking at Hillary Clinton. I didn't really want to - she always struck me as vary fake and even though I thought that she'd probably be at least an adequate leader given her record, I was weary of supporting really anyone whose career seemed to be grooming her for this.

I went to her site.

Read her platform.

Found nothing to disagree with. She wanted most of the same things as Bernie, but actually had real, manageable steps to get them done. An economy where everyone pays their fair share; further improvements to healthcare; fighting HIV and Alzheimer's and providing benefits for Autism; bringing manufacturing jobs back; committing to diplomatic solutions first while still supporting our allies; combating prejudice; making College affordable; pushing for green energy; if I were to list everything, we'd be here all day. While still no guarantee, Congress would more likely take her small increments than anyone's giant all-at-once change that would likely shut government down completely.

And for perhaps the first time, I actually started to like her. Genuinely like her. And I thought - she has a reputation for being dogged, and that's exactly what we need - a Democrat that can get things pushed through the way Republicans had before, using such powers for good instead of ill.

The more research I did, the more things made sense. Her dislike of public speaking being the reason she always seemed less than genuine. The humanitarian efforts, both public and private, that she has personally overseen. The fact that she's been this successful despite the constant baseless accusations slung at her from a group of people simply because, as First Lady, she actually tried to get things done rather than simply be a public figurehead - this speaks to her character and the quality of her work.

Is she perfect? Hardly. But she admits and learns from mistakes, the vast majority of which were blown way out of proportion if they could even be attributed to her in the first place. Even people who were absolutely sure she must have done something disastrously wrong can't really find anything because it's not there to find. People who have done hundreds of times worse than she could ever dream have been scrutinized and demonized proportionally less than she has.

And yet people parrot it. They parrot "The E-mails" when nothing bad happened, her only mistake was not getting proper approval and she's hardly the first person in her position to do that, and frankly given the government hacking that has happened lately you could argue they were even safer with her. The parrot "WikiLeaks", when none of this stuff came from her and the worst thing in there was people trash-talking each other behind their backs; petty, but better to vent in private than spewing it in public like some people.

And it's fine to be intimidated by this baggage, real or imagined. But I feel she's not only the best choice we have, but a good choice in any situation. Johnson? He's uninformed and against most of what I'm for. Stien? She's a lot like Bernie - some good ideas, but less prepared to take appropriate action on them.

Now, I say there's no guarantee that Clinton's platform will pass Congress, and you might say "there's no guarantee Trump's will either." This is true, but I'd rather she fight for her policies and lose than he fight for his and win. His policies are enhanced versions of the kinds of policies that weakened us during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

And, frankly, I hate to even invoke this but...we've seen before what people like Trump do when they gain power. Many times in both history and fiction. It's never pretty.

So please, I urge everyone to do their civic duty and vote. And vote for Not Trump. A vote for Hillary is the best way to ensure Trump does not succeed, and I hope that I've inspired some of you to at least give her another look. But whoever you vote for, please, make it Not Trump.

I truly feel the United States depends on it.

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