Campaign 2016: Chaos And Compromise

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I’m mad.

I’m mad that I belong to a country incessantly intertwined in a paradoxical helix of dualisms, where compromise seems unattainable and progress seems near-impossible.

I’m mad that the air I breathe becomes more and more polluted every day, but we are unable to sacrifice convenience for the health of our environment and ourselves. I’m mad that the college that I love will likely be underwater in less than a century. I’m mad that pertinacity and pride trumps science and reason.

I’m mad that I live in a world structured by cars and convenience instead of community and well-being.

I’m mad that we can’t understand value without giving it a dollar sign.

I’m mad that the odds of my success are defined by my gender. I’m mad that our societal norms still permit rape culture to thrive. I’m mad that “equal opportunity” really means nothing.

I’m mad that race is still used as the dominant label of separation in our society.

I’m mad that we are more attuned to our differences than our similarities.

I’m mad about police violence.

I’m mad that we invest more in prisons than in education.

I’m mad at the injustice in the justice system.

I’m mad that education is a luxury good. I’m mad that so many people in my generation will begin their adult lives in debt.

I’m mad that minimum wage is just legal poverty.

I’m mad that our healthcare system is an industry. I’m mad that patients are called customers.

I’m mad about homelessness, inadequate veteran care, the electoral college, inequality, hunger, addiction, violence, and so many more things.

Most of all, I’m mad that in the first presidential election that I am eligible to vote in, I don’t believe in any of the candidates and I don’t believe the system is truly democratic. I’m mad that in my democratic government, it feels like my only choice is between the lesser of two evils.

But I will still vote because maybe the most significant lesson we learn from this election cycle is the value of compromise.

Trapped in a two-party system, our elected officials cannot seem to agree on anything, with both sides to attached to their parties to make room for progress. And so we have permitted corruption and radicalism to sprout up on both sides.

In a perfect world, perhaps we could make all of our political decisions based on our own ideology and morality. And I think it’s this dedication to our own sense of righteousness that has allowed for so many voters to go “Bernie or Bust” or Trump the system — tempted by the anti-establishment candidates in a corrupted political sphere.

We want our elected officials to be true representatives of what we believe in. But frankly, that’s impossible.

And so I am voting for Hillary Clinton because I believe that it would be selfish not to. She’s strong, smart, experienced, passionate, and rational. She has vowed to tackle issues of poverty, immigration, inequality, education and so much more.

But most importantly, she’s not a bigoted imbecile rolling around in gold paint and yelling insults. Not voting for Hillary is just permitting Trump to win, and therefore putting the entire world at risk.

There are a lot of things to be mad about. So let’s be mad! Let’s re-examine the functioning of our political system. Let’s take money out politics! Let’s make our vote count! Let’s be the change!

There are many ways to participate in democratic politics and express your political opinions, but at this point, not voting for Hillary Clinton is voting for Trump. And a Trump presidency would be the greatest national security threat we have ever faced.

A vote for anyone but Clinton is a vote for chaos.


Originally published at www.theodysseyonline.com on September 13, 2016.