LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

My name is Jon Davidson.

I am an American citizen, born and raised. I care about this country deeply. I’ve lived here for all but one year of my life. I’ve been to all 50 states, and continue to be amazed by the natural beauty, the geographic and demographic diversity, and the incredible people that make America great. I am happy to call the United States of America my home.

I was raised Republican, and voted for a Republican president once, in the first election I was old enough to vote in. Since then, my heart and mind have been changing, as I’ve learned to think for myself and have seen the ways that each party’s platforms tangibly impact the average American. I’ve obvserved the influence that an imperialistic, us-first mindset has on the global economy, international relations, and our society here at home. I’ve discerned the effects that loosened environmental regulations have had on our already-reeling planet. I’ve struggled to buy healthcare because of a pre-existing condition. A school shooting took place two miles from my house. I have friends who have experienced racism and sexism in the name of white male privilege, and other friends who have been injured and lost loved ones in pointless wars. I’ve seen the ways that the ideals espoused by Trumpism and the Tea Party directly contradict the teachings of the Jesus many Republicans claim to believe in.

I’m now a proud Oregon Democrat. I recently got involved with volunteering for the Democratic Party, and have worked on social media for a US House of Representatives candidate as well as two Oregon counties.

The 2018 election is just days away, and its results hold dramatic implications for our country’s future, perhaps more so than any other midterm election within my lifetime. Democrats saw firsthand the disastrous results of too many well-meaning people standing by, lacking passion, and expecting someone else to do the work in 2016. Simply voting is not enough. Simply denouncing Trump’s vile agenda isn’t enough. It’s time to put change into action, to make our platform clear, and to demonstrate how what we stand for will better the life of every American.

The Democratic Party is not just the party that despises Trump and decries Kavanaugh. It is the party of change. The party that cares about economic equality, not padding the pockets of the rich. About funding education, not a Space Force. The party that cares about renewable energy, not a dying, deadly fossil fuel industry. About the environment and the planet’s future. The party that cares about the global economy, about our relationships with other nations. The party that cares about women’s rights. About immigrant rights. About rights for all races and ethnicities. About worker’s rights. About gay rights. About rights for the elderly. About the right to vote. About rights for Muslims, Jews, Christians. Everybody. The party that cares about social justice. About freedom of speech and freedom of the press. About transparency in corporate and political spending. About safety, and a future, for our children. The party that wants our nation to return to its ideals: liberty and justice for all, not just for the rich, the white, the male, the Christian, the straight. We are the party of the future, not the past.

I think, therefore I am a Democrat. An American. With a voice, with hands, with feet. I will not sit still, thinking that my voice and my vote don’t matter. I will continue to find ways to use the skills and time that I have to not only help move Democrats to action, but to help independent voters think long and hard about what is best for them, for their country, and for the lives of every American. I encourage you to do the same.

No party or politician is perfect. I encourage you not to vote strictly along party lines, but to examine each issue and each candidate and vote based on your own in-depth analysis. Along the way, though, don’t be swayed by rhetoric or politics of hate, of fear, or of lies; choose to vote for love, for inclusion, for change.

Are you paying attention? Are your eyes and ears open? If so, how can you sit idly by? It’s time. Let your voice be heard. Vote. Do.

This. Election. Matters.

Long after the ballots have been cast and counted, regardless of the final results, I will not give up the belief that the United States of America stands for liberty and justice for all. I will do all I can to treat with kindness those who disagree with me, and to help show them, through intelligent, respectful discourse, that each person’s life is just as valuable as their own.

I will not give up on this great country, though it has given up on so much of what makes it great.

My name is Jon Davidson, and I am an American.