Just stop

Just for a moment stop. Stop fighting. Stop trying to be right and stop trying to win. And instead, start. Start listening, start asking questions, start looking for the things you have in common and places you can compromise. We have to start to respect each other.

The way we ridicule each other’s views has got to stop, because it’s not getting us anywhere. We’re just getting angrier and sadder and exhausted.

We haven’t spent a moment trying to understand each other, instead we’ve poured our energy into anger and outrage and doing everything we can to explain why you are wrong. So let’s take a step back.

Do you support Bernie?

Do you support Bernie because you want progress? You want to disrupt the system and get money out of politics? Affordable health care, debt-free education and income equality? Do they call you an idealist, a dreamer, a young know-nothing? Prove them wrong.

Show that you will continue to fight, that this wasn’t a one off and you know that winning the most powerful leadership position in the world doesn’t always come easy. Bernie has said Not Me, US. And he means it. He might not be our President, but he needs you to find a way to make sure that America continues to progress towards and beyond the ideals that you share.

Yes Bernie wanted corruption and money out of US politics. But he didn’t want that at the cost of the civil liberties of real human people

That means making hard compromises, where you do something against some of your principles because it serves a bigger, more important good. That means working with others, often people you disagree with, because it achieves something important. It means working hard, rising above, making sacrifices, losing face and being better than you were yesterday — so that we can all have a better tomorrow.

If Bernie’s years of service mean anything it means that it doesn’t happen overnight. It didn’t for him, and it won’t for us. And we get that. And we’re frustrated and disappointed. But now we’re going to take a look and see what options are open that help continue to move America in the direction that we want. An America where everyone has an opportunity at a happy life, where everyone has a vote, where we represent and look after the little guy, and gal, and everyone in between.

Yes Bernie wanted corruption and money out of US politics. But he didn’t want that at the cost of the civil liberties of real human people. I know that’s the decision you feel you’re faced with. And it sucks that that’s the reality of situation. But it is the reality. It’s a reality he saw, and I know you can see it too.

He chose to act, to swallow his pride and make a decision that was difficult, that went in the face of things he strongly believed in; knowing people would think he had betrayed something. But ultimately knowing that, given the options, this was the best way forward, towards a better America.

Cast a vote not for the candidate that you believe in, but in the knowledge that you’re voting for an outcome you believe in.

.Voting for a third party is an option. Do that at the local and regional level. Show the country the power of a multi-party system. Give the Green and Libertarian and all the other parties a chance to make a difference locally. But at a national level, voting for the presidential candidate will not achieve what you want. It won’t get them power, it won’t send a message.

If you feel that Hillary or the Democratic party is getting away with it I’m sympathetic, but you should have no doubts, the message has been delivered. She’s struggling to beat (and in some polls losing to) Trump. A career politician who, in any normal election, would cruise to victory is really struggling against a reality tv star. Protest, speak loudly, vote angrily, but vote. Cast a vote not for the candidate that you believe in, but in the knowledge that you’re voting for an outcome you believe in.

Do you support Hillary?

Do you support Hillary because you want progress? You want a talented, successful, hard-working woman in the White House. A woman with experience, who has worked at the highest levels for years, who has the backing of the Democratic party? A party full of amazing, smart, inspirational leaders like Barack Obama, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren. Do they call you sexist, corrupt and blind? Prove them wrong.

Prove that you’re not seeing Hillary as some God figure. Acknowledge her mistakes, where she could do better and where she’s learned from others. Be pissed off at the corruption and attitudes within the DNC. Be open to the concerns others share about this election cycle.

And share back. Share that you’re voting for her, not because she’s a woman but because she’s awesome. You’re voting because of her proven record of getting things done, of bringing together leaders to make change happen. Her success in business as a top tier lawyer and her success in politics at the upper echelons of power. Share your passion for how she inspires you with her policies and actions, and spend less time demonising her competition.

She also knows that she wins by choosing her battles and by finding allies.

I know it’s hard to hear constant demeaning attacks about her baking, or her outfits, or one hundred other things that male candidates never have to answer for. And she knows that too. But she also knows that she wins by choosing her battles and by finding allies.

So reach out to the people that support Bernie and support them, not with condescension as a gloating victorious jerk, but as a friend, an ally with more in common than apart. Understand their frustration — because it was Hillary’s frustration last time. And because you need them. Because Hillary is not victorious yet, and won’t be unless you come together.

Do you support Trump?

Or do you support Trump because you want America to be Great? You see job losses, wage cuts, changing values and a dangerous world overseas? You want someone focused on the business of creating a thriving US economy, not politics as usual. You want change. Do they call you racist, stupid and bigoted. Prove them wrong.

Show them that we all have emotional reactions, that having feelings, being passionate isn’t weakness.

Show them that we all have emotional reactions, that having feelings, being passionate isn’t weakness, isn’t wrong. Especially when we live in a difficult, complicated and scary time. But show them also that you take the time to look at the facts. You’re not stupid, you do the research and, if the facts show it, you’ll change your mind. That your beliefs are no more dictated by Trump than any other candidates’ supporters’ are, and that believing in one aspect of policy, doesn’t mean believing in all of them.

If you want change, connect with Bernie supporters over their demands for revolution. For their anti-establishment views and grassroots movement which you have shared. Support their desire to get money out of politics. If you’re worried that big business has control over politics, consider what will happen with a self-serving businessman like Trump at the helm. And recognise that maybe the biggest change we could see is having a woman in power.

If you’re passionate about getting the US economy moving faster, look for Clinton’s business savvy and ability to align a fractured party with passionate, powerful leaders into a cohesive organisation. See her family’s work delivering the greatest job growth in raw numbers of all time. See her ability to generate huge personal wealth while running one of the most complicated government departments. See how she’s moved past constant attacks from all corners again and again and come out stronger each time.

But please.

But please, whatever you do, think about actual human people. The real people that will be affected in this election. I know it’s easy to get caught up in the larger philosophical debates and feel like some changes have been coming for a long time. That maybe having a radical president is the only way to accelerate that change — even if they’re not a great president.

But take a moment and think about the human cost. Think about the people on the street that will be affected by the outcome of this election in the days after.

Think about families ripped apart due to poorly thought out anti-immigration plans grounded in zero experience. Think about the hatred that will seep into the streets as the fear of a few violent extremists manifests as violence towards the masses.

Perhaps in the end, it will be Ted Cruz who is remembered in this election, with some very good advice:

Vote your conscience.