I have hesitated writing a political post, as there is already too much of this out there in cyberspace. But I, along with many others, will be glad to see the end of so much divisive, ugly campaigning. Still, we live in a marvelous country where we are free to vote according to our conscience.
I’ve read numerous opinions in blogs, on Facebook, in newspapers/magazines, and in email. I do see merit in the various arguments on both sides of the presidential race. Though, I confess, I don’t care much for the too frequent dogmatic attitudes of “I’m right, you’re wrong”, or “I know/understand, you don’t”. I have family and friends I think highly of on both sides, and I respect all their opinions.
I have long been politically conservative and a faithful Republican. But I am dismayed at where the Republican party has steered recently, and especially with the man who heads the ticket this election. I cannot vote for him. I have strong objections to the person and the ideals of the Democratic nominee, and can’t vote for her. In my state of Oregon my vote won’t matter, as it will go Democratic in any case, so I will write in a candidate. Of the many articles I have read, perhaps this one (from an old college friend) best sums up my feelings (though I won’t be voting for McMullin):
As for the Republican Party, I listened to a thought provoking This American Life (episode 600) podcast about how feelings on immigration have shaped this election, and the party. This is perhaps a major reason Trump became the Republican nominee.
I think it is a basic human instinct to distrust and fear those who aren’t like ourselves–who look different, are a different color, dress differently, speak a different language, worship differently, etc. Perhaps this trait is buried in our genes, from tribal warfare and survival instincts. And there is still much of this in the world today. We, in this melting pot of the USA, have both benefited from and struggled with immigration through our history. Each immigrant group has encountered obstacles, and many continue to face them, though most assimilate and contribute to society over time (think Irish, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.).
While I have high respect for Islam as a religion, and Muslim people and communities I have come to know, I can understand reservations many have about increasing Muslim populations in their communities (and the nation). We see terrorism, ISIS, 9/11, bombings in Europe, and much more due to radical Islam. And it is natural to be alarmed when minority groups grow in size and begin “taking over” our schools and communities. My Mormon ancestors were chased out of Missouri and Illinois, and became refugees for similar perceptions.
Still, I think we must rise above these baser instincts. We in the USA must be better than that. Here is a link to a short video in that regard: