Why I May Stay Home On Election Night

Let me start off by saying that I have participated in every election I’ve been allowed to vote in since 2004. I took a bunch of American History classes in college, and frequently enjoy reading American History Biographies and History books. I love this country and I love our history. I also thoroughly encourage any and all people with the ability to vote, to go out and do so in November. And with all that being said, I think this year for the first time in my adult life, I’m going to stay home on election day. Now let me tell you why.

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This country was founded by some truly great men who spoke of rights and privileges and big ideas in a totally different way. They said things that were uniting. They literally created a country out of nothing. In the Declaration of Independence is a line so crucial and important to this country it saddens me not many people can quote it.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

That’s powerful stuff. Somewhere in the last quarter century or so we’ve been slipping. We’ve lost sight of many of these beliefs. We’ve forgotten as the people that we have the power to change the system. We don’t need to look to anyone but ourselves to blame as to why we’ve become a nation on the brink of immense fracture. There’s no doubt in my mind that there is a significant divide in this country, we are constantly being torn apart on wage inequality, gender inequality, marriage inequality etc. but rather than allowing the media to use these issue to shift us further apart, we need to pause and refocus. We need to foster a debate outside of party lines, outside of red states vs blue states, one that exists beyond that of Democrats and Republicans and instead of riot and fight each other for having different beliefs or views from one another, take the time to openly discuss why something should or shouldn’t matter.

As a registered “Republican” I’ve become completely disenfranchised with our entire political system. I put the word Republican in quotation marks because in 2016 the only policies of this antiquated party I truly believe in is their fiscal conservatism. We have candidates like Marco Rubio who stand up and spew religious based policies on how marriage is only amongst a man and a woman and was never intended otherwise in God’s eyes. What happened to the separation of church and state Marco? Leave alone for a second the fact that the Supreme Court voted, and ruled in favor of allowing same sex marriage but here we are still allowing this to be a hot button topic. It’s bonkers. All it does is divide. It’s 2016, we should no longer be debating social issues that help to divide this country. Instead, perhaps we should look at all of issues facing our country today and decide together how we can unite as a country to fix them. Social issues should no longer be subject to a party’s platform. We need to definitively allow the Supreme Court to rule on laws as such, and be able to accept these decisions and we have to evolve past these issues as a country.

We have a broken education system, we have a severely handicapped healthcare system, a failing social security system, and a mounting debt crisis but please, by all means, lets continue to argue about what constitutes a legal marriage. For all the bigoted racist nonsense Donald Trump expels, it is fairly evident why people can relate to him. They want to destroy the established elitism in this country and drift away from the 200+ year system that many feel is broken and has left them behind. It’s understandable, hell it is even relatable! But that is because this country no longer discusses divisive issues but allows our political candidates and the media alike to throw jet fuel on their respective fires.

One of the more troublesome things to me about this election year is that while we are in a state of incredible shifting tides in our country, the parties are doing their utmost to divide us even further. You have candidates like Bernie Sanders waging war on high income individuals and Wall Street, as if their wealth and prosperity was the work of the devil himself. How about, politicians use their respective debate platforms and town hall gatherings not to discuss the reasons why we as Republicans or Democrats are right or wrong on a particular issue, but rather we take these opportunities to look at the real problems facing our country and see how we can grow together to fix these various complications facing our nation. Instead, they talk about the things that tear us apart and divide us further. It’s frustrating. They pit neighbor against neighbor the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960’s. We’re drifting further and further apart and all we’re hearing about are things like walls around Mexico, eliminating immigrants from coming into the U.S. and more nonsense like this. Why are we not discussing things like the mounting fiscal crisis in the form of our National Debt? Topics that truly matter like healthcare reform, social security reform, and budgetary reform get pushed aside to discuss ludicrous concepts like walls for Mexico. What am I missing here? I just can’t relate anymore. I don’t understand how we got to this point. 2008 brought with it a campaign of “Hope” by President Obama. But the only hopes I have now fall somewhere along the lines of praying to God that this country doesn’t fall to shit. It truly worries me at times that I am sitting here at my laptop witnessing the fall of Rome. Right in front of my very eyes.

America used to be a nation where debates happened, policies were discussed, voted on, and new laws were put into place to BETTER its people. We now live in a society where lawmakers pass laws strictly for their own financial gain or benefit. Where the political system in my honest opinion, is so rigged for perpetual stalemates nothing can be accomplished anymore. You have a president who passes executive orders like they’re going out of style. We’re at the point where serious campaign finance reform needs to not only be discussed but enacted into law in order to start altering the political landscape. And yet not a single candidate currently running for president addresses these issues. We as a nation lack the ability to truly make fundamental changes to our system because there’s only two parties. Without true third party options, without true dedicated debates to discuss the issues facing this country, I’m left wondering where we are going to be 1 year from now, let alone another 4 years. We live in a system now where politicians point fingers at one another and play the party blame game about why our country is failing when we should all be looking in the mirror and pointing the finger at ourselves. We have lost the ability in this country to start small from our local towns and communities to foster debates in our own neighborhoods and instead we rely solely on an elected group of individuals sitting in Washington who are more concerned about their next reelection than your job being outsourced overseas or what is going on at home.

The truth of the matter is, that yes, our system is broken. Who broke it is no longer up for debate and we have to go to the drawing board in order to ensure the next 200 years of American prosperity. We as a country have allowed ourselves to get to this point and it frightens me to think of just how bad it could truly get 4 years down the road with someone like Donald Trump as President.. I’m taking myself out of the game only because today, as it stands, not one of these individuals running for president deserves my vote. Should it not frighten the shit out of you that someone like Paul Ryan who many consider a superstar within his own party, would rather run away from this election instead of actually get his hands dirty and try to help? The system is broken. The only question left that remains now, is if someone like Donald Trump is going to blow it up completely, or if we will be left griping about a continued status quo under someone like Hillary Clinton. Maybe I lose the benefit of being able to complain if I don’t vote. Maybe I don’t. All I know is that serious change is needed and it’s not going to come from someone who wants to wage financial war on China, nor someone who has already shown questionable leadership capabilities in her time as Secretary of State. We’re lost and I for one, am no longer afraid to admit I’m scared.

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