VOTE: Tuesday, June 7!!

On June 6, 2016, in Past Morning Briefs, by David

12_fairey_vote_0_frontTomorrow is a big day, and I feel it’s time to speak up on some ideas I’ve been knocking around lately.

I’ve tried to jump into the flow of political discourse this year with several full-length columns, but have scrapped them for one reason or another. Mostly because every time it feels like we hit a new crazy, I try to dissect it and discuss but then another, newer, crazier crazy is born.

This year, expectations have truly been defied. Along with logic, common sense, and the boundaries of the absurd. Hard to know what to compare it to without being hyperbolic. So I’ll just say, these are heady times. Strap on your seatbelt. And prepare yourself for a rocky ride on the rollercoaster that is the United States.

There are three people running in the California Presidential primary on Tuesday who will gather the lion’s share of attention and votes. Two of them, I believe, could make excellent Presidents of the United States. The third represents one of the most epic and downright scary choices this country would have ever made.

So let’s not make it. Please. At all costs. And now let’s take a moment to consider our worthy contenders:

Hillary Clinton has been there. She was a major part of her husband’s extremely successful 8-year tenure in the White House. Bill Clinton was a charismatic and positive leader who took this country a long way. Mostly in the right direction. If you’ve ever been a part of a winning team, you know that it stays with you. And you know that no matter what the role, or whatever credit you receive, succeeding at a difficult task is a tremendous reward in itself. Plus you get more.

From there, Hillary chose to gain experience. As a leader; as a senator. There she landed on the right side and the wrong side of some big issues. And learned even more about how government works. And doesn’t. As Secretary of State, one of the most important jobs in the land, she spent four challenging years cleaning up America’s diplomatic mess overseas. Save for two contentious episodes (Benghazi and the private e-mail server; small potatoes IMO), she was a part of another tremendously successful presidential team.

The Barack Obama Presidency has been remarkable. Against all odds. And every kind of opposition. Obama has succeeded with patience, diplomacy, and by and large dignity and eloquence. He, along with his Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton and another presidential Secretary, John Kerry, has helped pull America back together. Oh, it’s still a mess. But Barack Obama takes no blame there. He’s achieved so much in 8 years. But we are far from healed as a country.

For me, Hillary’s experience and years of taking unwarranted neo-conservative heat means a lot. I feel confident that as President she will lead America well.

Then there’s Bernie.

Because of his belief system, his willingness to address issues from an incredibly healthy place, and his ability to inspire the hardest to impress, Bernie can well be classified a once in a lifetime candidate. Not since Kennedy has so much confidence and Hope been inspired. Though Barack made a run at that legacy, too.

Bernie’s elevated the dialogue for what I hope is a very long time. And whether he becomes the President or not, I hope we will have a candidate every election who takes us on this ride. It’s not too much to ask at all. Would that we had better choices and every election in America will have at least one World Class candidate. Though that day seems a long way away.

And while I intend to cast my vote on Tuesday for the candidate I believe is best, I realize that my vote is only one of many in a highly convoluted process. I cast it as a wish, and a promise to do my best to elevate the truest and brightest. And support an American Dream that applies to 100% of us, not 10% or 1% or less.

Which brings me to the one thing I’d like for everyone who is with me so far to agree upon, regardless of whether they’re for Hillary or Bernie. Whoever wins the Democratic Party’s nomination, we’ve got to all come together to avoid electing a fascist candidate, one who by all indications will take us down many, many dark and dangerous paths. Many of which could have tremendous, unpredictable consequences. No matter what, we’ve got to come together.

Can we please all agree on that? Vote your heart and your mind and your passion on Tuesday. Do that as much as you can whenever you vote. Please also consider what we need to succeed as a Team. Compromise. Understanding. Hard work. Sometimes not loving the way things work out while still learning, growing, and focusing energy on the positive. Seeing the big picture.

When and what got you involved in this election? What made you start thinking and talking about it? Let it keep you motivated throughout the summer, through the National election, and all that follow. This nation needs more earnest, engaged people who want to do what they can on every level.

Sometimes that’s taking on a role you’d much rather not. Being a team player. And recognizing that a win for our side is more important than a loss for the big picture, even if you come out smelling like a rose. Tough lesson. Not super fun. But essential. We need those team players now more than ever.

That’s all I’m saying. Keep on talking. Vote, and encourage others to as well. And please get involved with a system that no one likes because no one feels empowered by it. Decide to be involved and you will be empowered.

Maybe one day all Presidential candidates will be as qualified and full of potential as Bernie and Hillary. Until then, and even after, there’s a lot of work to be done.

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