Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Better to build bridges than to build walls

I realize it has been some time since I posted here, and for that I apologize. Truth is, I've been trying not to be a writer of late. 
Writing has been so important to me for the most recent half of my life, which translates into about 30 plus years. I've always used writing to express my hopefulness and positive inspiration. Thing is, there isn't always hope and inspiration has two sides.

...which brings me to the state of the country and the most recent primary election.

I'm an avowed Democrat, only because I believe in the philosophy the Democratic Party espouses, even if it doesn't always live up to its own values. Then again, as much as we all try, who does? It is hard to hold firm to everything we believe in when outside forces often times make that so difficult.

That said, my inspiration this morning, is a mixed bag. 

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton,
Democratic Nominee
for President of the U.S. 2016
On one hand, I was thrilled to see Hillary Clinton secure the Democratic
nomination for President. First and foremost, I'm proud  of the continuation of a hard-fought progression of this historic undertaking. Woman have fought long and hard for equality, but that doesn't mean they are the same as men. In fact, the differences between women and men and how they think is precisely why I wanted to see a woman in the White House. Equality does not now, nor ever did mean that men and woman are the same. It is just all about fair treatment under the law.

For those who despise Hillary Clinton, I'm sorry you feel that way. There have been stories made up about the Clintons since they entered the national stage. So many of them have been debunked, fallen away like too many foul balls that never made it over the plate. I've heard the criticisms, and I can't help but wonder how many of them are simply made up by men of the opposing party who seem to be unable to cope with a strong woman in a leadership position. Misogyny has proven to be very real, even in this day and age.

Consider the fact that no one, perhaps not even Hillary herself, knows just what she will do or how she will react, when it is she who sits at that desk in the oval office. I don't feel she can be judged necessarily, based on her job as First Lady, past votes in the U.S. Senate or even her deeds as Secretary of State. She was always a part of someone else's administration. It is far different to take someone else's orders than to be the one giving them and being responsible for how and by whom they are carried out.

What president has ever been seen with prior crystal ball clarity, even when it entails their own policies and procedures? Things happen! Pre-planning isn't necessarily the name of the game when it comes to governing a country. The game does, however, require experience, intelligence, ability, and a knowledge of every consequence. The U.S. President has to be able to react in a moment's notice, and with judgment, strength, and understanding, to every disaster and potential crisis thrown at them.

I don't know of anyone on the national stage that is as prepared as Hillary Clinton to do that.

That brings me to the other side of my inspirational need to write about this primary election.

Image result for public images of Bernie SandersWhile Sen. Bernie Sanders has energized many folks, especially young people, his job is far from over. History will not remember that he held huge rallies and scored millions of votes in a primary election. History will remember him for what he does next.

In my view, it is time for him to have a teaching moment with his followers. Many of them are young and inexperienced. They don't know the history, and have likely never participated in national politics before. I would bet most never even participated in their own local politics either.

Bernie said all the right things. I felt the Bern at first as well. I believe all the things he believes. It was so gratifying to hear someone on the national stage and running for President who espoused the same things I believe. It was like he spoke directly from my own soul. But then I started to question how he could get them done. I've seen how government operates. It is a long, drawn out process. It is like the U.S. government operates on dial-up while the rest of us connect at higher and higher speeds. While I am still hopeful that Bernie can get done the things he is passionate about, and that I am passionate about too, it could never be as President. Barack Obama's inability to get things done with an obstructionist Congress is a perfect example of why Sanders would fail.

Sanders has never been tested in the way that Clinton has been tested. The GOP never took him serious enough to try to annihilate his character or demean his very existence as they have with the Clintons. We don't know how Sanders would react to that type of unfair, unethical scrutiny. The opposing media never hammered on his every word. Bernie Sanders was an unknown in that regard.

Bernie Sanders could very well beat Donald Trump in the election, but there is so much more to governing than campaigning.

Bernie has done little to change the membership in Congress or help individual governors get elected. The GOP and especially the tea-party wing of the party has to go. That is part of what a political party does. Bernie has simply not played the game. To a political party, the election of senators, representatives, governors and mayors is almost as important to the operation of a united country as electing a President.

Many of the criticism of the Democratic Party are by some who have never participated in it before. If I were Bernie, I would challenge all my supporters to participate in their own local elections, to run for office themselves if they feel strongly enough, and to study how a local political system operates. That is how things change, from the bottom up. Young people who are interested in how things operate and are inspired to change it, need to stick with it.

There is no place in politics for instant gratification. If young people aren't willing to start at the bottom and work their way up, they don't understand how it works. If real change is going to happen in this country, it will not happen in one election cycle. If this really is a movement, then it is imperative that it continue.

My hope is that Bernie Sanders and all his supporters continue to stay active and involved. Reach out and work with the next President of the United States to make the changes we all want and need.

The most important thing Hillary Clinton said when she secured the delegates needed to clinch the nomination Tuesday, was that it was better to build bridges than to build walls. While she aimed that remark toward Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee she will likely face in November, it is true for all people in all aspects of life.

Isn't it time all Americans come together and fight for what we all want? Don't we all just want a better country and a better way of life for everyone?