Tuesday, July 19, 2016

There Isn't a Home

In the arena of America politics, there isn't a home where as a Catholic, I can feel comfortable.  I know good earnest noble intelligent caring people across the political spectrum. I know some who say, here is your home, because you oppose this...insert issue A. They are correct, I oppose issue A. It is insufficient reason. I know others who say come over here, it is obvious you don't belong over there. We have issue B and C.  It doesn't matter. If my faith is the determinative factor on voting and not ideology, then neither party deserves my support.  I cannot reject half of my values to affirm one, or ignore that one for the same reason.  I can't.  Not if I want to hold true to any of my faith.  Not one pinch of incense for either false god.

Neither candidate should hold power. Neither is a good decision, only a negative decision. Whether for Trump or Hillary, I can't give my assent without being tarred by the muck each candidate has chosen to embrace.  I cannot support either candidate if giving such support results in having to pretend corrupt isn't corrupt, evil isn't evil, incompetent isn't incompetent, and ignorant isn't ignorant. To support either is to somehow contort one's values and shoehorn them into the slipper for either R or D.  For me, neither shoe fits.

These candidates are real people with serious character flaws. I concede, one of these two damaged souls will win but not with my help. Today, I reject both parties and their proposed candidates.  I have never not voted, but I don't think in good faith I can assent to either ever. To me, they are both Barabbas. They are both something other than good, and the position of President is something that ought not to be given to one of these two least kind, least selfless, least ethical, least honest or generous candidates to enter the public arena in a long time.

To those who say, "No! You'll waste your vote."  No.  I am holding my vote.  It is not something someone is guaranteed because of their party.  It is something that must be earned.  No one has done anything to earn my trust, let alone my vote.

Why do I say there is no good choice?  It is not because I despair of good in this world or in people. I know I am not the only one who knows many on both sides of the political spectrum.   I know I am not the only one to be able to name names of people with R's and D's affiliated to their voting record that are to a person, decent, kind, thoughtful, diligent, people of good character.  I imagine most are trying to make the best of a situation they did not choose and do not want.

When I look at the fruits of pledging fealty to either side, both candidates demand too many compromises.   Anyone who doesn't fit one's political template is thus exiled to the political equivalent of Hell, for having thought otherwise.  Modern politics seems to thrive on this sort of instant US THEM, US GOOD, THEM EVIL sort of nonsense. This sort of rigid dismissal of all who think otherwise must be rejected.

Whatever that is, it's not American or Catholic, or even sensible. It's not healthy for anyone to presume to reading other people's hearts when we cannot even see each other's faces.     We are all more than politics, or we're supposed to be, and to be Catholic, we even have to see those we consider our enemies, as made in the likeness of God, and worthy of dignity, worthy of love.  It's too easy to give into snark, to vitriol, to declaring the other side willfully ignorant or deliberately evil.   It allows us to dismiss whole swaths of others and feel smug in doing so.

We are a diverse nation, with multiple reasons for our decisions, both pragmatic and ideological, social and personal, ethic based and steeped in history. By our very ordinary acts of everyday civility, and the peaceful transition of power from administration to administration, all of us prove, our great capacity for tolerance, our great capacity for diversity of thought, our ability to coexist despite what the political parties believe.

So while I don't have any faith or trust in the candidates, I do still hold great hope in the promise and reality of the everyday R's and D's.  I'm thinking they would probably prefer to skip both conventions, go to a local watering hole and complain about the candidate they got stuck with for this go around.

We'll survive whoever wins, because we are bigger than any one candidate.  Politics would have us always believe this is the critical juncture, (regardless of the year) where utopia or doomsday is around the corner.   I reject the damning despair and false hope presented.  The universe will go on, as it should, and it will the results of all of our efforts in the every day that determine whether we become a better nation or not.







3 comments:

Dennis McGeehan said...

An honest admission of your point of view. Mine is different. The next President will most likely appoint three or more Supreme Court Justices who will rule on matters and settle law for the next thirty to fifty years. For me the life issues are paramount. HRC is all in for abortion at any time for any reason. Trump claims he is now pro-life and the Republican platform is the most Pro-life it has been in years. An HRC win will absolutely cause millions of innocent lives to be lost. A Trump victory offers hope for a curtailment of the killing. That is how I see this election. Are there other candidates I would prefer over Trump? Yes, but they are not on the ticket.I personally feel I must do what I can to elect people who are Pro-life. I will cast my vote and then pray.

Marisa said...

You could not have articulated my position any more accurately. As it is my duty to vote, I will vote - probably for the libertarian party. I know Johnson is not pro-life, but I do t believe that Trump really is either, and Trump has so many other strikes against him, especially when it comes to human rights issues. At least Johnson supports parental notification and is against partial-birth abortions. Johnson is not a perfect fit for me, but I trust him way more than I trust the other two.

Bharath Narasiman said...

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