History · Islam · Philosophy · Politics · Race · Racism · Religion

What is Wrong with America?

Yesterday, millions of Americans woke up to the revelation – the truly surprising reality – that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. Shock was the most substantial response – both from supporters and detractors of Trump. The most common question was, “What did everyone get wrong?”

Obviously, the polling data and the general sentiment of the American public that was shown to the media was wrong. The idea that Hillary Clinton held a commanding lead among her competitors for the highest office in the land where wrong – at least in the sense of how we, the people, elect a president in the United States. The media was wrong, pure and simple – and trying not to digress into another topic, for that I am glad (we seem to have an insatiable dependence on what the media tells us day in and day out, and with that, we take everything as Gospel that we are fed by them.)

It’s true, Donald Trump has said some incredibly nasty and immoral things. Not debatable. It’s also true that Hilary Clinton has shown herself to be undependable and immoral as well. Regardless of you social view, your economic view or you views on just about anything, our choices were not great at all. I personally believe that no matter who won the election, we would not be in a good place, so it begs me to ask, if these two were our best choices, what is wrong with America?

The first thing that is wrong is that we are a divided nation. Culturally, socially, religiously, even scientifically, we are divided. I have my personal views and beliefs, and the lady sitting next to me has her own. We all have our own problems – some may be economic, some may be racial, some may be religious, some may be educational – regardless of what these problems are, we all have something. For the past eight years, because we have had a black president, we have seen an uncovering of the deep racial divide in this country. “On Black” crime has become a buzzword – and we see it almost every day that somewhere, something happened to a young black person – typically a male. This can be from a police officer, a racist white person, or a black person, again, regardless of who perpetrated it, there is something. The nation has focused on this because the media has, as well as the black community as a whole. The focus on this is not wrong, it is a severe problem for this country, but because of these issues, we have a tendency to turn a blind eye to other problems. With media coverage, we have seen a decline in LGBT discrimination – though i would guess it is about the same as it was, if not worse. We have seen a decline in coverage of domestic economic depravity, though again, I would assume it remains and is probably worse. We have seen a decline on climate issues – though again, I don’t think our climate is any better off then it was eight years ago. Climate change, in fact, was barely, if at all, a topic of discussion during the presidential debates. Why is this? Simple, we are a one issue nation. We take one issue and wed run with it.

I can see people through the computer screen opening up another browser window to search for something to refute me, but lets look at it:

Religious Right – simple, abortion. Not even being pro-life as a whole, abortion is the mainstay for the religious right. A vote against Trump, i was told, was a vote against life.I have been told that this one issue is the only issue that matters. Congrats to you, you now have Donald Trump as president of the United States

#blacklivesmatter – again, pretty simple – you must vote for the candidate that will lead African-Americans to rise out of the prejudices of White America like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Like abortion, this is seen as a worthy cause by many. I don’t debate the fact that black lives matter, they do, unfortunately for them, at least in their eyes, they now have Donald Trump as president.

LGBT Rights – there is two sides to this unfortunately – and rarely, unless you are homosexual, is it really important to anyone. This is especially true because of what President Obama has done over the past eight years. The idea, like the anti-abortion people is that a vote against Clinton was a vote against equality. Like the religious right, nothing else mattered.

Climate Change – again, an issue for both sides. If this is your issue, it is prett simple who you vote for, either way you roll.

Wait!!! “I have opinions on all of these!!” you say. Good for you, we all do, yet it is usually one issue or another that causes us to cast our vote. Proof of this is all over Facebook and blog posts, from our friends, or those who we thought were our friends. It didn’t matter that Trump said “grab them by the *****” in 2005, he will appoint Pro-life supreme court justices. It doesn’t matter that Hillary Clinton’s campaign scammed Bernie Sanders out of primaries, she will stand with the LGBT community. It doesn’t matter that Trump’s rhetoric was racist, fascist and anti-american, he is a conservative blah blah. It doesn’t matter that Hillary Clinton is a liar and was irresponsible with classified information, she will protect black people and Muslims. None of this mattered, why, because on one issue that mattered to us individually, one way or another, we saw a champion.

The citizens of the United States have trapped themselves in one issue or another, and sadly, nothing else matters.

The second thing: The Establishment

Whether we like it or not, we have a political establishment in this country that only seeks to benefit themselves. The simple fact that for 18 years we had a Clinton or a Bush as President – and for another 4 years we still had a Clinton in the inner circle of the White House, should tell us that even though we despise our autocratic roots, we still long for an established central power. The fringe has railed constantly about the abuse of Washington D.C.’s stranglehold on power, yet we continue to abide by the will of the powerful and elect the same people over and over again. Yes, we may change from Republican and Democrat – but the people in power are still the same.

However, social media has allowed the voices of many (too many in my opinion) to be heard, and the anti-establishment crowd has defiantly emerged. For them it wasn’t Republican versus Democrat, it was the people versus a dynasty, and in this case, the people won. It was the Trump, who was elected fair and square in the Republican primaries, against Clinton who many people see as a thief who took the Democratic primary away from the more desired candidate.

Americans love not only an underdog, but we hate a bully and a cheater. Wait you say, look at Trump!! I see him, what is your point? His personality may be bullish, but he did not steal his primary. Regardless of his disposition, a lot of people saw Clinton as one who cheated her way to the candidacy – both Republicans (probably all of them) and Democrats (all those people who felt the Bern) feel that way. May not seem like a big deal, bur as we saw Tuesday night, it was.

This was a vote against the establishment – whether or not it actually hurts the establishment remains to be seen. But in its own way, it was a revolution against the powers that have held sway for three to four decades.

The third problem – Race and Gender, the Role of Equal Opportunity in our Election

I asked someone why they were voting for Hillary Clinton, their answer was, “Because she is a woman and our daughters need a woman as president so they can realize that their dreams can come true.” Not because she was more qualified, but because she was a woman.

I want to say this, I believe President Obama was a good president – not perfect by any means, and I certainly do not agree with all of his policies and agendas, yet, no one can, or should deny, that he does love this country. I do not think he was good because he is black or because he is a man, I believe he is good because our economy has slowly recovered, we have not found ourselves in WWIII, etc. I know there were people who voted for him simply because he was black – and they were wrong to do so, just as those who voted against him because he is black were as well.

Gender and race should not be on the application for President of the United States. It should not be on the checklist for qualifications. I firmly believe we will have a woman president. However, I firmly believe that will not happen because she is a woman, but because she is qualified to hold the office. Being a woman, or being black or Latino, or white, or a man does not qualify you to hold public office.

Being a woman did not qualify Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States – having dignity, fortitude, common sense, etc should be there, but not her gender. Likewise, Trump, being white and male does not qualify him to be president either. The same litmus test we use for a male candidate should be used for a female, and vice versa. This should be this way regardless of race and religion. What I am saying is this: It would not surprise me if we had a Muslim, African-American woman become President of the United States – and as long as she passed that litmus test to be qualified, more power to her.

The last problem I want to talk about goes back to the divide. There are people who believe Hillary Clinton lost because people could not handle a female president. That may be true, if so, that is a serious problem. Their are people who voted for Trump who wanted a white president in the White House, that’s a problem. We have people who hate people because of race, religion, culture and lifestyle – and that’s a problem. Having an issue with someone because of the way you believe is not a problem, but hating someone because of that is. It is a sad day for the Christian Right  in this country when it is atheists and liberals who are preaching a message of love, acceptance and forgiveness against their message of “We won, you lost, now move to Canada.” Trust me, I toned that way down. Trump, Clinton, and Obama are all right, we must come together as a country. We must heal the divide. We must stop being petty, selfish, greedy and haughty. We must lay down our pride – all sides, and come together and unify ourselves as Americans – not Republicans and Democrats, not conservatives and liberals. Even if you think everything I wrote above is bullshit, which it may be, if you love this country, and you truly want this country to succeed, we must be one people, united.

The biggest problem we have is this – we are individuals. We believe that our way is the way, and that is it. We find people with common ideals and goals and we rally together, but in the end, we are individuals. Individuality is not a bad thing, but if we can not shed ourselves of our own agenda, and that means all of us, and accept that we are all different, yet all citizens of this country. That we are all created equal in the eyes of the law of this land, we are doomed.

to those who say that Trump is not your president, you only lie to yourself. I assure you, on January 20, 2017, he will most certainly be your president. To those who vow to fight him every step of the way, I hope you only fight where it is needed, and not just because you hate the man. To those who are gloating over Trump’s victory, I hope his racists and misogynist rhetoric was just that, rhetoric. For those who believe he will be the salvation of this country, I truly hope and pray you are correct. I’ll say this to both sides, do not get your hopes up. The same problems that got us into this mess of an election are still with us today.

 

 

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