I’m not a fan of politics.
In fact, I hate politics. I think it’s an ugly, nasty and corrupt necessary evil in our world. I try to never get involved in a political debate and I don’t really indulge on people’s political positions. As long as we can coincide with one another in harmony then it’s all gravy baby.
BUT, that recently changed for me.
For the first time in eight years, the country I’m from, the United States, is going to have a new president. I’ve always been a fan of Obama and the fact that by law, we the people MUST elect a new president is a little nerve wracking.
That being said, unless you’re living under a rock then you know that one of our candidates is Donald Trump. That’s right, in your face, misogynistic, racist, “ya fired”, Donald Trump. At first I laughed off his candidacy. I mean, the United States is compiled of some pretty intelligent people, surely he would NEVER be President, right? I would even jokingly try to explain to my international friends that this was NOT the United States pulling a prank on the world. But then he picked up some momentum, started winning some primaries and things started to change for me.
I realized that this election is pretty monumental in our country’s history. So I started to pay more attention.
Which brings me to my FIRST political rally. Yesterday I was able to join thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters on a GORGEOUS Rhode Island spring day.
I’ll admit, I feel the Bern. That man had me sold the minute he said he wanted to have free college education. Guess what Americans, MOST OF THE WORLD HAS FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION, IT’S REALLY NOT A RADICAL IDEA. I hate this whole nonsense of “oh well taxes are going to be raised” or “nobody will be able to get a job if everyone’s educated”.
You know what’s ridiculous, is the fact that MILLIONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE who busted their ass through college, pulled all nighters to get those papers done, worked three jobs so they could pay for that summer session are now THOUSANDS of dollars in debt. All because we were fed the assumption that without a college degree you couldn’t have a decent job. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN DEBT FOR YEARS. People paying their student loans for 20+ years, GTFOH. Why would you want to cripple the generation that is going to help progress the country?
CONGRATULATIONS ON GRADUATION, here’s your degree in “you’re f*cked”, good luck.
Sander’s platform on free college education was the only one that I was super familiar with so I went to the rally to find out what else he believed in. I was pleasantly surprised to see the types of people that came out to show their support. There was old lovers holding hands, kids playing with balloons, young people, moms, dads, dogs, vets, nurses, nuns, muslims, musicians, teachers. There was a slew of languages gracing my ears. People from every walk of like coming to support this candidate.
I was already liking what I was seeing.
Quickly acquiring a pretty sweet sunglasses tan I patiently waited for the man of the hour and when he came I was not disappointed. Like a force of thunder, out came Bernie and the crowd went wild. He went off into his speech like a nascar driver given the green light. His speech wasn’t riddled with hateful rhetoric. He didn’t waste his time bashing his fellow candidates. He didn’t point blame to any particular minority. His platforms on free college education, more attention to mental illness, addiction, women’s rights, veteran benefits, climate change, taxation on Wall ST. and so many more were eye opening for me. These weren’t outlandish platforms in fact, the more he talked the more I realized something, these platforms were basic common needs.
Yes we should have free education.
Yes senior citizens shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg on prescriptions.
Yes woman should be paid the same as men.
Yes we need a mental health reform.
Yes we need to rethink the war on drugs.
Yes we need to recognize climate change.
Yes the executives in Wall Street shouldn’t be bailed out repeatedly.
Yes we should be able to love and marry who we want, where we want, when we want.
Yes to all of this.
I found myself cheering and clapping along with the people around me. It was invigorating, this man reminded me that I was proud to be an American. That America wasn’t the obese, greedy, joke that we had become in the media. America was a country worth standing up for and Bernie was taking the first stand.
For once the things I had been thinking to help our country progress with the rest of the world were being said aloud by a political official. In fact, someone who could be our next President! I felt like Bernie was King Arthur and I was one of his loyal knights around the round table. With his courageous speech I was willing to fight whatever political battle may ensue in the next couple of months and do what I had to do to support him.
I left the rally feeling elated. Children were asking questions about the rally, people were conversing about all they just heard, everybody was happy. Then a truck embellished in Trump signs drove along this cheerful crowd screaming obscenities. In that very moment I realized that we as Americans cannot let hate win. That’s what this election has come down to, being strong enough to resist the hate. Politics are just an ugly sport for some who want to do nothing but create more hateful people.
But we are better than that.
We are smarter than that.
So whoever you vote for, whoever your ideals align with, all I ask is to not let the hate win. Help to create a better country for your family, your kids, the person standing next to you on the subway, like Mr. Sanders says, “create a future you can believe in.”