If you were an American citizen, out of all the running candidates for the 2016 presidential election who would you vote for? And which would you hate to see get into office?
First of all, I try my darndest to steer clear of political and religious discussions because many times, oh so many times, people get hot under the collar and totally bent out of shape when you challenge or disagree with their beliefs, opinions and choices. Bat shit crazy some of them get. They really do.
Also, I try hard not to inject myself into another nation’s political goings-on, and even harder when there’s a debate as heated and messy as the one the United States is in right now. Although sometimes it’s next to impossible to stifle an opinion, particularly when it feels like your country is being dragged into the whole sordid mess. What the heck am I talking about? Here’s an example: I recently ran across a political attack ad (such childish things) showing our nation’s flag and playing our national anthem. It really annoyed me and I blurted out “$#@% off, [whoever created this], leave us out of your political crap.” And that’s saying a lot because I really don’t swear. There was also a condescending emphasis on the words “socialist” and “liberal” about my country and some European ones, too, but that didn’t bother me because this.
(And click here if you'd like to see the ad I’m talking about.)
Okay, all joking and teasing and grumbling aside...
Most of all, apart from sensationalized news, an article here and there, opinions of bloggers, discussions amongst family and friends, things I stumble across on the web and stuff like that there, I’m not familiar enough with your country’s social, political and economical framework and/or issues, and even less so about the voting process, candidates, their platforms and all the key changes they’d like to make south of the border. Therefore, it’s impossible to make an intelligent and informed decision.
However, you, Adam (I am addressing you directly), are a very intelligent young man who is admirably well informed and very involved in your country’s politics, so here’s what I’m going to do. I will list a few things that are important to me and some of the things I stand for. After you’ve read through them, I would like you to suggest which political candidate may be the best fit and where I might belong on your nation’s political spectrum. Are you game? I hope so because here I go...
What appeals to me (in no particular order):
- Affordable housing
- Support for veterans; the ability to easily access any/all services
- Access to government information
- Universal health care/affordable health care
- Gun control/gun laws
- Social/recreational programs in school to engage young people
- A reasonable/livable minimum wage
- Affordable post secondary education and trade schools
- An end to unfair tax breaks
- Maternity and parental benefits
- Fair and balanced labour laws
- Accessible, affordable mental health care services
- The welcoming of refugees (right now it’s Syrians) during a humanitarian crisis
- Marriage equality/LGBT rights ("There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation", Pierre Trudeau; 15th prime minister of Canada and late father of current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau)
- Complete separation of church and state
- Action on climate change
- Peacekeeping operations
- Physician-assisted death
- Rehabilitation instead of longer sentencing
- Education, work programs and appropriate therapy to help prisoners transition into the free world
- Clean energy
- A tax break for the middle class
- No government-sponsored partisan ads
- Assistance, aid to the poorest and most vulnerable locally
- Foreign aid; assistance, aid to the poorest and most vulnerable around the world as needed
- Diversity in Government, public sector
- The outlawing of capital punishment
- Equality and non discrimination ("Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948)
There is more but let’s stop here.
I want to live in a country that is recognized for its compassion, progressiveness, tolerance, diversity, humanitarianism and support of equal rights for all citizens. I want to live in a country that makes great efforts to eliminate poverty and give everyone, regardless of economic circumstances, equal opportunities to succeed. I want to live in a country that keeps church and state separate; religion is a personal matter but state affairs/services concern/affect/are shared by everyone. I don’t need to know nor do I care whether a candidate is religious or not, and what religion they practice if they practice any. That is irrelevant to me. I want to live in a country that is proud of the diversity of its people and promotes mutual respect among its citizens.
I want a leader who is diplomatic, respectful, courteous, open minded and progressive. I want a leader that unites rather than divides. Someone who promotes peace.
So tell me, is there a candidate that would appeal to me?
And as for who I wouldn’t want to see elected, there are two that I find very disturbing. As human beings. I won’t name names or point fingers. Instead, I’ll give a description of how I perceive them and you see if you can figure out who I’m referring to.
One is a serial lying, racist, sexist, arrogant, offensive, misogynistic, foul-mouthed, vain, opportunistic, xenophobic bully. I’d be embarrassed to have him representing me on the world stage.
The other is also a manipulative, arrogant, hypocritical, serial liar who employs dirty tricks and bends the truth (or just flat out lies) to get ahead. He seems to have absolutely no moral compass and I wouldn’t trust him to take out my garbage.
And that’s all I’m going to say. Now, I hope I didn’t offend anyone but if I did, well [shrug], that’s the way it goes sometimes. It just means that we can't agree to disagree.
More answers to your questions next week. Have a good one, everyone!