On November 6th, Americans are going back to the polls (the vast majority won’t, but they have the option) to vote in another ‘most important election of our lifetime,’ which has become the agreed slogan used by people on both sides who want to create fear that the world will be destroyed if ‘they’ don't win.
In truth, people with any semblance of sanity don't agree with everything the party they vote for believes in. Many people may not even be aware of many of the issues their party believes in, and for many people, voting is about identity and not issues. Most Americans support a candidate that they believe most closely relates to their current worldview, and most people aren't too far left or right from the centerline.
‘America can't claim to be a country that accepts others and be tolerant if factions in society can't even tolerate each other having different beliefs.’
However, as anyone who watches any cable news can attest to, this isn't the view the media or politicians promote. Agreement, and anything less than total commitment to the cause doesn't suit their agenda, and feeding division is big business. The more anger and violence they can incite and report on, the more they can inspire commitment from their base, and the better the stories they have to tell. Contrary to what political leaders and the media promote, people on the ‘other side’ are typically not bad people. The bad people are easy to spot; they're the ones who are calling for society to be uncivilized and violent towards each other. They want fighting, and Americans need to stay focused on what everyone wants: a better country. America can't claim to be a country that accepts others and be tolerant if factions in society can't even tolerate each other having different beliefs.
And this leads into an area where US politics is getting into messy waters: fear-mongering and the delusion that one party has a higher moral standard than the other. It doesn't. Whether it's election rigging, sexual abuse, corruption, lying, abuse of power, dirty money from lobbyists (cash for votes), racism, or any other scummy behavior, for every person who can be named on Team A, there is someone on Team B to match (although some individuals are clearly worse than others). Pretending otherwise is delusional. Don't believe it? Go research – here’s your starting point: A list of sexual abuse scandals in the last year.
One party has no less dirt than the other, and the people who are shocked or can’t accept this truth have allowed their ideology to let them overlook and condone the very things they claim to hate. They are not voting based on issues, they are voting on identity. They’re not as interested in what their party believes, instead they they are concerned about how others perceive them based on judgments about the party they support.
‘Society’s voting is influenced by, in psychological terms, Social Desirability Bias and the Hawthorne Effect, not one’s view on the party’s protocols as it should be.’
For example, someone may identify as a conservative to show their support for a fair and consistent society, governed by a rule of law, whereas a liberal may want to portray themselves as open-minded and supportive of people living their life however they choose. What they don't realise is that in their role as part of the resist movement, liberals are encouraging people to vote like the current party in power, one of racists, misogynists, and theocratic dictators, believing this is the last chance to return to a country of social justice and equality for all (presumably 'for all' doesn’t include the Republican party and their supporters). Meanwhile, the conservatives view the opposition as baby-killing, violent anarchist mobs who don't care about the Constitution or legal immigrants and citizens. This is their last chance to keep the country free and based on rule of law.
But it doesn’t stop there. Believe or it not, it gets weirder, and the mental gymnastics required to understand the following story is beyond extraordinary. A young, black lady was fired for being conservative while being black. That’s right, the party of racism accepted a black person, who was subsequently fired in the name of ‘love and inclusion.’
Why does this happen? Because to the people who sell their soul to their party or ideology, the label is more important than reality. Therefore, to the opposing sides, an election comes down to a vote between violent mobs and racists. No wonder there are so many people disengaged from the process, who wants to be associated with that?
So, here's the deal: Vote based on your beliefs. Accept that others will disagree and if you’re voting for a party because it meets your moral standards try some self-reflection. If the party you support has allowed people to run who have a background of abuse, lies, corruption etc., your moral standards are pretty low. And yes, whichever party you support has accepted these things.
Whoever you vote for, make it a vote for what society wants to see in a better America - and no matter what happens, please try to win and lose graciously, for the sake of the nation.