Thoughts for Republicans, Democrats, and Americans
I think that there are a lot of things that need to be said. We need to take some time to really consider all of the events that have led to the rise of Donald Trump, but now is not the time. Needless to say, it is inherently clear, at least to me, that Trump is the result of a lot of failure on the part of a lot of people. Democrats, Republicans: Americans have failed, and that of the short of it. The long of it will require much more time and research, but is equally important.
But there are a few things that I would like to say at present, to the Republicans first, and then the Democrats.
Republicans- Congratulations! These are exciting times! Your party is on its dying breaths and a Trump presidency is almost certainly the last blow! For some, it may not seem like this, but this has been a long time coming. Those of us who have some political foresight, (or, at least, pay attention to those that do) have slowly started wandering off from the party and looking at our options. To put it in simpler, and possibly more positive terms, you are free!
If I were to wager a guess, I would say that, for the majority of you, there is something that has not felt quite right about the Republican party. Perhaps you have very socially progressive views, but you prefer a more conservative economic approach. Or perhaps you are socially very conservative, but you wouldn't mind a new approach to the economics. Or perhaps you are a tried and true conservative, both socially and economically. Whatever the case may be, you may have noticed that there has not really been a candidate that represents all of your values.
So this is my entreatment. You no longer have to settle. You no longer have to simply vote the Republican candidate. Consider seriously and honestly what stances you want to hold, that are commensurate with your values. You are now free from the "them", and free to be you. Take this time to think very seriously about who you want to represent you, and avoid aligning with just any faction. You are a member of a democratic republic. You get to be picky about who gets your vote. If ever there were a time to embrace what intellectualism the western tradition has instilled in you, now is that time.
Democrats- Congratulations! These are exciting times! Your party is not quite there yet, but it has caught a rather bad cough. This divide between Clinton and Sanders is the beginning of the schism. The more information the government gets on us, the more information we get on them, and the "Clinton" style politician is finding it harder to cover up the scandal. But, as we've seen throughout the primary season, they've already thought of this. There is a system in place such that Clinton will win the nomination, no matter the support her opponents get. I think this is the beginning of the end for the Democratic party, which will soon find itself the way of the Republican Party. (Assuming Trump wins the race this term, I'm really hoping that the Democrats will put up Kanye in 2020. That will make for some excellent sensationalized headlines.)
This being said I implore you with regards to two courses of action. First, let the party die. The things I said about the Republican party are on the way for the Democratic party, and we will find ourselves in a much better place if we just accept a poly-factional system. For those of you who would rather not be so frustrated when Kanye is nominated in 2020, I recommend the same advice as above. Consider seriously and honestly what stances you want to hold, that are commensurate with your values.
Secondly, and more immediately, do not shrug off this insane corruption within your party. Be angry. Be upset. Demand primary and voting reform. Continue to rally around the candidate who you think will be best for this country. If that candidate is not Hillary, to not cheer her on. Do not accept her as your default position if she is not the one you believe to be the best. This election could have the greatest support for third party and non-binary candidates that we have seen in quite some time.
Americans- These are all just my speculations. Or worse, they are a potential future that we have to make the right choices to obtain. But I will conclude with this. What we do know is that these parties do not have our interests in mind. They have become corrupt, and fight for a world that benefits them, not us. Hillary is not for America. We have to be for America. Ironically, if I am right, Trump will have been paramount in making America great. But now he has done his part. We need to take back that slogan, and make it our mission. We need to make America great.
Now is not the time for blind following. Now is the time for intellectualism, and responsible political self-reflection. We need them, and we need them now. We must continually promote them, amongst our friends and amongst any who will listen. Now is the time when each American citizen, when called upon, should be able to speak his political beliefs with conviction and fervor, with more nuance and detail than simply "I am a Republican, I am a Democrat."
If we make these right choices, we will be moving into an era in American history, where the vote of the individual will have more power than it has ever had before. If we can do this, we can successfully safeguard against the effects of a two faction system. Do not throw away the power and privilege that being an American citizen with the right to vote affords you. Take that power, take that privilege, and use your vote the way that you want to use your vote.
This is an America that I would be very excited to live in and very proud to call my home.
“Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence, of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes; and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements, and alarm for private rights, which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.”
-Federalist 10, James Madison