I’ve avoided politics in this blog, because there is enough shouting already in the 2016 US presidential election. This one time, though, I have to have my say, inspired by the movement to dedicate your no-Trump vote.
I was in high school in 1969. I remember one day being struck by three amazing things that had all happened in that one year, and jotted in my diary that 1969 was the year of Mets, moon, and moratorium.
- The New York Mets won the World Series. This was a big deal in my house, where my sister in particular was a big Mets fan, but it was legitimately a big deal in sports history. The Mets had never had a winning season before that year, and their opponents the Orioles were one of the best teams ever. This was a stunning upset.
- Humans walked on the moon. This represented mankind’s first foray out of our own planet and a major achievement for the US, giving a boost to science and technology for decades afterward. My family stayed up late to watch the fuzzy video of Neil Armstrong bouncing down the ladder and hear him say those famous words.
- Vietnam War moratorium. Protests against US involvement in the war in Vietnam had been building for a while, but in 1969 they came to a head with the call for a moratorium in October that year. As a high school kid I didn’t make the trip to Washington, DC for the march against the war, but I know people who did. I felt the thrill of seeing people like me stand up to be counted against what we saw as abuses of power in the establishment. I had my consciousness raised (to use the lingo of the time) about the moral obligation we all have to fight for what is right, looking beyond our own comfort and convenience toward making the world a better place.
The presidential election doesn’t have anything at all to do with the miracle of the Mets in 1969, but it does relate to the other two events that became big parts of how I see the world. For one thing, we would never have made it to the moon if we hadn’t developed respect for science and engineering. We seem to have lost some of that, with only one candidate in the race today (Clinton) willing to go on the record as making decisions based on science in areas like climate change and vaccinations. That’s just one of the many things I like about Clinton, and one of the many reasons I will vote for her. I actually mean that I will vote FOR her, not just against her opponent.
It is the third factor, the activism of the sixties, that drives me to actively vote AGAINST Donald Trump. In 1969 my world view crystallized around doing the right thing. Not just the right thing for me or my circle of friends and family and business partners. It means doing the right thing for the world. Stepping up to take care of the less fortunate. Fighting to make systems fair for everyone. Speaking truth to power, and taking the part of the powerless. This dedication to fighting the good fight didn’t die with 1969. There are millions of people today putting their own best interests on the back burner to offer a hand to someone who needs it. Hillary Clinton is one of them.
There are lots of things I don’t like about Donald Trump, but one that touches the core of my being is that he represents the corruption of power. If he rips off a bunch of people who worked for him to get a big tax benefit, he sees nothing wrong. In his head, it makes him smart, makes him a good businessman. To me, it makes him a lesser person. Those of us who are fortunate have an obligation to give back to those who are not. I want a leader who is dedicated to making America great for everyone, not going back to a time when America was great for the select few and everyone else just had to try to survive.
I dedicate my No-Trump Vote to all those who are fighting to make the world a better place for everyone. You know who you are, and I thank you.
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