So when Trump first announced his candidacy, my initial thought was “WTH? Are you serious?” and after that passed, it went immediately to, “Okay, so what’s really going on?” I genuinely wondered if maybe Hillary’s campaign was paying him off to take the focus off the other Republican candidates, some of which made more sense than others. My logic was that their logic might be that if the Democrats could get people to focus on Trump and not the (more viable, in my opinion) candidates, then they would have more of a chance to win. Convoluted? Yes. Out of the realm of possibility? Absolutely not.
So we puttered along, with Trump continuing to say more and more outlandish things. Was he trying to see how far he could push it? To see what he could say and still get away with it? I think the likelihood of that is more probable than him being serious about some of the shocking things he said. (Am I providing evidence of these things of which I speak? No. But the statements are out there to find if you need them). But as time went on, I think he began to like the attention. He began to think, “Ya know, this ain’t so bad. I could actually do this.” And then the real campaigning began.
So now here we sit with Trump as the probable GOP candidate, but with many other Republicans considering the idea of “conscientious objection” (which makes me think of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martins’ “conscious uncoupling” every time I hear it), and my skepticism of the system rears its head again. Is it possible – even remotely possible – that this has all been a game? All a little dance for the people? A distraction from things that both parties want the public to not see? Could it be that someone within the GOP has been playing it the whole time? Someone’s crazy idea that maybe this could work, and a new candidate could step into the arena when least expected? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe these ideas are just ridiculous. Maybe it’s just another one of those crazy ideas that my brain comes up with. That happens a lot. But. But what if it isn’t? What if there’s more fact than fantasy to my cockeyed idea?
I’m under no illusions that any current candidate or party isn’t self-serving or self-preserving. I am not blind to the fact that our government is really all a big cluster with little chance of anything productive happening any time soon. I believe that the candidates are run by their party which is run by its donors which are (often) only concerned with what is best for them and/or their business.
Is Trump the answer? Is Hillary? Probably not. What is the answer? I don’t know. But I do know that it’s not just about the president. It’s not just about our representatives. It’s not just about which party or person you vote for. It’s not just about the things that you see on the news. (Heavens to Betsy! That’s a whole other can of worms.) It’s about seeking answers and making informed decisions with the information you have. Not just the information that’s presented to you. Not just the stuff that you see on the news or hear from other people or see in a meme on Facebook. The answers can be more easily discovered through respectful discussion amongst people with varying views. The answers are in helping others get the services they need in order for them to also make informed decisions. The answers are in people like you and like me working together to make the world a better place. Wait. I just went all utopian on ya. But seriously, the answers are going to take less division and more unity, less arguing and more discussion, less bitterness and more compassion. From everyone. I didn’t mean for this to turn into a patriotic pep talk, but this is how my mind wanders. I still think the system is broken and that the public is being used as pawns in a very dangerous game, and I still think that – in many ways – we’re screwed no matter what happens. But I also still think that the answers are out there and us throwing up our hands in disgust and giving up isn’t the way that we’re going to see things change. This is our country. This is your country. Let your voice be heard. That is what the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and Bill of Rights with all those Amendments are talking about. Be a conscientious objector. Call your representatives. Get out and vote. Speak up, but play nice.