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Archive for January, 2016

A week from tomorrow, voters in Iowa will gather for the first primary election of the season, but it’s been election season for several months now and it has already felt like an intense ride so far. While I usually watch the primary debates, and follow along with the political ups and downs of the process, I’m a nerd, and so it’s been a new experience this year to find that most of my friends are following the elections this year.  I can’t go to facebook without someone making a political post.  People are feeling very strongly this year, not all in agreement, but strongly nevertheless.  Due to where I live, I’ve heard lots of ranting from people about some of the Republican candidates (okay, some of that ranting is from me…(okay, a lot of that ranting is from me…)) and, as you can imagine, one candidate is drawing a disproportionate amount of vitriol.  And that would be Rand Paul.  I’m just kidding, no one really hates Rand Paul (or is voting for him, it appears).  Obviously, I’m talking about Donald Trump.  Not that Ted Cruz is winning popularity contests among me or any of my friends.

 

From friends, relatives, the random hordes on the internet, I keep hearing the same thing, half-joking, half-serious, that if Trump wins, they’re moving to Canada. Now, this is a threat that gets made by thousands of people during every election if their candidate doesn’t win.  People say it about every candidate, from Hillary to Romney and so on.  People said the same thing when the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage (joke was on them when they realized that same-sex marriage had been legal in Canada for years).  Everyone throws up their hands and says that there’s no way they’re living in a country led by this person who they don’t respect, find terrifying, and who is going to obviously transform our nation into an Apocalyptic wasteland devoid of all freedoms or a working economy.

 

Now, I really hope that Trump never gets anywhere near the presidency (I could say that about a few other candidates, but I’m focusing on one here to give an example) and I think it would be really bad for our country if he got elected, but I’ll admit, that, even if it’s mostly joking, I’ve never understood why people say that they’d move if he won the election. You don’t agree with Trump’s policies?  You think he’s going to terrorize America and destroy our rights?  Fine, stay here and fight him.

 

If you care about this country and its people, you don’t leave when there’s something about it you don’t like, you stay and you fix it. You protest on the Washington Mall, you write letters, you vote in people to block him, you write op-eds, you practice civil disobedience, you file lawsuits to go to the supreme court.  You don’t leave.  You stay here and you put yourself in the way of plans.  You stay here and you stand beside the people who are going to be suffering in Trump’s America.

 

I studied the Vietnam war in eighth grade and our teacher asked each of us what we would do if we were drafted. Most either said they would go and fight, even if they thought it was wrong, or they’d go to Canada.  I was one of the kids who said I would stay, not fight, and protest.  I can’t take your ideals seriously if you live them out by running away, not willing to take any consequences for them.  I’ve just never understood that.

 

Countries and societies are built by the people who live in them. If you don’t like the direction a country is going, you take action to stop it.  I know that people who are saying these things are joking (most of the time), but it speaks to a truth that they’re acknowledging: “I don’t want to live in a country where this person is in charge.”  I understand that, I really do, but vote and organize to stop that from happening, and try to work to improve and protect the country no matter who is sitting in the oval office next year.

 

Several weeks ago, my sixteen-year-old sister informed me that if Donald Trump won the election she was going to look at colleges in the UK. I told her that I’d be staying here and protesting against whatever crazy thing he was trying to do and that I thought, with her brains and determination, she should stay here and do the same.

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