Sunday, August 23, 2020

Vote for the United States of America

 Now that the Democrats have concluded their political convention, nominating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and the Republicans are gearing up for theirs, where they will affirm the campaign of incumbents Donald Trump and Mike Pence, the serious campaigning will begin. And after hearing the Democrats and before even seeing the Republicans, I can say the most significant speech and pronouncement throughout this process has already been given. It was a short five minute video from former Ohio Governor and long-time Republican leader John Kasich. 

It emphasized one word:  United

John Kasich is a good person and a lifelong public servant. And he crossed party lines to speak for the Democrat's convention during which he endorsed another good person and lifelong public servant, Joe Biden. He talked about unity and shared vision. He and many others are concerned about, and he warned against, the significant "division, dysfunction, irresponsibility, and growing vitriol between our citizens." That has been "the path of the past four years," and that is not what I like to believe about my country. It's not how I was raised, it's not what I recall from my youth, and it's not what I want in my leadership or on the news every night. 

I truly believe we lost a great opportunity in 2016 when, for reasons and motivations I still can't fathom, we as voters passed up the chance to have an election between Joe Biden and John Kasich. That would have been an incredibly tough and legitimately close election for all the right reasons. And the true beauty of it would have been that America couldn't lose either way.

I don't really believe many people are enjoying the unpleasant division in our country right now. Not many people appreciate and value the negativity, the contempt, the derision, the anger, the outrage, the discomfort, the angst that we feel whenever politics is mentioned. It shouldn't be like this, and it doesn't have to be. We can vote for candidates like John Kasich and Joe Biden -- people who work together and compromise and learn and grow, even as they disagree and occasionally get in spats about issues on which they are passionate. 

We all know one party's candidate has embraced division and contempt. One candidate is like that All-State insurance meme about mayhem and chaos and destruction. We know for absolute certainty how the past four years have felt. We know what the future with one candidate will look like. 

Thus, this year I am recommending that whomever we vote for, it's the candidates who represent unity and the "United" States of America.

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