Where do you stand and what do you believe in? That moment when someone says, “I can't believe you would vote for Trump.” I simply reply, “I'm not voting for Trump.” I'm voting for the First Amendment and freedom of speech. I'm voting for the Second Amendment and my right to defend my life and my family. I'm voting for the next Supreme Court Justice(s) to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I'm voting for the continued growth of the 401K of those who have it and the stock market. I'm voting for a return of our troops from foreign countries and the end to America's involvement in foreign conflicts. I'm voting for the Electoral College & the Republic we live in. I'm voting for the Police to be respected once again and to ensure Law & Order. I'm voting for the continued appointment of Federal judges who respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I'm voting for our jobs to remain in America and not be outsourced all over again to China, Mexico and other foreign countries. I'm voting for secure borders and legal immigration. I'm voting for the Military & the Veterans who fought for this Country to give the American people their freedoms. I'm voting for the unborn babies that have a right to live. I'm voting for continued peace progress in the middle east. I'm voting to fight against human/child trafficking. I'm voting for Freedom of Religion. I'm voting for the American Flag that is disrespected. I'm voting for my children and my grandchildren to ensure their freedoms and their future. What are you voting for?
This was shared with me by a Californian in his mid-forties. I taught and coached him in sports during the 1980s. He and I don't agree on politics all that often. My purpose in reprinting his Facebook post here is definitely not to pick apart anything he is saying. He lives in a part of this state far removed from Mendocino County. It may be hard for some in this county, especially the Mendocino Coast, to understand where he is coming from.
That is part of the point. Much of this region is locked into something akin to a fairyland of self-anointed, so-called liberalism to such a degree that they have lost touch with what life is like for a sizable portion of the electorate, whether they reside in Cottonwood, California; North Platte, Nebraska; or the outskirts of Money, Mississippi. Mendocino County and particularly its coast has grown into nothing more than an enclave of escape for those who want to stand up for the George Floyds of this country, they'd just rather do it from the safety of their retirement home while watching Rachel Maddow. Once in a great while they'll take to the mean streets of Mendocino to stand together for social justice.
If the polls hold and Mr. Biden defeats Mr. Trump, there will still be a sizable portion of the populace so disaffected by the same-old-same-old of statewide and national politics that they did vote for Mr. Trump. They still will hold almost all the views expressed above. Simply putting a political boot to their throat won't work or we as a nation will be right back where we were in 2016.
My former student and I exchanged messages earlier today. I told him that one of the saving graces of this county's politics is that party affiliation is not attached to local candidates, despite the efforts of relatively small cabals to paint some candidates as the chosen ones or the unacceptable ones. No party affiliation allows for more of a one on one, individual to individual, manner of solving problems and occasionally creating true progress on issues more meaningful in the long run than a name applied 160 years ago. So if you are planning to cast your vote for a candidate more progressive than Mr. Trump, you also need to be ready to sit down with someone who holds the views expressed at the beginning of this piece and find some common ground.
If you can't do that then skip the reaction of 2016, skip over the American Civil War, and go back before those imperfect slaveholders and profiteering merchants put pen to paper to declare their independence from a king. For all their personal and practical flaws, for all their “mansplainin’” in everyday life, a disparate group of Americans worked out their differences in 1776 and again in 1787 to create a fairly good bedrock of governmental principles. They made mistakes that we are still grappling with today.
However, if Mendocino County denizens simply gloat over a Biden victory and/or a Democratic Party controlled Senate and don't budge at all toward a conversation with their fellow citizens, who hold their truths to be just as self-evident as your own, well, then… there will never be any true progress. And to call oneself a progressive in that climate will be a lie not unlike those spewed by the current resident of the Oval Office.