Growing up in Spokane a conservative part of Washington State my political views leaned towards the conservative side of the spectrum. In defense of that statement, during my lifetime the Republicans in office weren't that bad. Sure, one was a bit of an idiot but he wasn't insane. I joined the Army National Guard when I was 18 so of course I was pro-military and thought I knew what fiscal conservatism was. Conservative ideals were having a small government, large military, and low taxes. What that meant exactly was a little less clear at the time.
I went to college and moved to the liberal conclave of Seattle, Washington. My first friends in the new city were a couple of gay men who showed me a world of tolerance, enjoying life, and even small things like foods I had never tried. I made other friends in Seattle from other countries and nationalities and began to see things differently than I did when living in Eastern Washington. As time went on I was able to travel to other countries enjoying a larger view of the world. Thomas Jefferson said, “Traveling makes you more wise but less happy” Which I began to believe. While some in America would complain and be envious of their neighbors latest flat screen TV, new car, or bigger house people in other countries were living in shacks yet still enjoying life while playing soccer with no shoes on dirt streets.
I still hated paying taxes like most, but for me it was because I no longer supported the idea of a bloated military. I began to image a world where instead of spending trillions on the military what would the country be like if that money went to NASA, science, and saving the planet. Yet with each election I would have hope that things would change a bit, that the U.S. would stop invading other countries, that we would cut the military budget, that people would start caring about the environment and wise up to the planetary catastrophe we were causing with our consume and waste mentality. I would argue until I was blue in the face with friends, acquaintances, and like many over the internet on blogs and social media.
When Barack Obama was voted into office I was happy to see that the country was moving in the right direction. Yes, like many, I was frustrated at the Republican party for blocking him on so many initiatives. I was impressed with his ability to not get pulled into the mud with the hate, racism, and bigotry that was growing among the population. And like many I was hopeful that the good work he had done for the country would continue into the next four to eight years. After all the recession was over, the unemployment rate was down, and the environmental causes I care about were being addressed. Why wouldn't the country vote to continue all of that?
There has always been a part of me that believed America elected the right president for the time. George Washington the first president knew the dangers of having a monarchy and set the standard of limiting a president to two terms. We had Abraham Lincoln who lived long enough to hold the country together during a time of war and start the process of true equality for all. We had Franklin Roosevelt who lead the country out of a great depression and through a world war. We even had Richard Nixon who was at least wise enough to know when to step down from office.
My faith in this system is no more. I no longer believe we have the right people in office for the time. The United States didn't just elect a tyrannical lunatic into office. They elected a political party that supports that lunatic. All branches of the US government are now controlled by people who don't believe in global warming, who want to get rid of the EPA, remove bank regulations, and take away workers and women's rights. This is a political party that will now put a supreme court judge in place who will affect US policy for a lifetime. There are no more checks and balances in the US government with this election.
I've always had to defend my country when traveling and living overseas. I've had to say, "it's not that bad," and "it's just a few crazies who end up on the news and most people are not like that". I can't say that anymore. I am truly saddened and depressed by my country today and I am worried as to what the US and world will look like four years from now.