This is a letter to all Americans who are disillusioned with our politics. This is a letter to those people who have lost faith in our democratic process. This is a letter to the people who know that Trump is bad for our country, but can’t yet make the leap to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. This is a letter to those people who may be at risk of sitting out this election. This election is different. Let me explain why.
This election isn’t simply about political ambitions from two opposing parties. This election isn’t normal. Make no mistake about it, this election is about the character and the future of our country.
On the one hand, we have someone like Joe Biden whom you may disagree with politically on certain issues, but is otherwise a decent man who cares about the principles of our country. He cares about freedom of speech. He cares about equal rights. He cares the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He cares about America’s standing in the world. He cares about American leadership in the world. America is a place that stands up for the little guy no matter the cost, and he cares about that too. He cares that people receive justice. And most importantly, he cares that you have the ability to chart your own course.
On the other hand, we have Donald Trump. Over the past three years, we have grown all too familiar with Donald Trump. Does he represent American values? Well, if greed is an American value then yes. But other than that, no. He might say that he cares about our history and our values, but he couldn’t know or care less. He has said, time and again, that he has done more for the American people than any other president. Has he not heard of George Washington or Thomas Jefferson? Has he not heard of Abe Lincoln or FDR? Two of these presidents literally created our country. And the other two saved it. Does that sound like a man that knows his history?
Make no mistake about it, this president is in it for himself. Let’s look at a couple of examples. Can you count on your hands the amount of times that he has said anything good about Democrats or reached across the aisle? No, seriously. Can you? Remember, this man is the president of the United States. He is your president. And what does he have to say about Democrats, who, by the way, are Americans too? That they are corrupt. That they are stupid. That they are fools. That they want to destroy America. Take the last one especially; is that something that a president, of the United States of America no less, should say? That Democrats want to destroy America? Does that sound like someone that will fairly represent the people living within our country, all 330 million of them?
If that’s not bad enough, let’s make it worse. Donald Trump was impeached because he was caught trying to leverage a country at war to do his bidding. He dangled U.S. military aid in front of their noses. All for what? To get an investigation into his current political opponent.
What Donald Trump saw was not an intrinsic moral obligation to help defend a country struggling for their rights in a war with an authoritarian regime. What Donald Trump saw was not right and wrong. What Donald Trump saw was just one more thing that could be used to his advantage, all at taxpayer’s expense. He didn’t see the little, everyday person struggling to ward off an unwanted enemy endangering their freedom. Instead he saw leverage. What would Donald Trump have seen of our forefathers in our American Revolution? Would he have seen a people looking to fight for their freedom, or would he have seen a people ripe for exploit?
These instances should make you think. To what extent will Donald Trump go to extend his power and might? Is that an American value? Is that what our Founders fought for? The power to abuse, crush and manipulate people for their own gain? Can you think of any of our previous 44 Presidents who would go to such lengths to extend their own power? Read the below excerpt of our Declaration of Independence, and ask yourself, “Is this us, or is this Donald Trump?”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Does this sound like a country where we believe in exploiting the little guy for our gain? Well, I certainly hope not.
I know what you are thinking: we haven’t lived up to these ideals. And even some of you are thinking that it is no longer worth it. You are disenchanted and see your voice sidelined. You are the people that this letter was written for.
Have we always lived up to the ideals that our country was founded on? Have we always lived up to the ideals enumerated in our Constitution? No, of course not. We have fallen short far too many times. But the truly important thing is this: We have never given up. We didn’t give up during the Civil War or during slavery. We didn’t give up during World War I or World War II. We didn’t give up during the Great Depression. We didn’t give up when people were disenfranchised and hanged simply for the right to vote. We didn’t give up after 9/11.
Each and every time, we banded together to solve the problem. And in many cases, we banded together for the little guy, for the person who didn’t, who couldn’t benefit us. We did it simply because it was right. And that is what makes America special.
When you go to the voting booth this November, you need to ask yourself who represents our American ideals better. This election is not about policies. This election is about character. You also need to remember that elections and democracy aren’t perfect, nothing is.
Democracy is about choosing the best person for the job of running our country. That is an important job. Voting is not about choosing the person who perfectly aligns with your values.
Sometimes you don’t end up with your preferred option; that’s just how democracy works. To give up on democracy because of this messy reality is exactly how democracy dies. There are people, and countries, who have spread this false idea of a perfect democracy in which you should only vote for your perfect candidate or not vote at all. They do this not because they have some more perfect system. They do this because they want you to lose faith in yours.
They do this, because without your voice, they have leverage. They do this because they want to use you. This election is the most important election in our lifetime. You cannot sit this one out.