posted on Oct, 20 2016 @ 12:32 AM
Here is what terrifies me, and keeps me up at night, as someone voting for neither of these individuals.
It isn't the email scandals, Trump's rhetoric, Bill's womanizing, project Veritas, Russian hacking, Benghazi, Comey, or even either of them appointing
SCOTUS justices. It isn't even that one seems content to allow Russia to call the shots in Syria, while the other advocates a path both Russia and
some of our own generals have said could lead us dangerously close to armed confrontation with Russia, or miscalculation on one or both sides that
could trigger the same.
In the long term, it's what all of these, and everyone's feelings on both sides about all of these, are symptoms of in my darkest of fears: a complete
and utter cynicism and breaking of any remaining hope of restoring faith in our own ability to raise, educate, cultivate, and then nominate,
leaders we can believe in, to people our institutions and public offices... coupled with the dangerous, and ever intensifying tendency of those on
both sides of our country's ideological divide to completely write off hope of compromise or reasoned discourse with one another.
People on sites like these have long known our country's governmental institutions and leaders lie to us. Or that they tell half truths, at best. But
I think most have, until a seemingly recent tipping point, still held out some hope that if we banded together, if we held to civility, mutual
respect, and genuine empathy and care for our countrymen/women, we could eventually turn things around; we could eventually return civility and reason
to ourselves as individuals, then to our neighborhoods and communities, and then in time, to our country. I still believe that's possible without
extremism or bloodshed. I have to.
But... recently the "paranoia" (as we conspiracy students are often labeled with,) the conspiracy theories, the very real things we all on sites like
these have so long been very aware of, the history... has started to go mainstream. But it went mainstream in very polarized, hyperbolized ways,
fostered by both "sides." And once that happened, trust in everything began to break down. People can't trust the media, because they believe they're
biased. (And they are, on both sides, although I still believe there are journalists who at least try to the best of their ability to simply report
the news, and there's still a lot of fact checking and vetting that generally has to happen before stories go to print/air. The problem is more spin
and presentation than the actual data points imo.)
People can't trust our intelligence agencies, because of past precedent. People can't trust the military because of past precedent. People can't trust
candidates because of their records and their words. People can't trust scientists because they suspect they are being corrupted in some way (maybe
that's true, though personally I still believe science in general is distributed, redundant, and widespread enough that any universal effort to censor
it would be near impossible this day and age. Thus I tend to be persuaded by the preponderance of scientific evidence, generally.) Likewise with the
FBI, the DOJ, etc. etc. etc.
The only problem is, while people on both the "left" and the "right" feel this way... and have good reasons to! ... what it is they think is actually
going on, and what the actual reality is versus what we're being told, is different depending on which "side" you're on. (Though, strangely, because
of how profound this lack of trust has become, many do seem willing to trust foreign sources of information... as though they somehow don't
also have agendas or exploit misinformation. I feel this is dangerous and that there are no saints the world power stage, but I digress.)
I would never argue that there are no reasons for this distrust in our leaders or institutions. Or even candidates. There most certainly are. For me,
on both sides. And everything in between. But with enough skepticism, reason, mutual respect, and refusal - and this is important -
refusal to be drawn into this widening gyre of disdain and resentment, instead willing ourselves to say, "You know what? I disagree with you.
I'm not going to go with you on that. BUT, you are still my countryman/woman, and a fellow human being, and wherever we end up we've got to get
there together," we still have a chance to turn things around - even if it takes a generation or two - and replace what we lament about our system
with something that serves all of our wellbeings and freedoms... right? That's what we're supposed to believe... isn't it?
But... few seem to believe that now. Instead, increasingly all that remains is that distrust. That mutual resentment, bitterness and, even if people
won't call it that... hate. The result? No one trusts anyone or anything, yet no one agrees on or compromises on anything. There's a word for where
this will lead us given enough time: CHAOS. (And if you don't think this is at least one possible goal of forces outside our country, I respect
your opinion, but since as I said, I see no saints on the world stage... I respectfully disagree. Some of them are sitting back and watching all this
with great interest.)
So what keeps me up at night is not which "side" wins, or who is right or wrong. What keeps me up at night, my greatest fear, is what will happen...
not this election necessarily even, but a few cycles from now, if things continue to spiral at this rate, and intensify as they have, and these trends
all persist... when a candidate on one side or the other really does refuse to concede? Really does call on his or her electorate "not
to take it" and to "take to the streets."
Who would prevent it? People don't trust the electoral college. People don't trust the courts. People don't trust the police. People don't trust the
military. People don't trust the executive. People don't trust the legislature. So violence breaks out... people take sides... a state of emergency is
declared... And then what? What is the inevitable outcome of that? It won't be the prepper (and I have great respect for preppers, don't misunderstand
my words) dream of total independence and bringing the government to heel, I can tell you that. It would be a massacre. A living nightmare.
We may, here, today, not by Trump's words or Clinton's, but by the underlying dynamics of which they are mere symptoms, be witnessing the
terrifying unraveling of the few remaining vestiges of our ability to make this system work. Or at least the faint rumblings of that.
I don't want to live in that future! Nor do I want to be an architect, witting or unwitting, of it. Therefore, while I have no doubt it will
change little if anything... and while I can do nothing beyond this, as my means and voice are both limited, I am going to do the one thing I can. The
ONLY thing I can. And that is make this pledge to anyone who sees this.
Whoever you are, whatever you believe, no matter how much I may personally disagree with you, I vow to you on my honor, for whatever that's worth, to
respect you, to remain civil towards you, to feel not one iota of hatred for you, and to regard you as my fellow countryman/woman and/or human being,
to treat you with dignity, and to care what happens to you. Because that bond, is all we have left.
Right the ship. There are rocks ahead...