An outsiders take on America’s election, and the unsettling tactics creeping in of governments back home and worldwide.
Tomorrow the world will change, that’s inevitable.
Whether or not it’s for the better is up to the result, and up to peoples perception of what ‘better’ really means.
But as the political field comes to resemble more of a sporting one –
With one-eyed supporters and an ‘us vs them’ narrative sewn into every rally, speech and debate –
Can anyone actually come out a winner?
In a country where ‘democracy’ is heralded as the fairest and most just way of living one’s life,
Why is it that those on any opposing side of the political spectrum are decried?
If we alienate ourselves from those who don’t vote along the lines we believe,
Insisting that there is only one type of voter that deserves respect and humanity,
Have we shed democracy and any semblance of community amongst countrymen going forward?
Are we instead headed toward civil war every election cycle?
When we believe the best way to win an election is by stopping other citizens from voting,
Through intimidation and oppression,
Or discrediting a postal vote as corrupt,
How far are we from a future where a government is no longer ‘chosen’ by us, and is instead chosen for us,
And one where we must bow to those in the top office.
Are we at the point where any challenger to the top job gets a cup of poison tea yet? No.
But how far down the wrong road do we need to be before we look back and realise it wasn’t the one we thought it was?
Bipartisanship isn’t a dirty word, it’s the future of a healthy, stable democracy.
The freedom to disagree, and debate is paramount,
It’s when we seek to permanently silence the opposition that we all lose.
Whilst a celebrity can and has become the leader of the free world,
In no way should a leader ever be a celebrity.
A leader doesn’t need to be heralded as untouchable,
As an omnipotent being who can never do wrong.
Nor should they be gifted our respect, or allegiance, just because of the title they’ve been awarded.
This needs to be earned by them.
Because our leaders are human,
They need to be a hard-worker, willing to make the tough decisions, and cop it on the chin when things go wrong,
The one who has the final word, but who the buck also stops with.
Not someone who ducks and weaves from criticism and accountability,
Opting to throw anyone and everyone under the bus in from of them.
Instead we need and deserve someone who strives to live up to the prestige of their title every single day,
And who, when they don’t, can be discarded and replaced by the leader who can.
A true leader needs to be a leader for all,
Not just for some.
Not one who seeks to scare with unseen fear and threats, pointing to an idea or a group and labelling it the enemy of their supporter-base,
Using hatred and anger as the fuel to power their campaign.
Because hatred isn’t sustainable, there’s no future in it,
The only inevitable to come from using and stoking long-term, burning, seething hatred is death.
We’ll kill each other, we’ll kill our planet, we’ll kill ourselves.
And all for what?
To prove that we ‘won’?
To wave it in their face on election night that the one we support, who we wear on a t-shirt, won an election?
It’s time we stopped glorifying our elected officials, no matter who they are, and ensure their focus first and foremost is to serve us.
Deifying them as perfect, as a figure to be marvelled at and heralded, only inspires them to do less,
To believe their own hype and become complacent.
Departing then from serving us, those who elect them, and instead beginning to serve themselves and their own self interests.
This election, and every election, there shouldn’t be any losers.
There should only be different ideas put into place by the government in power on how best to serve every single citizen of the country they represent,
To help them achieve a happy, healthy, safe life.
Bettering the world through the removal of stigma and hate,
Not using it as a weapon.
Instead, our leaders seem to rely on fear, fracturing, and focusing on what the opposition lacks,
Instead of what they can offer.
Taking away funds, rights, dignities from some to gain favour from the others – by convincing the masses that there is not enough to go around,
That the only way to get our slice of the pie is to take it from someone else,
Rather than trying to increase the pie to be big enough for everyone.
Because if we are happy to leave behind the rights and dignity of ‘some’ in our country,
How long until we become that ‘some’ that is left behind, too?
An election is not a war where your goal is to destroy the other side.
It’s not a war at all.
It’s about one country, almost irreparably fractured, needing to make a choice about whether it breaks apart forever, or takes the often tougher and more uncomfortable road of working to heal and reunify.
Because if your focus is solely on winning this election ‘battle’ – you may just be the one who loses the war.
It’s worth remembering that the people should never be afraid of the government,
It is the government that should be afraid of the people.
Tomorrow the world will change, and there’s a 50/50 chance it won’t be in the way you want.
So we need to prepare for any scenario,
To make the most of it where we can and protect those who are left behind.
Striving forever forward in the knowledge that,
The world doesn’t end on November 4 –
But it is up to us to make sure that no-ones rights or livelihoods do.
The power will forever be in our hands, no matter who takes office.
But no matter whose side we’re on,
It is paramount for the good of our future that we ensure that the fight for liberty and justice for all continues.
Because there’s no red or blue in a dying world.