I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the word, RESIST. I see it in on posters in the crowds and it is all over the hundreds of pitches I get monthly from the Democratic Party. The word on the street is that Trump has been a boon to Dems fundraising, which began in earnest when he was elected. RESIST is a good word but its meaning to me is deeper than helping to grease the pockets of the party I have staunchly supported. As of today, I am going to do what in my heart I know is right and RESIST both political parties.
I am leaving the Democratic Party to do the one thing I can do to honor my independence. A good friend of mine who is not a Democrat feels the same way. He likes to say,” I am an American, but I can’t find it anywhere in the two parties.” I agree. We have been bought and sold, lied to, taken for granted, and left with our democratic institutions in disarray. All along, the best my Party can allow me is to cough up some cash to RESIST. Let me remind anyone still reading that it is not Donald Trump’s fault that he is President of our country. All he did was run for office and win. If my recollection serves me right, he beat both the Republican and Democratic Parties. As was then, when our so-called Democratic leaders arrogantly categorized the electorate into class, race, religion, ethnicity, educational, ideological and geographic blocks, as if playing some higher power game of monopoly, those same leaders and elite consultants carry on now with failed strategies and flawed morals.My slide away from party is in no way to the Republican side. My Democrats have cowered and given up the progressive front as a cheap ramp to reelection. And Republicans under this President are a group of folks in Congress I see as spineless, lacking integrity to uphold the very constitutions they so dearly carry in their pockets ready to whip out in the name of patriotism. This is a group doing chummy duty with Russians who support abuses to human rights, state sovereignty and the sinister attacks we were told as children to hide under our school desks to avoid.
Today, I register as an Independent. It is the only way that I can live with myself. It isn’t easy, as I worked my tail off for years for Democrats who I felt would honor their office and ideals by continuing to bring progress to America. I am making this decision based on what I see around me as destroying the American dream.
- We are a nation unable to wean itself from war. We spend $1.5 billion a day on defense and remain entangled in conflicts that take our best and brightest into battle. Both parties have allowed this to continue for most of my life and it is wrong. Both parties have given carte blanche to anything – huge sums of cash up and down the chain – for anything with anti-terrorism written on it.
- Very close friends who are first generation Americans have decided to leave our country because they feel threatened and not welcomed here. These are people who have created jobs with their small businesses, maintained a large caseload as doctors or lawyers. On a bet, I would say they know, love and have contributed more to our country than most anyone I know and have never sought a red cent from us. They pay and not hide from their taxes to build a better nation. And before you shout good riddance, remember we all came from somewhere else to a welcoming nation.
- The level of discourse nationally is embarrassing and dishonest. In a few short years we have gone from a place of honor and rule of law to a place that laughs about the slick, gross, vulgar and dispirited ways we have chosen to operate. We have unleashed the American bully with an insatiable appetite for crass, rude behavior.
- Everything is about winning, owning, buying and selling – we have become the consuming states of America and our kids are taught to learn to earn; expanding knowledge, being inquisitive, reaching out to others who may be different are considered “soft” traits and part of elitist behavior. Scientific facts are ignored, as the future of our Earth hangs in the balance, while those of us who wish to protect our places and natural spaces are maligned as unpatriotic.
- Speaking of money, both politcal parties have gerrymandered, created PACs which funnel shady money into elections, and set the bar at more than a billion bucks to be president. The one overriding qualification for elective office is perception of being able to raise money.
- Quality healthcare is seen as a liberal political plot. Public education, which is what really made America great, has been put on the auction block where ideologues take government money to school their own. And, the sense of caring for all in a community has been relegated to mega foundations who dribble out monies to pet charities through a bureaucratic maze led by some of the highest paid executives around.
- Celebrity has become reality. Countless news media panels feature media stars whose ratings swell the coffers of network and cable “news” and who tickle and delight us by playing themselves on TV and movie series, undermining integrity of anything that faintly resembles the news.
- And, we remain a people who equate guns with freedom; opting for violence and the murder of innocents rather than sane laws to protect us.
The Democrats aren’t responsible for all of this, but their fingerprints can be found on most of it. Our party loves to talk a good game about Kids, but elected Democrats have made sure that no young people get a chance to rise in the ranks for fear that they might become challengers. Dems know that old people vote and will continue to keep a tidy mess of them around.
So, I am asking, why? Why does it have to be this way? It is the right question to be asking. And, the only honest answer to the question of why I would stay a Democrat, given that the smokescreen we call a Party has been revealed, leads me to realize that I cannot and so I’ll act to exert my independence.
Everyday, I get asked by fellow Democrats why all of this happening. Why can't we do something about it, my friends ask. We can.
Today, I bid goodbye to the Donkey and the Elephant. I’m not leaving America. And, those who love this national so much shouldn’t be forced out. But that is one of our fights ahead. It is a fight for the soul of America against those who would cheapen her, sell her to the highest bidder, belittle her integrity, dishonor those who have fought for her, and sully the dreams of those who follow. The Party is over and, if enough of us move on, in touch with our moral compass to a better and more honest way, the days are numbered for these two parties. As hard as it is, I am making my next move to RESIST.