Special to The Wealthy Musician by Thomas Friesen
So I’m browsing Facebook today, and I come across a post from the L.A. Times about Kamala Harris’ speech announcing her candidacy for President, and ripping President Cheeseburger to shreds but without mentioning him by name. I knew what to expect in the comment section… but was still dismayed to immediately see competing and argumentative comments from Democrats and moderate Republicans alike. “I don’t trust her”. “She’s plastic”. “She can’t win”. Expect to see these same comments and more for every candidate that comes out. That leads me to my list of ways to avoid repeating our mistakes in 2016:
Avoid Divisive Language
You may not think it’s a big deal, but when we have the worst President in history in office and need to get him out, no matter what, trust me it is. He got there exactly BECAUSE of divisive language. Bernie-lovers hated everyone except Bernie, Hillary-lovers valiantly defended her no matter what. And moderate Republicans back then would have rather attended a Cardi B concert with Sean Penn than voted for either Hillary or Bernie. Things have changed since then. Because of our divisions, we elected the crudest, most divisive, least educated, most malleable to outside influences, and least effective President of my lifetime, and of modern times. Kamala Harris may not be perfect to you, but even a simple comment like “she’s plastic” plants seeds in the minds of other readers.
The reason why this is important is SHE’S BETTER THAN TRUMP, and even more than that… ANYONE IS BETTER THAN TRUMP. Let’s get out of this Dante-like hole we’ve put ourselves in first, and THEN worry about finding the better candidate. We fucked up in 2016. Bernie-lovers voted against Hillary in the general election, as did moderate Republicans. Most won’t admit they made this mistake… some will… but they all KNOW it was. Let’s not make that same mistake again. Kamala isn’t perfect. Elizabeth Warren isn’t perfect. Gavin Newsom isn’t perfect. Beto O’Rourke isn’t perfect. John Hickenlooper isn’t perfect. Michael Bloomberg isn’t perfect. And on and on and on… guess what they all have in common. See above. So please… try something like… “She’s great, better than Trump… I’m not the biggest fan and want to wait until the rest of the candidates come out, but it’s a good start.”
Remember, No Politician, Just Like No Human, Is Perfect
For whatever reason, we’ve developed this super-hero like expectation from our politicians. They are fine human beings until they become Congressmen or women, then suddenly, overnight, they become scumbags. Barack Obama was an enigma, a literal superhero. Virtually scandal-free, faithful to his wife, well-spoken, charismatic. That may NEVER happen again. Our candidates may be shrill, annoying, heavy, too short, unattractive, too old, you name it. Some will have speeding tickets, maybe even a DUI. Some will have stolen gum from a store. Some will have been divorced. Some may even have had an abortion. You will have the right to vote for whom you want, but never forget that ANYONE IS BETTER THAN TRUMP.
Politicians are humans, just like us. They have flaws. If you decided to run for office tomorrow, what skeletons would they discover? Would you want those to dictate the kind of leader you would be? Most of us wouldn’t. Let me be clear, these flaws are different than flaws to the level of President Cheeseburger. When you have no experience, can’t put a full sentence together, have bankrupted multiple businesses and screwed over thousands of investors, not to mention are gulping up the support of the far right Evangelicals (who for some reason don’t care you are twice divorced, have had affairs with porn stars, and called women fat pigs), you are a hypocrite. If that’s their resume, by all means, criticize.
A Moderate Candidate Is Good, Not Bad
I consider myself a moderate. If I had to put a specific label on it, I would call myself “center-left”. I support Congressional term limits, bills that would require more transparency from all candidates to weed out corruption, and more fiscal transparency so it is clear where our tax dollars are going. I have advocated for years for a detailed Government website that lists exact funding and amounts for EVERY project in the works, and details of where ALL of our tax dollars are going. I also regularly advocate for both Democratic and Libertarian principles like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, social equality, marriage equality, and freedom of choice. Note the word freedom scattered throughout there.
When you have an administration that votes AGAINST transparency, AGAINST freedoms, and supports ONE religion, Christianity, we have a problem. We are no longer the land of the free. A moderate candidate has the ability to bring two sides together, that’s why throughout history, the moderate candidate has almost always won. Barack Obama would be considered center-left today, Reagan center-right, George W. center-right, Bill Clinton center-left, Hillary WAS center-left. Extremism on either side can’t win votes in Congress, which is how bills are passed. That’s why a moderate is important. When you are dealing with 350 million people, progress will be slow, that’s just a fact.
That’s all for now, just watch what you say and how you say it. Remember each candidate will have their pros and their cons. Your favorite might be your friends least favorite. And most of all, hate is never the answer.