I was asked to live blog for the election from Die Zietung, but I am no longer in Berlin. I still had an opinion on this election. It is hard not to given the constant barrage of news about the two major candidates that the Democratic and Republican parties are running this year. Both have high un-favorability ratings, and both will have major consequences going forward for not only the United States but the World.
Before moving to Berlin, I was not really into politics. I watched the news; I watched the Daily Show, and Bill Maher’s Real Time. I was the typical California liberal woman. I did not know much about our foreign policy. I had some experience with the domestic policy given I did major in Economics, and there is a lot of interesting history, but I had not yet read A People’s History of the United States, or even really heard of alternative parties. After the crash in 2008, when I was working for AIG, and Obama was about to be elected, I started to try to learn more about these elections. Occupy was around, but I never mustered up the courage to go down there to see what it was all about. Moving to Berlin completely changed my outlook on the world. Not only were these people talking about very liberal or progressive subjects, they were actually living in some cases. People recycled, people were active in their communities, and there were many demonstrations and protests. Although I never learned enough German to become fluent, I tried to follow what was going on in Berlin, and back at home. I started watching Democracy Now and going to demonstrations that ranged from Pro-Refugees issues to protesting Obama and his policies.
When I faced with coming back to the States, I was energized to be back and participate fully in the process. I learned more about our terrible foreign policies, our trade deals, and our decimation of privacy. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans are disconnected from the decisions they make. I moved from California to Georgia. The vibe is different here in the Bible belt. There are no cans to recycle, most people are polarized in their political leanings, and many don’t seem to care about the wars we are waging in the Middle East. They know what their side tells them. They get their news from their side and only talk to people who agree with them. There seems to be no real concern about Climate Change, the corruption of our political systems, the amount of money we spend on defense, while people at home suffer. Most people do know, however, about the latest Kim Kardashian robbery, in great detail. Most of our energies are channelled into media gossip and reality TV.
Our elections are closed off to the average person to run. You basically have to raise a war chest of money just to compete. Third party candidates like Jill Stein go largely unnoticed. Candidates like Bernie Sanders, while still flawed are systematically eliminated. We have a woman candidate who is a war-hawk, and another candidate who by all accounts seems to be a liar. He has tapped into the anger, distrust, and frankly, racism of the Average White American. They have a right to be angry by the way, they have been hurt too by our trade policies. He blames our problems on rampant immigration, and corrupt politicians. I can agree on the last part. Washington is wholly owned by our corporations. Our media, news, and entertainment are run by only a few corporations who control the narrative. However, I do not feel that this man is the person who can lead us out of these problems. I am not sure if he thinks he is either. With so much money and corruption in our politics, it is hard to imagine working within the system to change anything.
There needs to be a change in the States, that’s for sure. We need to really be informed about the decisions we are making and how they may affect others. The longest war in our history drains our budget when we could be using that money for education and our crumbling infrastructure. We have to be aggressive in getting off the need to use fossil fuels as we seem to be in the midst of a 6th extinction. We have to get back to nature, and eating correctly, so we can manage our health, and implement a single payer program for our health care system. We have so much work to do. This year, as I am on my journey to balance and achieve the life that I want, I decided to vote with my conscience. I voted for the Green Party candidate, and down ballot, for the most progressive candidates, I could find. Being swayed by the lesser evil is no longer an option for me, I need real change. Unfortunately, we will probably elect Clinton. Trump would be a PR disaster for the States, and a nightmare to the corporations. The powers that be will not allow him to be President. But I believe we can hold Clinton’s feet to the fire, hopefully, through non-violent resistance, and continue on the path to real change.
My theme song for the election. Politicians in my Eyes- Death