If –by Rudyard Kipling
As I see it, this Presidential election is about if’s. As in previous years there are two primary candidates and two parties. But this year the two parties and two candidates appear to be on polar opposite sides. I don’t believe this is some new phenomenon, there has always been disagreements between the parties and the candidates, but this year just seems different to me, very different.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
Friends of mine, people who I am close to say that they are voting for Donald Trump simply because he is the Republican candidate. They seemingly are not concerned about his qualifications, his abilities, or his competence, it is a straight party vote for them and his is the name attached to the ticket.
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
Now this is what my friends say in public, these fine citizens of this red state. It is what they are expected to say, it is who they are expected to support. They throw around catch phrases like we don’t need big government, more handouts, more taxes, or interference to support their decision. This election, for them, is about God, the flag and the right to bear arms whether they own a gun or not. It is the Gospel of Ron played out every four years.
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
But the voting booth is a private space, a place where no one will see your decision or share your secret. It is a space where you can think, look into the future and wonder about the possibilities. It is also a space you can simply say the hell with it, let the chips fall where they may, let someone else shoulder the burden, let someone else slay this dragon.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
I hope the American people will resist the urge in simply pulling the Republican lever. IF people believe Donald Trump is truly the best candidate then vote your conscience. But IF people are voting for him simply because he is the party candidate I hope they will take a step back, a deep breath and truly imagine our country with him as the commander and chief. I don’t frighten easily but this possibility terrifies me for the future of our country and for the future of our children. IF……..