I've found myself more interested in this political season than I have been for quite some time. Living in Chicago in '08, while Pres. Obama was gaining steam was pretty cool, and I most def. got caught up in the hype (I think I even contributed to his campaign), but this election seems to matter.
Listening to debates and reading articles, I can't help but feel I'm directly in the target audience to whom these politicians speak. I'm in the 99%, disillusioned by the lifeless systematic machine, and sick of corporations having so much control.
But I also fit smack-dab into the proverbial, disappearing middle-class. I've been a teacher for 13-years, considered an 'expert' in the language by two states (and Malcolm Gladwell, if you take the 10,000 hours rule, having taught over 10,000 individual class periods), yet my take-home pay is less than it was ten years ago, and that's not even factoring inflation.* I pay dues to a union (about $1000 p/year) that cannot fight for anything that matters; we cannot strike, we cannot rebut teacher evaluations, we have no say in placement, which is basically to say that all the benefits of union membership are gone. All this does is: POWER THE MACHINE.
In my specific field, people with power - administrators, district higher ups - any schmuck with a degree and a title - can basically do what they'd like with no fear of repercussion. The only way the union can act is on the defensive.
Which brings me to Hillary.
I think that there is NO WAY that corporations, major systems, and major machines should have so much power. Especially unchecked power**. The older I get, which is what everyone seems to say, the more I realize that people are people. We are all human. And no BIG THING should control what we can do and how we can act and behave. Anyone that has been told 'There's nothing I can do' or 'That's just the way it is', in reaction to a problem probably shares a sense of this. But it's our decisions (votes, et cet.) that make these machines, that do this.
With all the money in our country: poverty rates should not be rising; with all the breakthroughs in medicine and wellness: life expectancy should not be declining. With a world that can both see and respond to world-wide crisis in (virtually) real time, these types of things should not be happening.
Yet they are.
But: WE can FIX THIS. The COLLECTIVE WE can do something about this. We can make changes. It's time. Wellness should be added to health care. Health care, and thereby disease, obesity, chronic illness, should be prevented. Prevention, not punishment, should be the first step. People should be able to pursue their passions by going to school, learning a trade, and then doing it, without the crippling effect of decades-long debt for four-six years of schooling.
Corporations should not be given the rights of people, for with people comes humanity. And if Corporations are given the rights of humans, they should be held accountable in similar ways. And, for fuck's sake, they should show humanity.
What would happen if a human took three barrels of oil, hopped on a boat, and dumped them in the Gulf of Mexico? What would happen if a U.S. citizen took a few children, took them out of school, gave them a bed and a meal, forced them to work for 12-hour days for less than minimum wage, and then sold the clothing they produced to their neighbors for extremely low prices? What would happen to a U.S. citizen that kept a fire burning on their front lawn and had neighbors dump their trash day after day for a small fee?
The answer is punishment. That citizen would receive crippling punishment that would impact their lives. But corporations? A fine they can easily pay or pass on to consumers.
(And we consumers are basically forced to use their products.)
This is why this vote matters so much.
From what I've seen and read, two candidates in this year's election have beliefs and opinions. One is Donald Trump. The other is Bernie Sanders. If I were to give either of these candidates a vote, I'd at least know that my vote was going for something. With Hillary, I don't know anything she stands for. In last night's debate, she named dropped dozens of people and things, hitting buzzwords that would be sure to be picked up in any online job search, that could be used for a two-second bit on the news, but she didn't stand for anything. I actually know more of what she stands for from Bernie than I do from her own mouth. And that's the problem. With her and with us.
She has an amazing resume. First lady for eight years, senator, secretary of state, she's been involved in a lot. She's married to one of - what many people consider - our best presidents. Yet she doesn't talk about this. She doesn't use experience for practical things. Doesn't explain how it will lead to tangible change or help the average U.S. citizen in anyway. Rather, her name dropping, finger-pointing, question-avoiding tactics show the same sense of entitlement that seem to feed the machine, The Corporation, and cripple the country.
I call bullshit.
Hillary Clinton with her long list accolades and experiences isn't standing for anything. She's counting on her name and those experiences to take her to the top. This is the same problem as corporations.
Hillary, if you ever read this, there are many of us Americans that feel the weight of these systems; there are many of us that are pleading for leaders that will change the course of the machine. We want to do. We are willing to help. We want someone that stands for something, for anything*** , almost, to take the reigns.
But we also want to know how this person will help us. And if they can't do that because of the house or the senate, we at least want to know that they'll try. YOU still have time to show what you believe****.
Just show us. Please.
*slightly eschewed because I work for a different school district, but the point applies nonetheless
**We don't even want this in our Superheros. Exemplified through Marvel's upcoming: Civil War.
***This is obviously Trump's appeal
****This goes for all you candidates, in any race