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On Record

I haven’t been on this blog in quite some time. Simply put, I’ve focused my writing efforts towards publication in literary journals and other media outlets. (If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to, check out my portfolio at http://clippings.me/whittierstrong .) But sometimes you need to say something public for which all other options available to you are inadequate, so here I am.

By nature, I’m not one to cause a ruckus. I’m a sensitive person who craves peace and quiet. So I haven’t been much of one this year to broadcast my politics. And, more importantly, I know there’s not a damn thing I can say to sway anyone’s presidential vote; the undecided voter is foreign to my sphere of influence.

But I think that, at last, on the day of the election, after I have cast my vote, I must say something, however small and however cowardly in its delay, regarding the two candidates. (Yes, I know there are more, but the system is rigged against them, and until laws change, which is unlikely to happen, this is probably how it is, as much as I don’t like it.)

One candidate is singularly incompetent and unqualified, and foments hatred, violence, anger, and oppression. I hope on all that is good that he does not become our president.

So I voted for Clinton, but with an asterisk. Because, although she is eminently qualified and there is much I like about her, she is a warmonger (not that her opponent isn’t.) And this is the true tragedy in the United States: Only a warmonger will be elected president. And I hate that. But war is endemic to the American identity, it is woven so deep that it seems impossible for us to collectively conceive of anything else. We were founded by European invaders waging war on the indigenous people of this continent. We built our economy and culture on war. Our global influence is primarily the result of war.

And so I vote holding my nose (in the French tradition, and only metaphorically.) It is unfortunate that I cannot fathom an American presidential candidate who craves peace, but I know my country and culture too well.

All that said, I must nonetheless put myself on the record for voting for Clinton. Because, if the worst comes about tomorrow and Trump is elected president, things might become grave indeed. He desires that my friends be beat up, lose their emancipation, or even be evicted from the country. He harbors dictatorial ambitions. He’s almost itching for nuclear war. And, though this bit of my brain is probably shared far too late, I do not wish to join the silent millions who never spoke out against past tyrannies. I hope that it won’t come to that, but at this point in the day, nothing is yet sure.

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