At this point, what’s left to be said?
After every president who has served during my lifetime has roundly condemned this candidate, after Pulitzer Prize winning presidential historians have insisted how woefully unqualified he is for office, after his own ghost writer—a man who’s made millions off his name—has spoken out vehemently about the threat he poses to the world if elected, after countless repugnant comments made by this man disqualify him from holding the most respected position in the world—what can I possibly add to this nauseating political discourse that’s welling up in our collective mouth like the saliva the seeps into your cheeks when you’re about to vomit?
I have nothing to add.
I fear that nothing I can write will alter the opinions of those who support this man. Some of these supporters I count as close friends and family. People who I respect and care for deeply, which makes it all the more befuddling how they could possibly support someone so inherently ill-intentioned as him. I fully appreciate the frustration festering around our political system. It desperately needs a punch in the gut. But to allow this man to deliver the blow is to undue all the progress we’ve made as a country and as a people. It’s as if the wave that has risen us to great feats is about to crash, and when it peels back from the beach, we will be left with urchins like this candidate in its wake.
So why in this gridlocked moment should I write anything at all? Why not just cast my ballot and quietly pray?
I’m writing this for myself. Because history is watching, and in the eyes of history the complacent are just as guilty as the perpetrators. As the German pastor Marin Neimoller famously wrote:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
I’m not going to waste a drop of ink dissecting why I think this man has no right leading our country. Nor am I going to plead the case of his opponent. Instead I implore anyone reading this to consider this man in the context of our rich history. Consider what we have achieved, what we’ve overcome. We still have so much work to do, and the wounds of our shortcomings have hardly healed. Yet this is one of those rare opportunities where we can make a singular choice away from evil and avoid creating yet another dent in our armor.
The United States is revered around the world because in times when it’s all too easy to fear and hate we’ve instead chosen hope and love. As Kennedy once said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”
So let us not do what is easy. Let us not fear or hate. Rather let us be the people that so many before us sacrificed and died for. Let us keep rising with the wave and pass over this ugly urchin with the powerful, inevitable conviction of the ocean itself.