I get it…I know why people vote. Some vote to align with their values, some to align with the party they have always voted for. Some vote not for a specific candidate, but against others. A vote for Mr. D means a vote against Mrs. C and Mr. B.

It’s a very selfish thing, voting. We vote to better ourselves. What if we voted to ensure a better life for all? Interesting notion, that we would do something for another person, at the expense of our own potential wealth…

From my conversations and experience, fiscal conservatism is the most widely cited reason for voting republican. So what does it mean? Basically, I work, and so should you. I have enough, and it’s because I work hard. You can do it too. I shouldn’t have to give anything for you, because we are all independent and capable enough to work. We just have to want to do it. Don’t be lazy. Don’t complain. Work! Along with this, we vote to protect our right to work and good fortune. We vote against anything that limits our ability to work and make money.

One might say, I am voting to protect my family, my money and my future right to live how I please. This can in many times be grouped into these four areas that conservatives want to protect:

1) The Constitution (right to bear arms, specifically) 2) My wallet (don’t tax me to pay for something I get no benefit from) 3) The boarder (don’t take my job, they don’t deserve a job or chance at being an American) 4) The homeland (strong military protects my wealth and my family, and doens’t make us appear weak to other nations)

I was raised this way, way down in Georgia. Not Christian, really, but worshipping hard work, attaining wealth, not owing anything to anybody, being a self made man that didn’t need anyone or any support from any organization, especially a government.

It’s that simple, as someone recently explained to me on a popular social network.

…Or is it? Wait…where is God in there?

Well, God can mean many different things…let’s just say God can be whatever we choose, and we want to protect our right to freedom of speech and religion. So we shouldn’t have any problems with Muslims right? Well, turns out we really don’t want them in our country. So we want to protect our right to believe in God, as long as God is the Christian God that does not allow in other religions.

So while God is important to many conservatives, that only means the Christian God. So we are breaking our #1 thing we want to protect, the Constitution, by breaking the 14th amendment, which gaurentees religions civil rights. Hmm Ok we’ll compromise and say that the constituion is important to us, so long as it helps Christians and not Muslims.

So let’s revise our priorities: 1) Christian beliefs and our idea of God 2) my wallet 3) the boarder (as long as I’m within the borders) 4) the homeland (as long as I’m not a target of the military, and it is capable of keeping out certain minorities, keep it really damn strong. I’ll pay taxes for that)

But wait…I’ll pay taxes for the military, but not for social programs. I just want to ask myself, WWJD, my homie, JC, What would you do?

“(in booming voice from above) Well my Son, I wouldn’t give a handout to no one, because they don’t work as hard as you” Ahhh…I knew you had my back J-Dawg!

“(continuing rant from on high) They don’t deserve the same chances you had because your family earned it. Their family came over here illegally, and now they want your neighbor’s job doing service industry tasks for minimum wage. They can work in their own country you know! Best to just build a wall now, while we have the money and momentum. Now, go out and plunder the environment so your Q2 revenue meets the projections.” Thanks JC. See you Sunday!

So things get a little more complicated…we will pay money for: 1) the military 2) the wall and boarder control

But we will not pay money to: 1) give handouts

Let’s just compare these two things:

Military: 17% of the budget. American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day – or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute – every single day for 13 years.

The $1.6 trillion estimate, which comes to $14 million per hour since 9/11, from the Congressional Research Service is up roughly half a trillion dollars from its 2010 estimate, which found that the post-9/11 military operations are second only to World War II in terms of financial cost. [http://www.ibtimes.com/14-million-hour-war-costs-top-16-trillion-911-say-congressional-researchers-1764816]

Building a Wall: estimated at 15b to 25b to complete the wall [http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/09/this-is-what-trumps-border-wall-could-cost-us.html]

Handouts: Food stamps: SNAP benefits cost $74.1 billion in fiscal year 2014 and supplied roughly 46.5 million Americans with an average of $125.35 for each person per month in food assistance. TANF: ~32 billion (federal and state) https://www.cbo.gov/publication/49887 Medicaid: 9% of the federal budget 492.3 billion (2014) http://kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/total-medicaid-spending/ Medicare: 14% of the federal budget: http://kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/medicare-spending-and-financing-fact-sheet/

So, by making America Great Again, what we are really doing is making America a narrow minded my-way-or-the-highway kind of place, ruled by rich white men who will do whatever it takes to stay in power and increase their own wealth, at the expense of any other living or non-living thing.

In particular, this new great America:

  • WILL NOT be giving handouts to anyone, no matter their needs

  • WILL NOT be accepting immigrants as equals (even though unless you are Native America, your family is a family of immigrants)

  • WILL NOT be allowing freedom to choose how to live ones life (pro-life, no marriage equality)

  • WILL NOT be influenced by climate change, and instead will keep plundering the earth in search of higher profit

  • WILL NOT allow poor to have healthcare, as it comes at the expense of someone else

  • WILL NOT allow illegal immigrants to live in any sort of peace

  • WILL be the strongest, most powerful nation in the world, or at least will puff up our chest and spout this sentiment at every chance we get

  • WILL condone tortue

  • WILL condone mass incarceration

  • WILL drill for oil at every chance we get, regardless of the facts that solar is much more sustainable, affordable and evironmentally friendly. Who cares if climate change is real, we have a new source of energy that is kinder and makes more sense. But we will not use it because we have friends in the oil business.

  • WILL have the biggest political donors serving high ranking positions in the administration.

I started writing this post in March of 2016. It is now January 2nd, 2017, and what we feared most has become a reality. The shock has subsided. The nightmare is real, and we are still here, still breathing, still able to think, write, work, live and love.

This is our reality. This is the world we, as a society, in 2017, have chosen. But I still have hope. We are coming together, resisting hate, expressing love, standing up for good, forming community. We are going to get through this dark night and see the light of day. We are approaching the darkest hours now, which means dawn is not far away.

Let us remember the wise men and women who fought for civil rights and basic freedoms before us. Let us look to their teachings, actions and lives for inspiration, guidance and motivation…we can get through this, we’ve done it many times in the past.