by Tommi Avicolli Mecca
Elections are always painful. In this "democratic" country, so few vote, so few actually make informed choices, so few understand what's at stake. How many people pull out their ballots at the last minute while desperately reaching for some slate card to use to fill in the boxes?
They have no clue what the issues are or what the candidates stand for.
For many years, I watched my own Papa vote against his interests time and time again. As a registered Republican, he supported candidates who would never lift a finger to help him as a working-class man from an immigrant famiglia. Even after he lost the small gas station that he operated for decades with his brother, my uncle. It’s what ultimately killed him, I think.
At least he had a party in which he could believe.
I can’t believe in the Republicans. I can't believe in the Democrats either. I can't believe in any party in this country. None of them look out for my interests as a working-class Italian queer who doesn't want war, who doesn't support profit over people, who believes that if we were truly the great nation we claim to be, we’d at least have universal healthcare, national housing and free public education. We’d have eliminated poverty and hunger a long time ago.
I know what the Republicans are offering in November: a monster with a mouth that could suck in the grand canyon, a right-wing lunatic racist and anti-immigrant, rich, white man. In other words, more of the same.
And the Democrats? Looks like they’ll be putting Hillary Clinton front and center. Cut me a break.
She voted for every war in which this country is currently engaged (to the tune of trillions of dollars that could have been better spent on healthcare, housing and education, not to mention eliminating poverty). She supported the Patriot Act (which strips us of our basic rights) and its reauthorization. She supported Wall Street after it wrecked the economy and cost millions of people their homes. She supported fracking. She wasn't even a fan of LGBT rights until she realized we were a force with which she had to contend. And at one point she even wanted to make it illegal to burn a flag. The list could go on for days.
The bottom line is that Hillary doesn't support the working-class any more than Richard Nixon did when my Papa made the trip to his local polling place to cast a vote for the man who claimed he wasn’t a crook, though he certainly was.
If it's Hillary vs. Trump in November, I will have to vote to stop the horrible little rich man and mark the box for the awful little rich woman. Which means four more years of business as usual: feeding the rich and starving the poor. Four more years of war and the erosion of our civil rights. Four more years of the rich getting richer and the poor remaining where they are.
Some choice. Some "democracy."