Despite record breaking turnout in some states’ primaries or caucuses, I for one find myself increasingly underwhelmed by this 2016 presidential race. I’m sick of the media talking about Hillary’s emails, I’m tired of the back and forth pettiness between candidates, and I’m beyond over the ignorant and clownish phenomenon that is Donald Trump. To be honest, American politics is slowly becoming a sick joke that I can’t believe is our reality. And I’m left to wonder, where did it all go wrong?
The first election I voted in was 2008. I remember that year being inspired by the political process because of the then senator Barack Obama. Not only did I find his policies to be in line with many of my own, I was thrilled to see a black man on the cusp of receiving the most powerful position in the world. After eight years of a leader who I shall not name, I was ready for the history making change agent that was our president. However, since the moment he was elected, my perhaps too high expectations of politics have been flushed down the drain.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Obama. I happen to think he is a great president, and has more swag than any man to ever take the White House. This is a man that has been able to diversify the executive and judicial branches, got health care coverage for millions, captured Saddam Hussein, helped restructure student loan repayment (although we all know more needs to be done here), and this is just to name a few things. His legacy is definitely not anything to sneeze at. Regardless of what he accomplished, his presidency has created a rift in this country’s political system, again no fault of his own actions. It boils down to his skin color.
Since day one when he took office, many American citizens, including elected officials, have undermined the authority of Obama’s position, because he is black. I don’t care who would like to argue with me on this point, I have facts on my side. What other president has been called out of his name by congressmen during presidential speeches, has continually been dragged through the mud about his origin of birth, and heavily scrutinized about his religion. And I haven’t even mentioned the side show ignorance of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Fox News, who have all taken petty unnecessary jabs at this current leader of the few world.
If these moments of disrespect aren’t proof enough, look at race relations today. Race relations in the United States haven’t been this bad since the 90s. Specifically the relationship between policing agencies and the black community. I would be naive to think this has nothing to do with the fact that many in the white establishment are threatened by a black man in power; and as a result, have allowed their dismay to trickle down to the blacks that are more susceptible to discrimination and mistreatment. I’m just saying.
Which brings me back to my point. Politics took a turn for the worse when many in the white establishment found themselves threaten by diversity. It makes since. Historically, this type of fear has driven slavery, gave rise to the Jim Crow South, and apparently created the faulty premise for the “War on Drugs.” And now this fear has given birth to the popularity of a Donald Trump. Trump has managed to prey on the insecurities of millions. I guess it’s a shame that millions had such insecurities to start with in 2016.
If I have any silver lining of hope in this election season, it’s that the U.S. is more diversified than in years past. Hopefully, this diversity will show up to the polls and vote for people that will make beneficial policy decisions. And I mean vote for senators and congressmen and women that actually are committed to restoring American governance and committed to taking this country forward and not backward. And while a proud democrat, I don’t even need “blue” politics. I just want politics that make sense.