Hi all! I know it’s been a while. Just wanted to share a few of my thoughts our our upcoming US election.
America is in trouble. When Trump was elected on a November evening in 2016, I went for a walk around the block when it was evident that he would win. My neighbor was screaming at her TV about the horrors of what Trump can potentially do to this country.
Four years on, her screams were valid. As I am writing we have 180,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, a jobless rate mirroring that of the Great Depression, and widespread racial tensions and hatred.
On a personal level, I have not been able to teach a live yoga class since March, and because of the widespread virus in Hawai’i, cannot engage in normal activities like hiking, going to dinner at a restaurant, or taking my dogs to the park.
Usually, a US president does not affect its citizens on a daily personal level. In the past, we would get annoyed at a proposed policy or position on an issue and an email to your congressperson would be the most politically active you would get.
Now you don’t have to only worry about catching a virus, you have to worry about being shot by either police or vigilantes with guns, especially if you are a person of color. Unless you are in the top tier economically, your taxes have increased substantially. Forget public yoga classes until there is a vaccine, and Facebook is ensuring that groups who oppose vaccinations are spreading disinformation with more efficacy than the experts. I have seen family members say they will refuse to get vaccinated because Bill Gates will insert a satanic microchip in you. This is seen as fact in many facebook circles.
We still have hope. Here is a list of things you can do:
- Register to vote. The GOP has made it harder to vote by kneecaping the US Postal Service and destroying sorting equipment. If you have the option to vote in an official election drop box, do so. In Hawai’i we are able to track if your ballot has been counted. Here is a website to see if you are registered.
- Mail your completed ballot within 24 hours of receiving it. Nothing is worse than seeing your unfilled ballot the day after the election and seeing the candidate you opposed give a victory speech.
- Get your family and friends to vote, especially if they just came of age in this election cycle. Vote as a family at the dinner table. Discuss the candidates and the issues. Voting as a 3-5 person block is much more powerful.
- Follow candidates on social media. They will give updates of challenges they are having. Even retweeting or liking will expand visibility of your candidate.
- Recognize bias and propaganda. Russia was successful in manipulating millions of Americans and sowing discord in 2016, and will be using the same tactics in this election. Just recently, Fox news hosts praised a 17 year old for murdering protestors.
- Learn to take a break when needed. If you need log off for a few days because the election is causing anxiety, it is healthy.
Those are just a few off the top of my head, please add more in the comments. I don’t expect that all of my followers will agree, and normally I have stayed away from politics. However, as a student of history I’ve always wondered how someone like Hilter could come into power and sow such destruction in such a short period of time. It was because people were silently complicit. VOTE!