It’s Monday, August 15th and I just arrive at the gym. I decide to hop on the treadmill and warm up. Someone left CNN on the TV, I see Donald Trump is walking to the stage to make a live speech from Ohio.
I say to myself, “Okay, this will be a good warm-up. I’ll listen to what he has to say then I’ll start lifting weights.”
Some of the things he is saying aren’t too bad. I find myself agreeing with a good portion of what he is saying.
He talks about ISIS and how decisions made by the Obama administration when Secretary Clinton was a part of his cabinet helped pave the way for members of ISIS to take power and expand. I can buy that to some extent, however, leaving the blame solely at their feet is a bit of a stretch.
He does not speak these words but he implies that since neither of them used any practical preemptive actions that ISIS began to grow. He does say that a lot of the decisions on Middle-Eastern foreign policy that were made by our current president were heavily influenced by Hillary. I buy that. Whether it is true, it’s hard to tell because the norm of politics appears to be pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public.
Mr. Trump goes on to talk about his past record, how he was against the war in Iraq from the start. However since we did go to war and once we finished, we should have stayed and kept the oil. “To the victor goes the spoils!” I like that idea. He even mentions how he would have used part of the oil money to pay for the families of the soldiers who heroically gave their lives in the course of action to oust Saddam and Iraq’s harboring of terrorism.
I thought this would be a relatively quick fifteen to twenty minute speech. A good warm-up. Now it’s going past thirty minutes. I’m still jogging and listening.
He goes on to speak about the security of our nation. He points out all the atrocities that have happened; San Bernardino, Dallas, Orlando and more. He also talks about Europe, more specifically France, Germany and Brussels.
It hits me. We aren’t safe. We aren’t safe at home, we aren’t safe abroad. There are tens to hundreds of thousands of people globally that want to kill us, our culture and our way of life. They will stop at nothing. The tourism industry is plummeting. Terrorism is working. People are scared to travel because they don’t want to be caught in another Brussels, Normandy or Nice.
Hillary claims “America is already great…” and that Donald Trump is reckless and unfit to serve office or be commander in chief. That may be true. He’s an untested politician who has made no discernible actions to fix the problems that we face as Americans.
What speaks to me the most is that I don’t feel America is great right now. I don’t feel like I did ten years ago when we were the biggest, baddest kid on the block that no one even thought to mess with. Sure there were still attacks, but they were isolated and unorganized.
Today, terrorist groups have organized. They are well funded (partly by our government) and have been allowed to operate virtually unmolested throughout the world and even in to our borders.
Yet we are scared to label our enemy for fear of being politically incorrect.
“Common sense is being replaced by political correctness.” ~ Donald Trump.
It is a great hypocrisy that we live in a country that touts, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” but the truth is times have changed. The very meaning of that phrase has been altered. A portion of that “tired, poor, huddled masses,” only want to come here to do unspeakable damage and harm as many innocent people as possible. They aren’t attacking military installations or strategic areas of operation or even fighting us out in the open. They are attacking public places with innocent people.
I don’t feel as if America is great right now. Even as I type the words, I feel like I am being politically insensitive, but it’s the truth to my feelings. Love Donald Trump or hate him, at least he had the courage to stand in front of the world and point his finger and say who the enemy is.
The enemy isn’t a Muslim. The enemy isn’t a citizen of Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran. The enemy are those people who twist a text that preaches love and peace and uses phrases within to justify an attempted holocaust against those who do not adhere to the radical fundamentalism of the “true-believers.”
For any and all faults people want to lay at George W. Bush’s feet, in 2009, no one wanted to mess with us. I acknowledge there were more attacks post 9/11, but they were pin pricks in comparison to what we are dealing with today. Today we are dealing with the rise of a ruthless gang of thugs who are intent at destroying the western culture and way of life. They are willing, and often do make the ultimate sacrifices to carry out their intent. That makes them even scarier.
I’m still jogging, forty-five minutes have passed, well passed my normal warm-up time for my workouts. My brain is already in full workout mode.
Next I hear about the economy. I begin to think about all the new jobs created, the healthcare system that is in place to help all Americans receive health care coverage and how taxes are down.
Now I begin to think about where I fit in to all of this. Maybe this is where America is great. We have the largest and most thriving middle-class of any country in the world. The middle-class is where I live. Do I feel great? I don’t think so.
I’m a teacher so I don’t get paid over the summers but I reflect on my last paycheck. Almost thirty-five percent taken out of it. Where is this money going? Is it going to help those less fortunate? Is it fixing roads, paying for new infrastructure, the military, creating these new jobs I continually hear about or other programs I don’t have knowledge about?
I make a decent wage. I’ll never be elite or rich as a teacher, but I should be able to pay my bills and enjoy life comfortably. The truth is I can’t. I feel strangled by rising costs of everything around me. The government wants to help the less fortunate but I feel like they are doing so at the expense of those who can least afford it; those who are living as responsible Americans just trying to get by day to day.
Politicians do not want to tax the wealthiest one percent because of their philanthropy and ability to use their wealth to create those new jobs and stimulate the economy. Okay, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but I at least understand that much of economics. So if the government isn’t directly creating these new jobs, why must I continue to keep handing over more and more of my paycheck?
Mr. Trump in his speech pointed out much of this, but he did little to offer me any solutions. I feel as if he gets it, but doesn’t have the solution yet. I do know that Hillary already thinks America is great and it will be business as usual if (most likely when) she takes office.
I’m a realist, not an idealist. I know she is going to win, and probably win big. The media dislikes Mr. Trump and for some justifiable reasons too. The media influences how we perceive him and therefore he will mainly be portrayed as the anti-establishment, loose cannon candidate that has no self-control. However I do not believe Hillary is the answer.
Universal health care already took a nice chunk of change from me last year. When I received a letter dated January 1st, 2016 from my insurance company explaining to me that my deductible and medical coverage out of pocket costs will rise this year to off-set universal health care.
A normal trip to the doctor when I had the flu a few years ago would have cost me 20$ to see my physician and another 5-10$ for the medication to make me better. This year I had pneumonia and it cost me 50$ to see my doctor, 126$ for the x-rays they had to perform, 138$ for the visit to the doctors office (a separate charge now – seeing the doctor is an added treat expense they surprise you with now) and another 108$ for my medication!
I’ve tried to be understanding towards the new health care system and policies. However all it has done is burn a hole in my pocket in which I can barely afford to pay. I’ve also learned that today we simply can’t afford to be sick.
I don’t want to live in debt. I don’t want to live pay check to pay check. I don’t want to just get by. I want to thrive. I want to feel great again. I want America to be great again.
Is Donald Trump the answer? I don’t know. I do feel that I know what will happen when Clinton takes office. It will be business as usual in government and nothing will change. That doesn’t make me feel great.
I know all the reasons people hate or worry about what would happen if Mr. Trump were president. I don’t abide by everything he says. I’m not a card carrying member of any Conservative party. I only know that I feel suffocated under this current administration and the next will follow suit and continue upon the legacy that pivoted our way of life eight years ago.
There will be few winners come November 9th of this year regardless of the outcome, however my conscience can’t let me vote for my continued mediocrity in life. I’m a gambler and would rather roll the dice with the unknown than dance with the devil I know.
Mr. Trump says he can make America great again. Hillary says it’s already great. If we believe it is great, our mind is made up. If we feel the struggle to just live and suffocated and scared about the future then it’s time for a change. The options aren’t great right now but I feel even a step back could potentially lead us in a better direction. One step back, two steps forward.
I would prefer to move than stand in the idle position I feel I have been living in the past eight years. Movement is life. (Stealing a quote from World War Z and Brad Pitt’s character.) The political establishment needs to be adjusted. America needs to be great again. Maybe it won’t happen over the next four years, but I know I would at least like to know that there is hope and safety down the road.
An hour and twenty five minutes later I step off the treadmill with all those thoughts racing in my head after hearing Mr. Trump speak. I heard him loud and clear pointing out all our problems. You have my attention sir. I’m ready to hear what you can do to live up to your bargain to make America great again. You have sold me that it’s not your opponent, but you haven’t entirely sold me on yourself yet. I need to hear it from your. People who believe your slogan and want what you want need to hear and more importantly see what you can do.
Sell me that you have the answers. You may not win but I’d like to think my vote this year is more based on principle than on helping a winner get elected. You have pointed out what you, I and a good number of Americans believe to be wrong with the country, now is the time to offer us a solution. Now is the time to offer us something different, something to truly make American great again.
There are too many questions of honesty surrounding Hillary. There are also some around Donald as well, but I feel as if Donald Trump, even with all his faults is a more authentic person. He wears his emotions on his sleeves. He makes mistakes and is learning as he goes. Hillary deflects a little too much for my liking and seems to have an answer for everything. People like that worry me.
It is almost like they are more concerned with covering their own ass and profiting than being a true help to the people. Hillary played fast and loose with her emails and had an immediate response worked out to attempt to gain the trust of the voting public. Donald Trump won’t release his taxes because he doesn’t want Americans to see either the breadth of his prosperity or that he has not been as fiscally successful as we have come to know him. The legend of Mr. Trump might not match the reality or it might disconnect himself from the voters. Protecting his privacy doesn’t bother me as much as someone who plays fast and loose with theirs. Also, Clinton and trust just don’t seem to fit in the same sentence for me.
I would rather be led by a leader who lacks experience but is willing to look the public in the eye and speak the truth than a leader who who lacks integrity and honesty. Losing those two attributes negates any experience or good service deeds performed in the past. No one politician can ever claim complete honesty, but the Clinton family has done enough for me to forever categorize them as untrustworthy in my opinion. Mr. Trump may have has flaws and moments of dishonesty, but it is no where near the level of the Clinton family over the years.
It’s appears to be politics 101 for Clinton. Trump is flying by the seat of his pants. Americans are tired of politics 101. I am tired of politics 101. I don’t know if I’m ready for a pilot, but I know school is out and it is time for a change.
While Donald Trump is an extreme wild card, I feel like I am ready to be surprised than to get the business as usual approach. He certainly may not be or have all the answers either, and while I have my doubts for Mr. Trump, I know the certainties of another Clinton administration. I don’t know if I can financially and mentally survive another potential eight years of heavy taxes and feeling unprotected. I would like to feel safe and great again.
So speak to me Mr. Trump. Speak to us. We are ready to listen.
Author: Adam Wilkinson