And they always will.
We're three weeks away from a presidential election which seems more about making sure one candidate isn't elected than actually electing the other one. Instead of being caught up in the natural excitement of the process, many of us just want to put the whole matter behind us, to relieve the intense stress created by constantly checking the headlines, then the reactions to the headlines, then the op-eds that respond to the reactions to the headlines, and shake off the depression brought on by the moral decrepitude to which this campaign has sunk. As the days pass we all look forward to simply putting it behind us so that we can get on with living our lives.
And that is exactly why I'm voting for Hillary Clinton. I firmly believe that she's going to use the decades of knowledge, experience, intelligence, moral integrity and, yes, even-headedness and good sense (those last witnessed as she's braved both emotional and verbal attacks on the debate floor and has somehow managed not to collapse, flinch or bark back!), at her disposal to continue the impossibility challenging job of running a diverse and, what is more and more obviously, divided country.
That is, if we can just get her there.
Over here, where I live, I constantly hear one or another version of: "Trump is better for Israel." A good portion of the local American-Israeli population has, over the past decades, shown a clear preference for the Republican candidate, convinced that their foreign and fiscal policies will benefit the maintenance of the fragile status quo between our two countries. While I've never joined that consensus, consistently partial to the domestic platform of the Democrats, I've come to understand it. The perspective gleaned from sitting on the other side of the pond leads to quite different priorities and understandings.
But in this election, automatically supporting the Republican candidate has enormous, actually earth-shaking, repercussions. To those still insistent on choosing their default Republican I pose the following questions: "How?" Expand: "How is Trump better for Israel?" Dig: "How is someone who has not shown one bit of interest in serving anyone other than himself over the course of a lifetime going to be better for Israel? How can you choose someone who continually demeans women, belittles the special needs individuals and dismisses entire sectors of the population, such as African Americans, as needing to be 'handled' in order to get back to his own agenda? How is someone who only knows about money, and apparently has done quite a bit to lose it, going to actually 'govern'? Have we forgotten what this job actually entails?" Last but not least, "How is someone who talks smut, using language far too vulgar for any of us to repeat, going to represent the high standard expected from the leader of the free world?"
All rhetorical questions. No, Trump will never be better for Israel. For although he resembles the other formerly favored cowboys, exhibiting a willingness, like a loose cannon, to 'let 'er rip' if need be (instead of sitting down to consider local and worldwide repercussions, slowing response time to an algae-promoting virtual standstill), it is all, quite clearly a show---or rather, one more episode in what is nothing more than a vacuous, value-stripped reality series of his own design.
Wake up call: This is the Holy Land! Israel is populated by a people characterized by embracing decency, righteousness, moral integrity and the highest ethical standards. Where, in all of that, is there any room to support an individual who has left behind a trail of detritus composed of racism, sexism, misogynism and hate-mongering longer than the Suez Canal?
Back to the beginning: words matter. The one's we hear from our spouse, our neighbor, our co-worker, our boss, our child's teacher and those most significantly charged with representing us around the world...they all matter. Listen to them very carefully. People of the book: open your ears and listen to Trump's words. Each and every one (and lord knows he talks a blue streak every single day whether from a podium or via the keyboard of his cell phone as he tweets away into the wee hours of the night, just when we thought it was safe to, well, get some sleep) carries the truth of his conviction (or rather, lack thereof) and the truth of his character.
At the end of the day we all have to decide who we stand with, whether it be in our home or in our community. Think micro. Do you choose to spend time with, love and support, those who spout drivel or those who speak substance? Take that micro to macro. It's that simple.
This November, choose capability, temperament, and judgment over unencumbered, unshackled raw instinct. Choose the candidate who's best prepared for the job and who has devoted decades to serving the public. Our first female candidate for President of the United States is not a compromise. I've listened to her words. And I'm one hundred percent ready to sign on.