07 November, 2016

On the 2016 US Presidential Election

I'll level with you: Come election day and ideally, Lessig would have my vote. He was my initial candidate of choice when he announced that he would be running as a Democratic nominee last year. This is the person who founded Creative Commons, collaborated with Aaron Swartz as both friend and academic, and wrote books about the issues facing the US political system including One Way Forward and Republic, Lost. I was introduced to his work through the former, which inspired me in many ways; using Creative Commons licenses for my blog and written work, continuing to write letters to senators and representatives--through a service usually offered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation or Sunlight Foundation alongside others--and being more digitally aware and literate about said politics and politicians that reinforced Dan Gillmor's lessons in Mediactive.

Here was a candidate who would address the issues that mattered to me, even if he would resign once he signed the Citizen's Equality Act into law. This was someone who encouraged and continues to persuade people to get involved beyond the voting process so that, theoretically, their voice mattered more to the point that public officials took action with new legislation.

Unfortunately, he couldn't make it to the first round of debates, even if he was initially qualified to participate.  

I dismissed Donald Trump as nothing more than a mere celebrity just flaunting his fiscal privilege. Hillary was just Hilary, as in she was running and had an ample amount of experience. I thought that was perfectly fine regardless of her stance on particular issues which jibbed with me which didn't cross my mind then. Bernie seemed great at first, but never really got into the semantics about how he would go about fulfilling his campaign promises.

Now that mere celebrity actually has a chance to be an archaic epidemic filled with deplorable regress. A guy who, given the opportunity, would appoint Peter Thiel to the Supreme Court where First Amendment rights would go to die. Bigotry would be trending with colonial, binary pride reigning supreme. 

That's the short of it, and it's embarrassing. Goes without saying, it is also menacing in more ways than one. 

This election cycle has been hell all around, and not just because of Trump. The harassment of anyone who supports their candidate of choice, merely because they do, shows us how far we've come from the days of #HasJustineLandedYet (answer: not at all). The candidates aren't all that inspiring and even those of third-parties have been a disappointment. I say this as someone who initially supported Jill Stein after Lessig was out of the running until she started pandering to the anti-science crowd and thought that Brexit was a good idea. The fact that Trump is essentially turning the whole thing into a tabloid gossip-fest with his tweets, the "locker-room talk" video, and failing to answer questions at the debates, just so he can attack Hillary, doesn't help anyone.

Thing is, while my tweets and posts may infer otherwise, I won't usually go and tell people how to vote. There are two exceptions to this rule: The first one being for prevent a local referendum from passing...

...and now this one, as in I ask you to consider Hillary at the ballot box. 

Say what you will about her stance on fracking and the TPP--I also take issue to them--but at least under her Administration we'll still be able to advocate to curb the former and to reconsider the latter. Remember Lessig. Voting is just step one. The rest is up to you.  

Post-Script: Here's how Trump would impact my town's economy with regards to shipbuilding. Also, I would take the time to read Jon Ronson's expose on the connection between Trump and Alex Jones of Infowars notoriety.  

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