I Was Wrong


October 31, 2016 by Jan Stone

Last week my post called people who back Donald Trump nasty names. I promised myself long before I wouldn’t do that, but I did and I apologize. I’m certain Trump voters include people I love and will continue to love.

But perhaps you’ll hear me out in these next few paragraphs.

People who choose public service as a career, like politicians, teachers, police and firefighters wake up every morning with a commitment to do something important and meaningful for other people. They are hard jobs that help others and don’t provide great wealth, but they have chosen these jobs because something inside of them compels them to this kind of calling.

Typically, those who run for President of the United States have spent decades in public service. We may not agree with their efforts, but they prove their commitment every day by trying to achieve something valuable for a child, community, city, state, country.

Gary Stein was a two-term governor, Bernie Sanders represented Vermont since 1991, Jill Stein has a cause. Sure there was also Ross Perot, but he at least was a successful businessman and served his country by choice, enrolling at the US Naval Academy where he thrived, serving as class president in both his junior and senior years.

Many don’t agree with President Obama and think that change is represented by someone who has no involvement in the current political environment. And you have every right to want change.

I’m only asking that you rethink not voting for Hillary Clinton either because you don’t like her or you want to see change in Washington D.C.

Change is an interesting concept. One person or a group can choose a cause—from education and hunger to Wall Street and gun control—there are endless options. And together, people who want that change protest, raise money, have sit-ins, stay away, write op-eds among so many other options, and their causes gets noticed. Women now vote. They have control over their bodies. Blacks have equal rights, although there’s still more to go with that but groups like Black Lives Matter is keeping that cause alive.

But change is not a single option. We don’t have to tear out foundations to fix problems.

Our country was created on the notion that our differences are what make us great. It’s what we teach our children, along with things like patience and consideration and reminders that we all make mistakes.

We have never succeeded by choosing intolerance over compromise, hatred over compassion, condemnation over respect. And our country has never entrusted the most important public service job onto someone who prefers to operate by intolerance, hatred and condemnation every day, for every matter, without spending a single day in his past to show that he cares enough about others that he will sacrifice a gilded life to help them.

Please, just give that a thought before you vote. No matter what you feel about Hillary, she has spent her life in public service choosing compromise, compassion and respect. Not perfectly. But it’s what compels her to wake up every morning and go to work. If anyone is voting for one candidate because they dislike the other, please do not forget who has spent their entire career waking up and going to work in the service of others.

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