“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” ~ Janis Joplin
“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“If you want to do anything, do it now, without compromise or concession, because you have only one life.” ~ Gao Xingjian
“Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life. That’s really where failure comes.” ~ Tom Cochrane
I’m going to come right out and say that I’ve decided to support Bernie Sanders for President.
Obviously I’m an extreme liberal. It’s the way I was raised and it’s in my DNA. I’m not telling you that you must be liberal too. The point of this post is to encourage you to examine your values and choose to back the causes, and candidates that are aligned with what you believe and don’t compromise them for any reason.
Until this year, I’ve waited to see who is nominated for president and then choose to vote for the best candidate. You see I hate politics, the wrangling, the negotiations, the compromises, the mud slinging. Ack, it makes me crazy. But last year as the presidential race got into full swing, more than a year before the elections, I had an epiphany. What if I studied all the candidates running and backed the one who reflected my values? Would that make a difference?
Most people will agree that we’ve come to a crossroads in our country. Do we let the wealthiest among us take over and turn our country into something different than the Founding Fathers intended, or do we take back our voice, and our rights? Where we differ is on which presidential candidate will help turn the tide. As I wrote, you have to decide which one you should support. That’s a personal decision that you must make. What I’m advocating is that you examine your values, study the candidates and their platforms, and then choose the one that fits what you believe in rather than just vote for the most popular candidate. I decided this elections season I needed to make my decision earlier than normal, and that’s when I had my epiphany.
At first I backed Hillary, because she’s a woman and I think it’s high time we have a woman president. But as I studied her platform and compared it to Bernie’s, I was faced with a decision. Do I back Hillary because she’s a woman, and because she’s more electable than Bernie is? When I thought of it that way, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t compromise my principles and back a person because she was more electable than an old Jewish man with fly away hair who speaks his truth unabashedly. It’s not that Hillary doesn’t have a plan, but there’s the matter of who is giving her money. Would she feel more obligated to her wealthy contributors than to the welfare of ordinary Americans? On the other hand, Bernie’s money comes from ordinary people not the wealthy. He’s got a solid plan for how to turn this country away from being governed by big corporations. And he’s like me, an ordinary hard working man. When I made the commitment to back Bernie, I let out a big sigh of relief. I’d made a decision that was in alignment with who I am.
All the personal work I’ve been doing in the last year or so has changed me. I don’t want our country to go down the road of any number of dystopian novels and movies that have come out in the last few years. I don’t want corporations to run the world as they do in Cloud Atlas, or to have a wealthy dictator living in a luxurious central city, while people on the outskirts barely have enough to eat like in The Hunger Games. I want a Star Trek kind of society where everyone has an opportunity to live the life of their dreams with no fear of discrimination because of their race, gender, or place of birth. I think Bernie Sanders is working for that that’s why I support him.
My epiphany has more significance than backing a certain candidate for president. I’ve decided that I must make little contributions to the change I want to see, like writing this post, contributing to causes that are working to make life better for the poorest people on the planet. Little by little, I’ll find ways to get involved in making change happen, just like I changed myself a little at a time. That’s how the big changes are made, one little step at a time.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment or share with a friend.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2016