Democracy is on the Ballot. Period. Full Stop.

I’m voting FOR Hillary Clinton.

I’m bothered by the Grand Old Party. I’m stunned by the loss of integrity and lack of honor that was once dem-rep-herosynonymous with the Republican Party.  Every time I hear one of them raise the name of Ronald Reagan, I cringe for him, his legacy – for our country.  How far off the rails have we gone?  Whether I believed in Reagan’s ideas for our country is/was irrelevant.  No one can deny he was a beacon of honor and integrity.  And yes, he was this Democrats President too.

I watch in horror as the Republican Party finds ways to justify the monstrosity it has become.  Instead of taking responsibility for the mistakes it has made, they seem, instead intent on denigrating and condemning Hillary Clinton.  Don’t get me wrong, you can fight the right fight against your opponent, but all the Hillary bashing in the world would only make sense if the FBI had found her at fault and pursued charges.  If the countless “Benghazi” hearings had concluded even ONCE that she was to blame and indicted her for at least something, anything! And yes, if it was Hillary who had actually slept with those women who accused her husband —well, hell, that would have at least been a good story and place to start! Maybe you are one of the few who really believe this “system” of ours is “rigged”.  Well, if that’s the case, you’re so off the deep end, there’s nothing I can say to sway you…

But Republicans, real true honest to goodness Republicans – WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?  It seems like for the past year you’ve been flailing in the air grasping at…nothingness in pursuit of bygone ideals that contradict who the face of your party has become.  Have you not noticed?  It’s a stark difference – blatant really.  Have you all completely lost your minds?

You’re so obsessed with finding blame in Hillary Clinton and in everyone else (the media seems to be a safe scapegoat) that you’ve lost all focus on what is fundamentally right and what is  absolutely wrong.  Basic decency, integrity and honor have escaped you.  And instead of seeing that, you keep bashing the democratic nominee at the same time alienating those of us, who could – at one point in time —  see your point of view – even if you had a legitimate argument once, you’ve lost your way so badly, that it just looks like a child having a temper tantrum about the wrong thing.  You look ridiculous. And as adults, we’re just sitting here waiting for you to be older and wiser, because we’re sure, then – we hope — you’ll understand.

The problem is —  we don’t have time for conservative republicans to figure it out.

Much to the chagrin of most of my liberal friends, I’m a conservative Democrat, always have been.  I could have voted for a Republican, but honestly – today…which one?  So many have failed the integrity test at this point, it’s shameful. I’m disgusted by Paul Ryan.  Maybe US Representative Adam Kinzinger of IL is the GOP’s best bet at this point. Integrity intact. Doesn’t waffle about anything. Seems to have his moral compass pointing North. I disagree with 80% of what he believes in, but I respect him. Can’t say that for most of the Republican party.  Adam seems to be one of the few young Republicans with integrity who has not flip-flopped or wavered… his bearings seem straight and he gets the simplicity of what’s right and what’s wrong. Republicans, with Paul Ryan and his friend Reince at the top of the list,  have lost their way. I suggest the GOP faithful have a conversation with Congressman Adam Kinzinger, watch how he answers questions regarding your Republican nominee, and find your way back to the path to civility.  In essence, learn to stand your ground, you know, without a gun.

And Hillary.

Maybe we’ve all gotten so used to flash and shiny objects with quick “feel good” instant gratification, that we’ve all forgotten that the role of a President is to actually BE and FUNCTION as a President.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Barack, Michelle and Bill Clinton when it comes to oratory skills.  Clearly, I’d like to be motivated and inspired too by words that ignite me into euphoria. It makes it easier to handle the bad days.  And I can admit that yes, even when I didn’t agree with Reagan, Lord have mercy if that twinkle in the eye didn’t catch me every time.  But Carter, George H.W. Bush and George Bush Jr., weren’t kickin’ it with oratory skills either.  Actually, in all due respect, they were rather boring.  Mundane. Painful to listen to at time.  But they were our Presidents nonetheless. And we accepted that. Because they were men.

I bring this up because I don’t need Hillary to woo me with her oratory skills. I don’t care if you “like” her – what I care about is, can she do the job?  Does she have what it takes to BE President?  And when it comes to being a woman, I have to say, did anyone really think it would be easy for the first woman to become President of the United States?  It seems to me that any woman considered worthy would have had to have AT LEAST 30 years’ experience or something comparable – and I’m pretty sure she still would have lost to a first time male Senator with no experience before even getting a shot  (forgive me President Obama, but you know it’s true).  This isn’t me screaming sexism; this is me admitting a truth about where we’re at in this country when it comes to women and leadership.  There is no other woman in this country that would have had it any easier. Make no mistake about it:  Any woman, Republican or Democrat, would have been smeared and tossed into doubt, regardless of what they did or didn’t do.  They would have gone to such lengths as to blame her for the misdeeds of her husband to whatever extent possible, just to make it quite improbable that she could be worthy of the title, the position of President.   Just like any other “firsts” – it has to move through the barriers, fair or unfair, before it accomplishes its goal.  And then, if we’re lucky, it becomes a new normal.

My criteria for being President of this great country of ours, is pretty simple:  If I know more about foreign policy and domestic policy than you do, you cannot be President.  If you don’t seem to understand how our branches of government work – or how many branches we actually have – you cannot be considered to occupy the office of the Presidency. It really is that simple.  If you claim to be a brilliant business man and you can’t pick the right people to put around you to assist you in your quest – and you can’t do the simple task of managing your negatives, elevating your positives:  you are not qualified to be a CEO let alone President of the United States.

The GOP has some work to do. And for the sake of our great country, I hope they start by owning up to their mistakes by voting for country over party and then doing the real work of reestablishing what the Republican party stands for now and in the years to come. We need at least two strong parties in this country…it’s the only way our democracy will continue to thrive. Of this, I am absolutely sure.

In the meantime, I’m voting FOR Hillary. She’s the right person, at the right time – and Lord have mercy it is TIME!

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