The conventions this week and last have given us two sharply different visions of our country and its future.
The Republican vision, or at least the Trump version, is dark, fearful, and hate-filled. It celebrates greed, division and exclusion. It is all about drawing inward, forcing out, and moving backward to an imaginary past that was somehow lost even though it never really existed. It is a vision that uses faith to divide us by emphasizing religious differences rather than the common beliefs almost all humans share about what is moral and good. Religion is used as a weapon to drive us apart rather than bring us together. Under the Trump Republican vision a promise is only as good as the benefits you derive for yourself from keeping it; it is stupid to admit a mistake; “facts” don’t have to be true, and it is okay to mock and degrade people with whom you disagree.
The Democratic Party vision we have seen this week is one bathed in the bright light of love, compassion, reaching out, coming together and lifting up. Democrats look to the future with hope, imagination and the certainty that we Americans can achieve anything if we only work together. Democrats celebrate both our common beliefs and aspirations and the richness that flows from our diversity. For Democrats, a promise is a promise; mistakes are teaching moments, facts are facts, even when they are uncomfortable; and, every person deserves respect regardless of whether or not we share their opinions.
Voting for Hillary Clinton is an affirmation of this more hopeful vision for our future. And, it is something more. A vote for Hillary is a clear statement to the world that Americans will no longer tolerate artificial barriers to success. Any strong, talented, intelligent woman with the drive and determination to succeed will for now on have the same opportunity as any similar strong, talented, intelligent and determined male.
Trump Republicans think we can get to the future by returning to the past. They are wrong about that, dead wrong. We will never get to the future by running backward. We will only get to the future by taking one step forward and then another and another—together.
I URGE YOU TO VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON; VOTE FOR THE FUTURE