Peril and Politics

Ok, so you are thinking: Please, not another opinionated article on the Presidential Race. But before moving to the next commentary, be assured that my purpose here is to offer a very different perspective than what you have heard over and over again. At the very least, I would like to share a point of view to consider when it comes time to cast your vote.

With the results of Super Tuesday still lining newspaper headlines and landing the top story of the nightly news, it’s tempting to roll your eyes and say, “enough is enough.” I personally identify with that impulse. As a person who dislikes many aspects of politics, I’ll be the first to admit that I refrain from paying too much attention to the ‘nitty-gritty’ issues that the candidates laboriously debate over. (I’m the kind of person who likes to check out a website like that will not only show you which candidate aligns his or her positions with your own, but will also tell you why and how!) Like many other people, I like to try and take a more ‘big picture’ approach when deciding on my candidates, and I suppose it is this mindset that opens my eyes to more out-of-the-ordinary factors.

Here’s the best example of one of my unordinary concerns with this election: there have already been attempts made on Barak Obama’s life. Moreover, there are many people who have outwardly demonstrated and made publicly clear that they are ardently opposed to having a woman as president.

While one might sit back and say that the most appealing thing about Obama and Hillary is that they are, in fact, a minority candidate, that does not eliminate the people in this world who are morally, ethically, and perhaps religiously opposed to electing them. While I personally happen to support many of the stances taken by both Obama and Hillary, I cannot ignore the fact that it only takes one person to fire a gun. It only took a small group of people to crash an airplane into the World Trade Center, and it only took one person to pull the trigger and kill JFK. Both of these tragic catastrophes shook our nation to the core. Americans found themselves panicked, depressed, afraid, and insecure. Our economy likewise suffered, and people consequently wondered about the stability and international strength of our country.

I think it is terribly unfortunate that I may, in the long run, find myself voting for a candidate who is not a minority, despite the fact that my views align more with the stances of candidates who are. A huge part of me knows that it is foolish to choose one path based on a fear of taking the other. However, when the prospect of National Tragedy arises and the nation is increasing the risk of something as grave as widespread devastation in America, it is hard not to err on the side of caution.

Above all else, including my own disposition, I am disturbed that our society is still guilty of the tendency to hate and discriminate against others who are different. Part of me is thinking that I’m being too closed-minded and cynical; perhaps this could be our nation’s opportunity to show that we have moved past a history of oppression, prejudice, and hatred. However, even though I recognize that having a ‘first black president’ or a ‘first woman president’ would demonstrate how far our country has come in terms of moving towards racial and gender equality, I am finding that at least for now, my fears overcome my optimism. I guess I am more conservative after all.