Randi Kreiss

Vote as if your life depended on it


Listen up. No lectures. The integrity and destiny of our democracy is for you and me to decide with our votes next Tuesday. I trust the basic goodness of our American voting public, but I feel deeply concerned that not every voter is paying attention. I hope that every citizen, having educated him or herself, will find the way to do the right thing for our communities and our country.

When I vote, it will be to support candidates who have stood up and spoken out against President Trump. Please give the issues your full attention.

If you are increasingly disturbed by the unending stream of lies coming from the president and his minions, then vote. Do a bit of your own reading and use the tools available, like reliable internet sources, and realize that the president has lied nearly every day that he has been in office, from misstating the size of his inaugural crowds and the number of people killed in Puerto Rico in Hurricane Maria, to asserting that strong environmental laws are causing California’s wildfires. The constant lies, big and small, are toxic, and eroding the moral fiber of this great country.

If you have educated yourself about the evidence pointing to Russian influence in our elections, then vote. If you have heard the nearly universal support and respect for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and you know his work must continue, then vote. If you have seen the parade of indictees, many with close connections to the administration, then vote.

If you are a woman who believes she has the right to reproductive choice, then vote. If you are a man who knows, loves and respects a mother, wife, daughter or partner, then vote.

If you want leaders who raise up the poorest and neediest among us rather than making the wealthy ever more rich and entitled, then vote.

If you are an American of any race, creed, religion or ethnicity and you are offended by a president who refers to women as “dogs” and “pigs” and “horseface” — not in his long-ago youthful past but in recent years, months and weeks — then vote.

If you are a Latino, African-American, Jew, or a former POW, like the late Sen. John McCain, who has been lashed by Trump’s insults and innuendo, then vote.

If you are an immigrant, and we all are, then vote. If we put up walls, literally or figuratively, we will change the rich texture of our populace for the worse. We will dilute the mix that gives us the remarkably gifted artists and scientists and entrepreneurs that truly make America great.

If you are you a farmer feeling betrayed by Trump’s trade wars, which compromise your production and sales when you were led to believe he would boost the agricultural economy, then vote.

If you are an American who worries about continued, stable, affordable health care — and especially if you have a pre-existing condition — then vote.

If you are older and depend on Medicare or Medicaid, and have heard Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talk about reducing subsidies for these desperately needed government programs, then vote.

If, like me, you live within minutes of the channels, bays and ocean surrounding Long Island — and virtually all of you reading this do — and you see with your own eyes the effects of rising tides and warming waters, then vote. We cannot keep using and dumping plastic and trash and letting waste run into our waterways as if there is no tomorrow, or there won’t be. The Trump administration is doing nothing to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the coming decades.

If you are a new voter worried about getting called to fight in a war, when you have a president who is very good at creating chaotic distractions to obscure his malfeasance, then vote.

If you are alarmed by the fact that unelected, inexperienced and unprepared individuals like Ivanka and Jared are in positions of power affecting both domestic and international policy, then vote. If you are disturbed by images of the president’s daughter and son-in-law actually sitting down to negotiate with world leaders, then vote.

If you are transgender, or a sibling, parent or grandparent of a trans person watching the president disown human beings who identify as trans, then vote.

Look inward. Go deep. Is this the man you choose to speak for you as a moral leader here at home, and as our most important American ambassador to the world?

Your vote is your voice.

Copyright 2018 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at randik3@aol.com.