Nicholson: Buckle up, we’re in for a ride this election season; your vote matters (column) | VailDaily.com

Nicholson: Buckle up, we’re in for a ride this election season; your vote matters (column)

Gus Nicholson
Valley Voices

Shortly after the election of 2016, The Weekly Standard reported that 77,744 votes in three states out of a total of 136 million cast nationwide decided its outcome.

The percentage difference for the victor in each of these states was razor thin: 0.7 percent in Pennsylvania, 0.7 percent in Wisconsin and 0.2 percent in Michigan. It went on to say if the Democratic candidate had won those states, she would have won the Electoral College vote 278 to 260. It was that close.

It's easy to fall for the sideshow of collusion and how, for Progressives, that represents the shortest distance to regaining justice. Politics is not about principles. It's about power. And, right now, Tea Party Republicans are beside themselves with glee, basking in their one-party power.

In the current atmosphere, we find ourselves riddled with confusion, lying under siege for the truth. Look at the Koch brothers, ever practical and fearful they could one day find themselves on the wrong side of things. They now openly invite Democrats to latch onto their support, if only they would embrace the Kochs' causes.

Suddenly, the rift between the left and the right, now not just a divide but a chasm, is one where corporate interests are willing to throw up a bridge to their ultimate goal, which inevitably and unvarnished is the pursuit of profit.

Epithets the right hurls range from "get over it" to what amounts to willful ignorance regarding our leaders' actions and a willingness to embrace alternate facts that fly in the face of empirical observation. For example, the planet is definitely getting hotter.

Recommended Stories For You

In the face of these right-wing onslaughts, the left retreats into a cocoon of morality and egalitarianism where all are equal and entitled to protection, ignoring the economic realities of burgeoning wealth, even as our cities' streets break apart and common spaces swell with homelessness.

Despite such empirical realities, the left finds itself hard pressed to convince swing voters that nobody makes it by themselves, that all take common advantage of what America offers, which is simply opportunity, opportunity the likes of which is unavailable anywhere else on the planet in any other country.

My own observations lead me to believe that many thoughtful Americans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I know I am. Yes, the reality is there are pockets of intolerance and they have been growing in recent years. You can usually spot their purveyors by their easy slide into judgmental hypocrisy.

But we're not liars. Many of our leaders, however, are — brazenly so. But, how to convince our fellow citizens that we shouldn't tolerate another addition to the Supreme Court who has publicly stated views in support of suppression on the one hand and entitlement on the other?

How to convince our fellow citizens that we should no longer countenance a president who draws only from the pool of corporations and their empowering lobbies administrators who have shown by their allegiances and behavior scorn for the commonweal?

I'm not talking just about their ideology, but about their greed, their belief that now that their chubby little hands squeeze the levers of power at their will, they are somehow entitled to milk the government cow for their personal comfort and gain.

How to convince our fellow citizens that it is to no one's advantage, and may well be to our collective disadvantage, to rip from those less fortunate, old or infirm the social safety net all who work have paid for with the taxes on their own wages while justifying for corporations and farmers welfare on scales outrageous in their fiscal impact that are clearly designed to compensate for a current foreign policy built on hate, scorn and selfishness, not to mention plain ignorance?

If ever there was a time to throw the bums out, this is that time.

Buckle up. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands firmly on the wheel. And don't take them off until you get to your voting booths on Tuesday, Nov. 6. If you're not registered, get registered. If you think your vote doesn't count, reread the first paragraph.

Gus Nicholson is a resident of Avon and Denver.