Versus : Artwork by Eric Christopher Jackson

Versus (2015) | The Condition of America

Versus : Artwork by Eric Christopher Jackson

Versus (2015)

I stumbled into creating an art piece that describes how I see the current condition of America. It’s entitled, Versus. The sun is at war with the night. It’s an even fight and one crucial choice can tip the momentum in either direction.

The U.S. Election process has taken a toll on its citizens. There have been hurt feelings from things that have been said. Recently, we have had an organized Women’s March in several cities to defend women’s rights. Something that should have happened a long time ago since this has been an issue for several years, not simply because we have a new President with his reputation.

I have sat back through it all since I feel like I’m still recovering from the Democratic Primaries. Yes, the Primaries that take place before the General Election process. Candidates have national debates as Voters decide who they want to represent the Democratic and Republican Party. To be honest, as a registered Independent, I did not like many of the choices presented and there is no official Independent Party for potential candidates to represent.

However, I did take a liking to Senator Bernie Sanders. Although he was a candidate for the Democratic Party, he was labeled as an Independent. I suppose he had to choose a side. While he gave Secretary Clinton a bit of a scare, he did not win the Democratic Primary. There were rumors that the Sanders campaign had been interfered with, but…it’s all noise in the end. By that time, I felt like he was the best candidate. I did not agree with all of his ideas, but I liked his personality and felt he was sincere.

Then, things really began to change. Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump began to face each other as candidates in Presidential debates. Oh my. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t fond of either candidate and began to hear people saying we should vote for the lesser evil. What kind of option is that?

Next, people said you should vote for who you think will win the general election. Doesn’t that mean you don’t have to like the person, you just have to believe they’ll beat the other guy? I don’t like that option, either. Let’s use football as a quick example. The Patriots are playing the Falcons in the Super Bowl this year. I don’t like the Patriots, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they won. That doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them. 🙂 Let’s go, Falcons!

Another issue that I believe hurt the election process is when Bernie Sanders endorsed Secretary Clinton. Yes, I know. It happens every Election cycle. The candidates for one Party go at each other’s throats while making a case why they are better qualified than the other. Then, the losers endorse the winner to make nice with the town’s folk. I don’t completely understand why, but okay. We accept this as part of the process.

This time around, it was different. The Bernie Sanders supporters were so passionate about their stance, some felt betrayed when Sanders gave an endorsement to the person he was just trying to knock out of the Election process. It was odd. More than usual. This time… it was wrong somehow.

Now, I’d like to address these Poll numbers. We listened to all of the News channels talk about Poll numbers and how people voted in early voting. They talked about Exit Poll numbers which indicated that Secretary Clinton would easily win most (if not all) the battleground states. Yes, we are red and blue and some states are more important than others. Yes, this is the type of mentality that got us into this mess.

The news anchors warned Trump supporters not to cause riots and allow a peaceful transition of power from President Obama to the next President, assumed to be Secretary Clinton. They said Mr. Trump had little to no chance of even making the contest close from all of the numbers the experts gathered.

Then, Election Night came and the actual votes began to come in. One state after another began to shock the world. The news anchors found themselves jaw-dropped. I didn’t begin to follow the news coverage until after 2am thinking Secretary Clinton would win easily. I remember turning on the TV, flipping from channel to channel, not sure what to think. Mr. Trump wasn’t just winning the Electoral Vote count, he was cruising ahead. In states where a Republican candidate has not won in years, he won.

Of course, many of you know what happened after that. Conspiracy theories. The Russians interfered. Mr. Trump had to cheat, somehow, to win like this. Slowly, but surely, we began to find out the truth about those Exit Polls. People lied. People came out of the Voting booth saying they voted for Secretary Clinton, but in reality, they voted for Mr. Trump. They lied because they didn’t want other people to think the worst of them. The popular consensus was, if you voted for Mr. Trump, you agreed with all of his controversial and was okay with the inappropriate things he did. Yes, to protect your own reputation, you had to lie.

The truth is, they didn’t agree with all of his statements and didn’t like his inappropriate behavior. However, Mr. Trump’s inability to hide his true feelings also became a strength since Secretary Clinton was seen as untrustworthy. At least, that was the perception with too many voters. Leaked news about the behind-the-scenes arguments within her campaign only confirmed the perception people had of her.

I shook my head for months wondering how we ended up here. One day, my youngest nephew asked me my opinion of the matter as it was a highly debated topic at his high school. I said, “Well, what would you rather have: a person who tells you they hate you to your face or a person who tells you they’re your friend, but you know they’re lying?” That was the perception of our choice.

I voted early. Stood in the booth thinking, I don’t want to vote for either of them, so I wrote in Bernie Sanders. Sure, people were going to repeat what President Obama said: a write-in vote benefits Mr. Trump. But I could only vote for someone I actually thought should be in office. I needed a clear conscience about all of this. And after putting up with months about campaign commercials and mud-slinging, I deserved this right.

I haven’t watched the News much since the Election was decided. I didn’t watch the Inauguration of President Trump. I get a headache just thinking about it. I don’t keep up much with what people are saying on social media because too many of them are angry and, quite frankly, acting a bit childish. So much for a peaceful transition.

I don’t watch CNN or Fox News or any of the another stations because of their bias tendencies to support either the Democratic or Republican party. I just want someone to report the News, not tell me what I should think about what’s being reported. 😦 But news channels, magazines, and major newspapers are blatantly using their platforms to influence public opinion to fit their own ideals. It’s not right whether I agree with their ideals or not.

I’ve come to a conclusion on who’s to blame for where we are now. Us. The American people. We depended on the politicians too much to fix everything that’s broken in our lives from pollution to healthcare. They can’t. Plus, too many of them are simply concerned with their ego and keeping their own jobs. Now, we’ve turned to a business man to see if he can fix this mess.

Can he? I read the headlines of News articles to keep up with how the tide is flowing. Sometimes, I’ll read some or all of the article. I will say President Trump isn’t wasting time. He’s gonna do something…but will it be the right things to do? Time will tell. We’ve had some of these problems for several years. The typical politician has had their chance, so enough people chose to go outside of the box to see what happens.

I just hope we didn’t go too far…
Eric Christopher Jackson

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2 comments

  1. Well summed up for me. You just don’t know what to believe anymore.

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