Hello Dear Reader,
My name is Sal Biase and until about 16 months ago I was the most liberal member of my friend group. While I would often criticize Former President Obama for his expansion of the surveillance state, use of drone strikes, imprisonment of journalists and whistleblowers along with a whole host of other issues, I was always welcome in the Democratic party.
When Senator Bernie Sanders entered the Democratic Primary race, I was excited because he offered a vision of the Democratic party much more in line with my own personal beliefs. I knew, from the very start of the primary race, that I would have trouble voting for Hillary Clinton. A candidate much further to her left was welcomed, in my opinion. I expressed these views early and often to fellow Democrats, who were certain that Hillary would be the eventual nominee. (Simply look back at earlier posts on this page.)
As of the writing of this letter, my political priorities consist of an end to foreign wars, a focus on the empowerment of the American Working Class through a shift to middle-out economics, the creation of a single payer health care program (but I would much prefer a truly universal health care model) among many other traditionally democratic policy positions. I believe we need to reform of our democratic process in a way that eliminates the problems associated with FPTP. I believe that the elimination of Citizens United and the re-outlawing of bribery (otherwise known as lobbying) are paramount to a healthy American political process. I believe in the right for women to choose, for gays to marry and for all genders and races to be protected equally by our government. It is my humble belief that we desperately need a complete overhaul of our immigration process, so that it provides efficient and thorough vetting to all who seek refuge within our borders while ensuring safety and security to both immigrants and citizens alike. I believe we need to shift our education system in a way that provides more people with more technical and useful skills so they can thrive in our ever advancing society.
With all of that in mind, I want it to be known that I am no longer afraid or ashamed to state that I voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. I made this decision after it was readily apparent that corruption from within the Democratic party was preventing a truly fair and transparent primary process. It was abundantly clear that party officials had no interests in having a meaningful debate on the many issues where people on the left differed from the establishment center-right. On top of all that, it was apparent that our political establishment was constantly colluding with the media to dramatically influence public perception and stifle arguments from people who disagreed with "mainstream" thinking.
The current POLITICAL establishment seemed dead set on continuing Clinton Era fiscal ideas that were (and are currently) pushing our economy toward catastrophic collapse. The current leaders of our two party duopoly seem content to allow the very rich and corporations to dictate our laws, control our beliefs and destroy every facet of our world. In my opinion, voting for Hillary Clinton was 100% a continuation of these corrupt practices. When I, and I am sure others like me, attempted to address these concerns with Clinton loyalists, we were met with accusations of being purists along with veiled threats of the dangers of our "enemy". In the end, I remained unconvinced of the causes Democrats claimed to be in favor of. I, ultimately, could not bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton.
Voting for Donald Trump was, for me, a difficult act, as I had no real appreciation for his crass and abrasive personality. I had, at the time, serious concerns about his character. I did, for a long time, consider voting for Jill Stein, so that my conscience would be clear no matter who won the election. This choice seemed like a cop out and I decided not to cast a vote for the third party candidates. I chose to vote for Donald Trump because, at the very least, he came from OUTSIDE of the Washington DC establishment bubble. He spoke about trade and business in a way that I agreed with, if only on a very basic level. When I cast my vote for Trump, I didn't feel guilty or upset but rather liberated and excited for whatever brand of chaos he would bring, because it was bound to shake the corrupt politicians that have held our government hostage for the last 20 years.
As someone who voted for Barrack Obama twice and straight Democrat in each midterm election since I was 18, I was nervous about what a Conservative President Trump would do once in office, but I must say, as of now, I DO NOT regret my vote at all. The Russia narrative being pushed by the Democrats only solidifies, to me, the inability of Corporate Owned Democrats to address any issues those to their left have about their political philosophies. I changed my registration from Democrat to unaffiliated after the DNC Convention and as of now, the party has done LESS than nothing to win me back. I am less and less inclined to rejoin their members who have this idea that UNITY is something natural that takes place because 'we are a team,' rather than a manifestation of a coalition making meaningful compromises in ACTION as well as word. I also find I am more disappointed in Bernie Sanders these days, rather than energized by him, as he seems to adopt whatever speaking points the rest of the party has to offer.
I have always been more drawn to INTEGRITY in my political allies, than rhetoric. While Donald Trump is an imperfect messenger, I feel he has done a lot to show his intentions are at least with the people who elected him. He has already walked out of the TPP, reinvigorated US business, met with Union Leaders (in a way they seem excited about) and moved toward investing in our infrastructure here at home, which will ultimately create jobs. I am not happy about his plan to unilaterally deport immigrants or to ban refugees, but I understand that as a conservative this is in line with his philosophy and not entirely in line with my own. I do understand the need to strengthen border security, I have now come to be more supportive of the massive project known as 'the Wall.' I don't think Trump poses any real threat to transgender or gay men and women in this country, but I will stand against him should he pass any truly discriminatory laws.
My political compass has me pegged as a Far "Libertarian-Left" and that is fine with me. I have long called myself a progressive and used to be very proud of my Democratic affiliation, but according to many, I am now an Alt-Right fascist-racist jack-hole. That's cool too. To me, these are just labels. Words that are more indicative of a realignment of the parties, rather than any real shift in my own political belief system. I will continue to vote for whoever I think will get me closer to my political goals. It is up to the candidates to earn my vote. I won't vote for someone because of a label they apply to themselves, or the labels partisan citizens apply to me. The definitions of words can change, but I value the consistency of my beliefs, along with the ability to change and adapt based on what I feel will best serve my country, which I love.
I type all of this and offer it to you for two reasons. First, to make myself feel a bit better about being ostracized by my former allies and political tribe. Everything about this space is mildly self indulgent, I am not unaware or ashamed of that. I enjoy posting my poetry and political beliefs here, in hopes to spark discussion with those who agree or debate with those who don't. In my opinion, open and polite political dialogue is the only way for a society to move forward. Secondly, so members of the Democratic party may gain a perspective missing from political discourse today.
It seems to me that the far left has been drowned out or even intentionally smothered by establishment voices with larger platforms from which they speak. The left cannot possibly unite if the only left party continues to ignore the honest opinions of their most left members. If Democrats don't want me that is fine. The Right has been very welcoming. I have had some amazing and enlightening discussions with conservative Trump voters all over the internet. In general, I have found most Trump supporters to be genuinely smart, funny and patriotic Americans. Just like much of the left, the majority of the right consists of fine human beings. I simply want it known that it wasn't me who left you, The Democrats have moved right... I am still here and available to be won back in the future, should you address these concerns.
With humble sincerity,
Founder of SalOfTheEarth.com
Editors note: The above letter is derived from a comment I posted to reddit. Just pointing that out so I don't get accused of plagiarizing myself.