My journey for truth started a few days after Senator Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy. My father-in-law forced me to sit down and listen to the then not-so-renowned Senator, in hopes that I would change my own personal views. Then, I was so desperate for a change and like some, I looked to the most recognized outsider, Donald J. Trump. My father-in-law wouldn’t stand for it, and I’m so glad he didn’t. I was mesmerized by Bernie’s honesty, love, and concern for the people. His messages drove deeper and deeper into my mind, forging a new view and a new belief that America couldn’t just be “great”, but immaculate. A society of inventors, dreamers, and patriots that were a force to be reckoned with. A society where everyone’s differences SERVED THEM and made them stronger. A society where diversity and peace were revered. A society that I grew up believing in, but realized wasn’t real. A society that I, and millions like me, begged for. Fast forward to today, society is anything but the aforementioned. It’s divisive, ruthless, cold. From riots in the streets to homes and families cracking and breaking under the immense political, moral, and fiscal pressures. Not enough listening to each other. Not enough understanding one another. The vast majority of Americans understand that our situation is a dire one, but are confused as to how we can move forward. We understand that there are massive forces acting beyond our control, and those forces are working against us, as well as the rest of the world, every day. But how do we swiftly and effectively counter those forces? Amidst these ponderings as well as our deep desire for a solution, we have and routinely do lose sight of what really matters. Our happiness. Our strength. Our unity.
In my many political and moral discussions, I see many who wish to remain by the sides of those that works tirelessly against them. While others, like me, wish for a complete overhaul of our representation, understanding that an inanimate system is not to blame for the corrupt, greedy persons who run it. Most voters wanted a different option, but felt they needed to stay with and support these corrupt persons for their votes to really count. Others, as well as myself, chose to vote based on their hearts and morals, refusing to fall prey to the controlled opposition we faced in this last election. And others still, despite having many warning signs, still voted for one of the two mainstream candidates, genuinely thinking and hoping that they would use their immense power for good. NONE of these people are to blame in my eyes. We all have the same common goal: to make our country work for us, to improve our lives so we can thrive in peace. To be happy. But, as some of us have discovered after this particular election and many more of us knew from past elections, this is simply not the case. Those who claim to be public servants are serving no one but their donors and special interests. I was one of those who was ignorant to this truth. I was asleep.
I was ignorant to the plight of past generations fighting the corruption under past administrations(this has been used against me even today) simply due to age. I grew up in a very right wing household with devout religious views. I leaned right on many subjects almost radically, from gay marriage to immigration to economics to everything in between. When I turned 18 and finally moved out, I was able to experience unsheltered, raw reality firsthand. I started to learn the truth. My views were damaging. My thoughts were poisonous to those around me. I didn’t want to hurt people, nor did I want anyone to suffer by my hand nor by my word. But what frustrated and confused me the most was I felt that I had to believe that way. It was how I was raised. I felt that if I simply changed my mind, I would somehow become one of the “DemoRats” or “Libtards” that I was raised to hate. I was trapped in a mental and moral box. But my cold logic, as well as a sense of courage, began to come through. If demanding a better world for myself, my family, and the other 325 million Americans I share this soil with made me a bad person, I never wanted to be good, ever again. It was around that time that I shed my old way of thinking. I became liberal.
2 years later, I was turned onto Bernie Sanders. Watching him speak, watching him captivate millions of people just like me, watching their faces light up just to see him, watching the precious bird land on his podium, watching his numbers soar throughout nearly every poll, watching some of the most powerful crowds I’d ever seen cheer him on…only to watch him lose to the corruption of those who run our system. I realized then that it wasn’t about “teams”. It was about the corrupt elite working against the people they claim to serve. July 26th of 2016 was the day I realized that the corruption went way beyond anything we could ever imagine and has run deep for many years. It was a crushing day, a heartbreaking day. But then my sadness turned to outrage. I started to research, to debate, to question, to learn, and to stand up for the one solid thing I could hang on to no matter what. Truth. Not a skewed, biased truth. REAL TRUTH. THE RAW TRUTH. No matter how much it hurt, no matter who dissented, no matter the biases, the raw truth remained. I then discovered Steve Grumbine and the Real Progressives, a group of people that, like me, sought for and clung to the real truth no matter who it favored, if it favored anyone at all. The truth does not respect party lines. The truth does not respect bias. The truth does not play favorites. The truth does not protect special interests. The truth, like nature, is ruthless, unforgiving, and takes no prisoners. Those of us who embrace this simple fact find peace amidst the chaos. We don’t pander to those who wish to willingly ignore the truth because it doesn’t serve them. We do not accept the status quo. We do not cater to those who wish to remain comfortable. We want the truth and all the bounties it has to offer. I find peace with these people and their message. I find their logic to be the most sound. I find this group to be essential if I am to grow up strong, both as a free thinker and as a friend to this world. In the strength and dedication to the truth of this group, I find unity.
Some people do not look upon this group the same way I do. They do not look at this group of beautiful souls as a beacon of truth or hope. They see us as angry, divisive people who refuse to compromise. In a way, I believe that that is true. We are not willing to compromise. Not with those who run the system. Because we understand everything they are and everything they aren’t. I understand and choose to hold fast with those who value the truth as I do. It’s hard to fight with people who do not think as I do for the simple fact that some of their beliefs and views contain bias. It’s hard to fight with people who are still partially asleep, believing that there’s still a chance to “fix” the “broken system”. It’s hard to try and hold conversations with those who automatically assume you to be an angry fuck that can’t get over all that’s happened this last year. However, I DO want to find the common ground with these people. I want to discover the hopes and desires of those who think differently and find peace in the similarity. Through education, common ground, and RAW TRUTH, we can reach through the diversity and the biases. The truth is concrete. It is undeniable. It’s the most powerful weapon we have. In spreading truth, we hope and strive to unify as many people as possible against the common enemy. The desire to do good resides in each and every one of us, but we cannot hope to manifest good things if there is no truth. I want to help make my country immaculate not just for myself, but for all of us. Unification cannot be found within a party. Unification cannot be found inside a system. Unification is only found inside of us and in truth. The PEOPLE are the heart and soul of this nation. But without the raw truth, we are nothing. Hold fast to your selfless desires and dreams. Hold on to your common ground. Hold on to the truth. Learn from and never forget the past. Live, love, and learn in the present. Always strive for a better, brighter future. ~JJQ
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche