The Swamp is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
The American political system is beginning to tell a new story, and it’s that of the American people constructing their future. Who’s telling it? The Underdog Times.
Before I continue, I would like to make a point. Life and history are made up of stories, and these are what give us meaning. We are not at all constricted by a narrative, because a new one can always come along. Every moment that has changed the course of history is also a signaling spark of a new chapter in the books of our destiny.
Right now, we are writing one that splits this nation in two—Democrat and Republican. The problem is that each side opposes each other in a way that is not conducive to the unity of the citizens. This split narrative only encourages a divide within this country, and removes the responsibility for compromise. It makes it all too easy to find a way to blame the entire half of the country in the name of politics.
This new chapter is one in which the opposition is not the American citizen. The fact of the matter is there is about half of the nation that supports either of the two major parties, and if logic is to have a say, it might be saying that each side has some valid truth to it.
Commanding that an entire party is wrong, further commands that half the nation is wrong, and therein lies the danger of it all. What is this way of thinking? An attempt at political genocide. We have realized that diversity in the name of ethnicity and creed is essential, but so is a difference in ways of thinking.
With the 75th anniversary of D-Day yesterday, the remembrance of World War Two was in the spotlight. Though we are far from the atrocities of the early 20th century, we have to remember that Germany was a democratic nation under the Weimer Republic that preceded the Nazi regime. So we ask, how did Hitler come to reign, and how is it possible that he led an entire country to a mass genocide? Now there are countless reasons for this, but is the general make-up of the political system conducive for a thought that lies in line with Hitler’s ideology?
If we can say that half the country is wrong, do we then take the first of many steps down a hideous path? Those aren’t questions I can answer for you, but they are worth asking.
With the remembrance of D-day came a speech from our President, Donald Trump. Now, I’m not a fan of our president, and that is not a doubt. However, listening to that speech, it made me think. In that moment, it was all forgetting—the division and the disagreement. There was a unity that was greater than the politics of left and right. It was yet another part of the narrative that encapsulated both sides of the party lines. We must continue to try and remove ourselves from the partisanship of our current government system.
To curate this third narrative, we must take the story of Trump, and all others under the political magnifying glass, and tell them through a new story—a story that puts them under the light of being humans. With that, these are the headlines of our past that would tie together the two opposing accounts of the Democrats and Republicans.
November 4, 2008—The First Strike of the Underdog
Today, Barack Hussein Obama II became the first African-American elected to the highest office of the nation.
The enslavement of African-Americans was only a few centuries ago, and many are still enslaved under the whip of injustice today. We must remember that, not to bring shame, but so that we can see how far we have come as a nation. From the literal bottom of society, African-Americans have fought their way up, leading the way for all underrepresented minorities in this country. Through Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and everything in between, we now have a new face to represent our country on the world stage.
Let this be a signaling flare to light the night we are still running from. Others will see it from miles out, and it will ignite the midnight sky like fireworks of celebration. We may be lost at sea right now, but if we are to put party lines aside, we can see this as a beginning. The ship may be sinking, but we can board the one coming to save us—the one of the American citizen, the one of hope, the one of justice and equality, the one of the Underdog. Will you board?
November 6, 2016—Is There Hope for the Underdog?
Donald J. Trump has become the 45th president. Now, I know some of you are in despair, and don’t see past the disagreements you have. You see a corporate man who has been in business his entire life, and question if there is any hope for you over the next four years.
There is hope. Though not an Underdog in the general sense, Trump has still fought a fight for us. Never stepping a foot in the political arena, he has become the first man to step into the nation’s highest office without the repertoire of experience that we are used to seeing.
Let this not be a sign you disregard, but rather a symbol of hope for you, the average American. It is not every day that a man comes along, and breaks the tradition that has been repeated 44 times through the course of nearly two and a half centuries. It is a momentous precedent that the non-political man can capture this feat, as it shakes the bounds of which we thought were a law to our political system.
There are imperfections in our new president, and that is not something we can’t ignore. However, I wonder how far you are willing to go to discredit this man? For many, the lengths are tremendous, so I add one more component to this question. If you discredit him too harshly, you lose the opportunity to change the narrative we are telling—the opportunity to hear the voice of our ordinary man from the height of political importance.
Fellow Underdogs, don’t shy away too quickly. We can hope for great things to come from this. Let it be a spark of inspiration.
Turn Around—Fight the Same Fight, Not Each Other
The unheard voice of the everyday citizen is the biggest problem that Americans are having in this country. We fear corruption, and we are seething because of injustice.
Yes, we live in an ugly world, but we also live in a beautiful world. Yes, there are people with a lot more power than us in government, but you have control over those people – you can be those people!
This piece will probably be one of my most controversial, because it blames you, and I know you don’t like that. I know that because I don’t either. I’ve been known to say look at how these people in our government are acting, or look at how the other side is living their lives today; it’s just pitiful! They are wrong!
Then came along a day when I stepped back every so often, and asked myself this question. How did those representatives get into office? How is it that the other side can say the same thing about us? Then I realized the answer is me; the answer is us. We elected those officials—corrupt, chauvinistic, and just all around poor selections. Hey, well guess what? We voted them in as a population. We are exactly like the other side of the bipartisan line. We are good, they are bad, and the bad leads to the ugly—and that is the story they have of us.
Don’t let your party lines bind you to a predetermined island. Speak your voice, and the way of the times will change. We are in a democracy, and the power is in the vote. You can no longer blame the system for your mistakes. It's up to you now.