It is easier to blow out a candle than to extinguish a forest fire

What is there left to say that hasn’t already been said these past 18 month.  It has been endlessly long and here we are, mere days before the election. Doug and Mathias at The Outdoor Society have decided we’ve seen enough and it’s time to speak our conviction and officially endorse candidates and issues which are important to us.

We won’t be exhaustive here. Not even close. In fact, we only really endorse one candidate. Instead of going on and on about who to vote for, we’ll be focusing on what’s important to us and what we feel will have the most impact. This blog is read all over the country and world and thus we’re not here to address every local issue pertaining to our jurisdiction in Thurston County, our base camp.
As you know, or I assume you know, I’m (Mathias) German, and I’m not even eligible to vote in this country, yet. But I’m paying taxes here, raising my children, and am calling this great country my home, and so I allow myself an opinion.

The one race every one has been talking about her the past eighteen month, the Presidential Race:

Mathias:
In this term’s presidential race one person claims this country needs to be great again and the one thing I am wondering is how did the citizen’s of this great country allow someone like Trump to rise up to be a few votes away from becoming President? I’m not calling it the most powerful office in the world, because if he’d get elected it immediately would cease to be that.
Yes, the hope every kid gets imparted with during their formidable years in school is that anyone can become president in this country, but in this case, I don’t know if this is a good thing.
Trump represents everything that’s not great about this country, and if he would get elected, this country indeed wouldn’t be great anymore. It would be an awful sign that there is something truly rotten about this great republic, a beacon of hopeful democracy all over the world.

How can this orange clown, an caricature of a man with absolutely no substance, no real plan, no solid policy ideas other than hollow phrases and bullying attention-grabbing gestures full of hot air ‘rise to power’?
Oh wait, I came from a place where a very similar asshat rose to power, in a very similar fashion. Boldly spreading lies of fear and anguish, presenting himself as savior and Santa Claus, by offering final solutions while tormenting millions and destroying everything he claimed to ‘make great’.
This is not hyperbolic speech, this is what I am truly afraid of. We have to extinguish this tiny, orange flame, putting that blind, white anger back into the box and build this country, together, stronger than ever before.

Luckily this frightening buffoon’s opponent is not just another boring old male politician, She is the most accomplished and experienced candidate running on the most progressive platforms the Democratic party has ever out forward. Again I come from a country currently run by a woman, and I think it is been the best thing that ever happened to Germany, to Europe, and to the whole world. We need more woman in leadership positions changing the way this world works. Hillary Clinton is exactly what this country needs, not just the liberal coasts, but the back water pockets of American hinterland. In the same way America had to check it’s racism at the door eight years ago when Barack Obama was elected the first black President, it’s time to say goodbye to sexism and elect the first woman President of the United States of America.

I urge you to not vote for this orange Santa Claus full of hot air. Do not believe his lies. There won’t be any presents under the tree from him. He’ll rape the country for his own gain like he did many women over the last few decades. He’ll leave moral and fiscal bankruptcy in his wake and he will turn this great nation into a giant reality show were he’s the only winner and everyone else is fired, humiliated, and left to hang out in the cold. That’s his business acumen and his legacy, let’s not make it America’s.
Vote for the first woman to become President of the United States of America. I’m with her!

Doug:

Have you ever walked a trail covered in horse shit? Like not just one or two piles, but a whole stream of feces, stretching for miles and miles, leading to larger and larger piles. The stench is awful and the traction is impossible, making climbing up even the simplest of hills an exhausting endeavor. This what I feel a Trump presidency will look like to our National Parks and Federal Lands. I see groups like the Bundys ‘Making Wilderness Great Again,” by killing wildlife, shooting guns in the air and running up and down ancient native burial grounds, waving confederate flags and screaming “Don’t Tread on Me.” Trump himself has made comments about privatization of our Public Lands, while nothing in his track record shows that he will fight for proper stewardship of our National Parks. If we allow someone who puts business first, we risk losing everything w have been fighting to protect for the last 100 years. If you support Trump, you are supporting someone who believes the environment is perfectly healthy and we don’t need to change anything. You are voting for a man who believes that climate change was invented by the Chinese… despite the fact that animals are vanishing across the earth and records rains, heat waves and disasters are hitting every corner of the world.

I am not the biggest Hillary fan, by any means. I didn’t support her in the primary and I had serious questions about voting for her in the general. However, she actually has plans for National Park funding. She has pages of policy, talking abut creating sustainable tourism models around our National Parks. For me, this is a no brainer. I am voting for what is important to me. I am voting against one of the worst candidates I have ever seen the GOP try to run.


The environment, nature, wilderness, and the great outdoors:

Here at the Outdoors we love, breathe, and quite literally, live off of the great outdoors. There is that overused word ‘great’ again.
But seriously folks. Every region of the world is a steward of their surroundings. More established places like the East Coast or Europe spend a lot of time protecting their heritage and culture through city planning and historic preservation, here on the west coast, nature is our culture.

In every election the tenor of red vs. blue is simple and clear.

“The Republicans want less taxes, growth in the private sector, pro-life and more guns.”

“The Democrats want stronger unions, equal taxes, pro choice and a restriction on assault weapons.” 

Sure, there are other issues that they both run on, but for the most part, this is tone. We fight each other daily, arguing on social media and trying to change someone’s opinion through some sort of loud talking or bullying. Hell, even our first section of this post can be seen as that. However, we need to come together and work for common ground. There are members of the GOP who love nature and want to protect it. There are Dems who love guns and logging. We all have common ground, but we find our lives divided over petty issues that are constantly used in baiting us to become divisive.

We believe that this elections, we need to vote for the environment and see what happens. For decades, we have been voting for or against abortion, guns and god, and for what? Nothing has changed in the last three decades about any of these issues. Yet, every election cycle, more and more people are sent to Washington DC, voting under the influence of their donors and not their constituents. Again, this year, fuck voting for hot button issues and take one election cycle to vote for the environment. It si cute easy to do, especially for National House and Senate races.

You can look up your current representatives at the following link, http://scorecard.lcv.org, and see how they have been voting for or against environmental issues. If they have a C or below, consider voting for someone new. Well, unless the person they are running against is worse, then vote for the best candidate.

Listen, we know political posts can be divisive, but we are here to have an actual conversation. Every person has their issues on why they support a candidate. We get that. We just can’t sit back and not try to impact democracy in a way we want. In 2016, we want you to vote for the environment, to vote for bringing together our fractured union and to vote for the future of the country, the planet and wilderness.

 

DOUG’S QUICK WASHINGTON STATE VOTER’S GUIDE

In full disclosure, I have worked political races in Washington state for the past decade. I have close friendships with some candidates and have numerous friends working on both sides of the aisle for races around the state. I will try to remain as balanced as I can in these, but know that I am flawed, just like everyone else. 

PRESIDENT:
A vote for Trump is a vote against our public lands. If you don’t believe that, feel free to close the tab and go back to living under the rock that you currently dwell beneath… just make sure it’s a privately owned rock and not a public rock. We hate you smooching off of government subsidies.

SENATE:
In full disclosure, I feel it is time we have some new blood in the Senate. However, Patty Murray is a huge supporter of Wild Olympics and I know very little of her opponent. I do know that Chris Vance, who is running against Murray, did condemn Trump in May, so he can’t be that bad.

HOUSE:
Honestly, vote Democrat. Even the Ds in Washington will help business, logging and other important jobs around the state. They might not always vote for the social issues that you like as a Republican, but you live in one of the most progressive states in the union, so get used to it.

GOVERNOR:
Jay Inslee gets our vote. He loves our State Parks and public lands, often talking about how much he enjoys backpacking in the Enchantments. His opponent is a nice enough guy, but isn’t even close to leading a state as progressive as Washington. Give Jay four more years and see what else changes for the good.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR:
Marty McClendon is a walking caricature of what a GOP candidate looks like. He has put out awful Youtube ads and used to be a conservative talk show host. While he is a great guy, he is not the candidate to support this race. Cyrus Habib is who we are backing for a whole plethora of reasons, but largely because of his support for labor unions and environmental rights.

SECRETARY OF STATE:
This is a hard one, as Kim Wyman is a great person and a solidly positive Republican. Yet, I find voter turnout low and the SOS is to blame. If you feel that voting in this state is fine, easy and at a high level vote to elect Kim. If you want someone much more progressive in the office, support Tina Podlodowski.

AUDITOR:
Yawn. Just kidding. Both candidates here are great, but Pat McCarthy gets the nod. Miloscia is a nice enough guy, but his stances on a few social issues raise flags for us here at TOS. Both will be better than Troy Kelly, who was forced to leave the job after a federal investigation of fraud and tax issues.

PUBLIC LANDS:
Hilary Franz is a solid rock star, and the perfect choice for the job. She will be a great fighter for public lands, helping protect our state forests, while still allowing logging rights on those lands to help pay for our schools.  Her opponent isn’t bad, just not the caliber of candidate we need to elect for such an important office.

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION:
This is a race many will skip, but it is incredible important. Not just because I am friends with one of the candidates either… but because education is how we become a stronger, more prosperous state. Out of the two candidates, one one has the experience needed for the office. Chris Reykdal has been working in the State house since 2010, aligning both sides of the aisle to fight for fully funded schools. His opponent gives great speeches, but no substance behind them.

INITIATIVE 1433:
Vote yes. Workers need a living wage. Anyone who thinks you can survive on minimum wage is grossly out of touch.

INITIATIVE 1464:
Yes. This is a very simple initiative.

INITIATIVE 1491:
Yes. While gun restriction initiatives are always hot button issues, this one is logical and simple.

INITIATIVE 1501:
No. Again, a simple initiative.

INITIATIVE 732:
Yes, but… Ok, I have an issue with this initiative. Tax breaks for people getting carbon friendly cars is great, but it only encourages the wealthy. I know it is a small step in the right direction, but damn. Vote yes, but also keep voting for more powerful environmentally-friendly initiatives.

INITIATIVE 735:
Yes. Corporations are not people.


Ok, so that is that. Please send all hate mail to yourself, as we won’t read it. If you do want more incite into why we support who and what we support, we will gladly have a civil debate with you online. That will be a first, right?

Remember to vote this November 8th. It is your chance to be heard.

And don’t forget: ‘there’s always sunshine after the rain.’

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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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