When I was younger, I believed that not voting was a way to send a message to the “powers that be” that I was not happy with the current state of our government. It was a very easy way to justify what was merely just my laziness and lack of motivation for getting to the polls. As I got older, I realized that justification was only a capitulation. It gave permission to the government to do whatever they wanted because I had muted my voice by not participating in my Constitutional right and privilege.
So, I changed my opinion on voting, but I wanted to be smart about it. Just as I wanted my non-vote to matter, I wanted my actual vote to have more impact. I reviewed the party platforms discriminately and finally found a party that I felt represented by own values, then when the time came, I pulled the lever for them all the way down the ballot, from city council to the President of these United States. I was a loyal foot soldier that also perpetuated the message that my party was right, and the other was wrong by engaging in discussions that sometimes ended in a moral victory, but often ended in a stalemate. Still, I pressed on passionately ever attempting to enlighten myself and others with meaningful dialogue on the political process and how governmental policies affected the population at large.
This election has changed everything for me.
When I look at the candidates for President, I start to worry that when the day comes for me to pull that lever again, I will stand in that booth for hours doing mental somersaults while getting yelled at by the next person in line who already has their vote all figured out. I’m jealous of that person. They are so confident that their choice is the best for themselves and this country, while I straddle the fence, dangling my legs above the greener grass on either side. I don’t know where to land, so I’m contemplating staying up there for as long as I can without chafing.
The Republican Party offers me, Donald Trump. Jesus H. Christ. A serial narcissist who is learning how to speak on the fly. He has no substantive policies beyond making promises he won’t be able to keep (“We’re building a wall and Mexico’s going to pay for it!”). His supporters feed on his rampant and overt racism under the guise of “American Nationalism” with the hope of “Making America Great Again”, which seems to mean “Make America White Again.” I’m definitely not hip to that jive.
The Democratic Party forced Hillary Clinton onto me. She’s a lifelong political insider with a heap of experience that no one can deny and would look good if I were merely looking at a resume, but I’m not. Unfortunately, the internet and 24-hour news also provide me with her dealings with the Clinton Foundation and her “damned emails”. We also found out that the DNC was pretty partisan during the primary and helped push Bernie Sanders out despite a historic run. Something smells fishy, but no one has actually found the fish.
But, I refuse, like others, to accept this two party system that is being forced down my throat. There are over 30 political parties in the US, most of whom don’t even get on Presidential ballots, but I refuse to be cornered. So, who’s left for me on November 8th?
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. I’m not a libertarian, but he has some experience as governor of New Mexico. Whoops! Looks like he can’t get on the debate stage without a minimum of 15% in the polls. Poor Gary is at around 10% right now. I wouldn’t vote for him anyway since I don’t roll that way, but at least I can respect his experience and honesty.
The Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, is at roughly 3%, and I’m not even sure she’ll get on the ballot in my state. No experience as a politician, but she has been the candidate for Ralph Nader’s party the last two elections. I like what she has to say, but I look at her as trying to become CEO without any experience in the mailroom. I like to hire from within.
I can write in a candidate. Of course, that would be accepting defeat since there is no chance a write-in candidate will win. I can accept that, I think. Maybe I will just listen to the only wise words I ever heard from Ted Cruz when he said: “Vote your conscience.”
If you’re behind me on November 8th, bring a sandwich and have your phone charged. Sorry.
Weekly conference calls with like-minded people who want to stop a candidate who is racist, sexist, bigoted, incites violence and is demonstrating no competence for the job at hand.
Source: 30dB.com – Gary Johnson
“Gary Johnson is the choice for many people and his positives in social media crush both of those other two no names. But Johnson has a volume problem. The volume of opinions for Gary Johnson out there is around 3% of the opinion volumes on Trump, however, with a much higher % of positives for nice guy Johnson.” – Howard K. 30dB
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