While I’ve been outspoken here and there on social media about the state of the 2016 presidential race I haven’t said much here.
That could be either because I’m rendered speechless by all that has transpired or that I’ve really just moved on.
I’ve never thought my vote mattered for much. Usually I felt it a responsibility to vote because I was taught it was my civic duty to do so. I still agree with that. But I know that given where I live and what I think that I represented a voting demographic that holds no sway.
I admit to being one of those voters who chose Ross Perot in 1992, thus contributing to the election of Bill Clinton. I don’t blame myself for Clinton’s election but I see the thinking of how third-party voters like myself had swung the election in his direction.
That presents the voter with a dilemma — do you vote your own conscience or simply for the better outcome, knowing that a vote for a louse might only prevent the election of an even bigger louse?
I’ve decided that even if I lived in a place where my vote mattered I’d still vote my principles.
And that brings us to a discussion of the choices this year.
The Democrats have all been about Hillary Clinton, despite her clear record of corruption and dishonesty. I could never in my wildest dreams cast a vote for her.
The Republicans had as many as 17 running for President and I couldn’t support a single one of them.
In fact, when the Republican Congress voted to repeal Obamacare last fall — and then when it was subsequently vetoed by the President — I was aghast to see that not a single Republican in Congress lifted a finger to even try to overturn the veto. They all wanted to say they voted to repeal it — but when the rubber met the road they didn’t have the guts to see it through. We’ve seen the Republicans lay down like this for more than 20 years now.
So I’ve been even more critical of Republicans that I have of Democrats this cycle. At least Democrats do what they say they’re going to do. Republicans flat out lie.
I’m, for the first time in my voting life, thinking that finally I may have others out there as angry as myself. Maybe, just maybe — I thought, in error — my vote would matter.
And people showing up at the primaries are mad, alright. They seem to be choosing Donald Trump in their angered state.
And with that I’m right back to where I started.
I do not share their enthusiasm for Donald Trump. In fact, I loathe this guy and have for quite a while.
Well, back up.
At first I was pretty amused by Trump’s shenanigans. I liked the fact he was fracturing the Republican party.
I felt if anyone could fuel a third party or perhaps run independently it would be Trump. But the hope was that five or six would jump in the race for November — not the primaries — so that the voters would really have choices and so that the process would be stretched beyond party politics.
It’s not to be. Trump has steamrolled the Republican primaries and he appears positioned to get the nomination.
Establishment types are all over themselves swearing that won’t happen and many are painting a scenario where if Trump does get enough delegates they will snag the nomination from him in a convention fight. Some are even predicting third party runs by others just because they know there is an element of people — meaning ME — who will never vote for the profane, nonsensical, blowhard that is Donald Trump.
It all makes for great television.
But it all leads to a lousy future for the USA. I have nightmares of voting in November with only Clinton and Trump as choices. I won’t do it. I will literally write in a name than accept those two choices.
This isn’t the kind of situation, in my mind, where you hold your nose and accept the stink of one candidate over another.
We know how this ends. I read the Book of Mormon and I see where this is going.
When the riots begin I will not participate in them.
I will continue to be angry. I will continue to cast my vote. I will likely continue to feel my vote doesn’t count.
But I won’t lose my head and I refuse to contribute to the chaos around me.
This is a time to stand for what is right. Make no mistake.