Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why I'm Not Voting

Two sides, same coin.

I guess you could call me a centrist. I think this stems from me being a very empathetic person. I always try to see both sides of an argument. I try to understand ideas different from mine and why a person would hold those ideas. In this polarized society that we live in, I think more people need to take this approach to ensure we don't start a civil war over stupid social issues. I believe the majority of people are centrists who don't fall neatly into the left or right, but agree with certain issues on both sides. However, the loudest voices in media are often those who pander to the far right or far left and leave the middle ground out of the equation. Thus, people who would otherwise be fairly evenhanded start being dragged to one side or the other and into an echo chamber where all of society's ills can be blamed on the liberal agenda or everything wrong can somehow be traced back to Republicans. It's pretty stupid, and it's the inevitable result of a two-party system. It wasn't always this way and it doesn't have to be.

But here's the thing, if there was ever a year where a third party could have even a tiny shot of even getting onto the debate stage, it was this year. And neither Gary Johnson nor Jill Stein have it in them. While I personally like both of them, I do have political disagreements with their policy, because they are both still too partisan for me. Johnson is too far right and Stein is too far left. Stein has never held public office, and Johnson does not seem very knowledgeable about international affairs as I would like to see in a presidential candidate.

They coulda been something...

Still though, they both should have been on that debate stage, and the coalition between the two major parties to squash third parties is nothing less than criminal. We need more ideas. America needs to know that it has more options than red team or blue team, when neither party represents true American values anymore. Instead, both are slipping further and further apart, alienating and abandoning the true base that lives in the middle and rarely votes at all. I live in a deep red state that will go to the Republican party almost every time (though we did elect a Democrat governor last year.)

I disagree with Trump on virtually every issue and I think he is a massive fraud, liar, and criminal: if I voted for him, I could never clean the stink of hypocrite off of my skin. However, I disagree with Clinton on many issues and I feel she has utterly failed to speak to any of the issues I find most important. She collaborated with the Democrat party to screw over Bernie Sanders (who I supported) and denigrated him, his ideas, and his voters with the bullshit "Berniebro" controversy trying to paint him as a sexist. I find many of her positions indefensible, like the fact that she's way too chummy with Wall Street. Also, she's been a First Lady before. I don't think anyone in the immediate family of a president should be allowed to run. This isn't ancient China; I don't want another Bush Dynasty.

Such a misogynist sexist pig, right?

I don't plan to vote next month because despite what everyone tells me, I don't believe my vote counts. I also don't believe the partisan hacks on TV rustling my fellow Americans into a frothing panic over the next president, claiming that America will be destroyed if candidate X gets into office. Whoever is president, it's going to suck, but I'd rather not have a reality TV star packing the Supreme Court with far-right nut-job evangelicals who want to turn the clock back to 1950. I spent 20 years of my life happily apolitical and I wish I could go back. I wish I could stop caring about politics, but it is something that does have an effect on me and everyone I know. It's hard to ignore.

One might do more screwing than the other.

Bottom line: Vote or don't vote. Vote for whoever you want. Don't let people feed you lies about "throwing your vote away." Don't let people shame you for not voting. It's America, that's your freedom. I'll never tell anyone else how they should vote, and I don't see myself supporting another candidate anytime soon after Bernie Sanders. Perhaps one day in the future, another politician will earn my vote, but until then, I won't be dragging my butt down to the voting booth on a November morning to put my name behind a person I don't believe in.

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