Afterthoughts of a Third Party Voter
This past Tuesday I patiently waited for my boyfriend to get off of work so that he could watch my 3 week old baby so that I could go vote. It was 3 p.m., and I was the only voter at my polling location. Two gentlemen were there to support the campaign efforts of local candidates. But other than that, no push at all, not even lawn signs, for the presidential candidates. It didn’t take me long to complete my ballot. The option for U.S. President was on of the first. Without too much hesitation, I cast my vote for Jill Stein.
Later that evening, I sat with the rest of the country and watched the election results come in. It was surreal to see the numbers come back and witness Donald Trump winning the election. In Pennsylvania where I voted, Trump won over Hillary Clinton by about 50K votes. Third party candidates combined won about 220K votes. Ugh.
However I was not prepared for the vile reactions from both sides the following morning. Of course most of my liberal friends and family were horrified. My conservative friends were condescending to their pain. I in the meantime kept tacit about my voting choice. But I could figure out the general sentiment…even if I didn’t ask. Before long, friends were posting articles like this one, which pretty much blamed the Trump win on voters who chose third party candidates.
And that’s where I really feel like I need to put my foot down. So I’m going to make this statement here:
99% of career politicians cannot relate and don’t care about poor, working class and minority/marginalized Americans; regardless of party affiliation!
So it’s not about choosing between the lesser of two evils. It’s about not being deluded into thinking that the current American government cares about the best interests of the larger population. It doesn’t. Not only do we effectively have a two-party system (two parties that are rapidly losing their integrity and identity by the way…especially the GOP); but there is no chance whatsoever of a working-class American getting elected to the nation’s highest office. Not when a presidential campaign takes tens of millions of dollars to execute. And let’s not even mention the media; who are committed not to inform us, but to entertain and shock us. Facts and useful information all goes to hell in a hand basket.
So no, I’m not going to apologize for voting the way that I did. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that had a message that really resonated with me. As for Jill Stein, while she doesn’t wow me as much, the Green Party in general does align with many of my personal beliefs.
Voters in 2016
Speaking of facts, people are so quick to blame Trump’s win on liberals like myself who opted to third party candidates. But where’s the open criticism of those who did not even go to the polls? Voter turnout was as a 20-year low. According to Pew Research, young voters didn’t back Clinton like they did President Obama in years prior; and Trump won the vote of more American Whites without college degrees (who most likely feel the most disenfranchised in this new economy). I am no political analyst, but it seems as if the Clinton campaign and the DNC took a lot for granted when it came to their voting base. The 2016 Presidential Election just proved how you cannot do that.
The Emperor Has No Clothes
Yes Trump’s win is a big blow. It reinforces the fact that a huge number of Americans are culturally insensitive and have deep-rooted prejudices that they are willing to ignore for their self interests. But as for Trump himself? The man is a puppet…who is already flip-flopping on core campaign promises. He is unqualified, entitled and will not win any awards for class. In this way, he’s no different than many of America’s top CEOs and leaders. This is a place where money trumps (pardon the pun) all; especially for White men. If you are a rich, White, American male, you can do no wrong and the world is your oyster.
Also we have glorified the American Presidency to the point where the general view of the position is not accurate. Congress is still a thing….the Supreme Court is still a thing…etc. Of course, Congress is not our savior either, where the median net worth of our elected officials there is upwards of a million dollars. In short, the president is not a king. It isn’t his way or the highway. Trump might not be used to that. He very well might feel stymied in the role very quickly. So he’ll have to change his tune. If not, then just prepare to be the most ineffective president ever….which is ok too.
What’s a Republican Anyway?
As bad as Trump is, he’s not a crazy right-wing Republican; and thank God that he isn’t a Tea Partier! Yes, all of these crazy groups like the KKK endorse him. But for Trump it is all lip service. All he cares about is himself and winning. Not your Christian/racist/sexist cause. While I do not think that Trump cares one iota about this country’s working class and poor people, perhaps he will look at government policy through new eyes. For example, the war on drugs and prohibition of marijuana costs the country money. So hey, let’s get rid of that! Previous presidents would have worried about how that would make them look. But Trump’s ego has no room for that. He does what he wants…which is probably just what the Republican party needs right now. Because for 30 or so years, they’ve been the party of rich, coddled White men who play out their penis envy via the American military.
You Never Miss A Good Thing Until It’s Gone
For 8 years people have been boo-hooing about President Obama. So now that his polar opposite has been elected, we’ll see if they’ll change their tune. They may be quieter…but in the end, their quality of life will hardly improve. But one thing is for sure; we will lose the respect that Barack Obama had on the world stage. We’ll lose the positive spirit and class that was in the White House. But you know what, in all honesty, a degree of that would have been lost if Hillary Clinton won as well.
In the end, I also want this country to be great again! I want a place where more Americans can have their voices heard. And if it takes liberals not getting their way to do so, then be it. Now is the time to put our trust in God, and pray for the well-being of all of us; laying all guilt and blame aside.