Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016

If you’re like me, you’re hearing a lot of people talking about third party candidates. About write-in candidates. About boycotting the election entirely.

Believe me, I get it. I felt the Bern. And, while I don’t dislike Hillary Clinton as much as many people do, she doesn’t represent the great leap forward that our country was poised to make.

But that’s my opinion. Those are my feelings. And while I can be as heart-based as the next person, it’s vital that this election be decided on facts.

Facts like these:

Fact 1: There are only three presidential candidates who are going to be on the ballot in all 50 states: Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, and Hillary Clinton. However you may feel about Jill Stein, she is not going to be on the ballot in all 50 states. She cannot win the presidency.

Fact 2: Gary Johnson is a Libertarian. Now, an aside and full disclosure - in my deepest heart of hearts, so am I. I love the Libertarian ideals. The idea of small government. Of leaving major decisions up to the states and the people. I don’t want to live in a world that has to have government control, oversight, and regulation. I would dearly love for businesses to police themselves, employers to always do what’s right, states to consider their entire population as opposed to just the wealthy, and medical care to be affordable. All that and more. I believe deeply in personal responsibility and accountability. I also recognize that this is not who we are as a people. When left to our own devices, we screw it up. HOWEVER! That’s an opinion and we are looking at facts. So here are the facts* that come with Gary Johnson:       
He wants government out of marriage. He supports marriage equality. But before the government got involved in marriage equality, it didn’t exist. It took the government to make our marriages legal – and Johnson is against that kind of intervention.

·        He wants to leave educating our children to the states, with no federal oversight. Which means children from different states will be taught different curricula. Nevermind what’s real, what’s belief, what’s science, what’s not, what’s historically accurate, what’s not. Put that aside for a moment. Children who come from the same country will be taught different information because their states got to choose what to teach them.

·        He believes in unlimited campaign contributions from corporations to politicians. Hillary Clinton is being raked over the coals because she’s “in Wall Street’s pocket.” Think about what unlimited campaign contributions from corporations would do.

·        He cut his state’s Medicaid and Medicare budgets by 43%. So, the federal government isn’t responsible for the country’s most vulnerable – but the states can slice budgets by nearly half.

·        He’s against a federal minimum wage. Enough said.

·        He wants to privatize social security and raise the retirement to age 70 or even 72. Social security is our money. We made it. We gave it over. We had an agreement. Now, he wants to change that agreement.

And here’s the final piece, folks – Stein nor Johnson nor any other third party candidate or write in candidate is going to win this year. It would be lovely if Bernie could get enough write-ins to win. But he couldn’t get enough actual votes to even secure the nomination. He’s not going to get the win.

Fact 3: It’s a race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. No matter who’s on the ballot, that’s the fact.

You’ve got two months to participate or not in this election, however you see fit. You get out and knock on doors, make phone calls, or sit quietly and do nothing. You can stomp and rage and protest, or just quietly seethe that your candidate didn’t win. Argue it, or shut it down with silence. Engage or ignore. I do not care.

But come November, vote. You must. This is not the year to not vote. Or to try to take a stand by voting for a third party. Look at the facts. Look at what’s at stake. And whatever you do over the next two months, come November, vote.


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