America’s Hangover

One of my coworkers let out a rather discouraged-sounding sigh as she put on her coat to leave work yesterday.  When I asked what was wrong, her response was simply, “I’m going to go vote for Hillary…I guess.”

Looking at the exit polls for yesterday, it would appear that sentiment was held by a lot of voters.  Not just for Hillary, mind you, but for both candidates.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?

My coworker had resigned herself to vote, even though she felt incredibly heavy-hearted about it.  She didn’t know if it was the right choice.  She really didn’t even sound like she wanted to vote at all.

Several times last night I saw different comments on Facebook from a variety of friends, snidely deriding those who chose to vote third party.  This morning I happened upon an article about how over 11,000 people voted for the dead gorilla, Harambe, followed by a litany of tweets from people about how those 11,000 votes could have “saved America” (the story came from a fake news site…but the tweets…they were real) .

Because, of course, a vote that isn’t for one of the big 2 political factions is a vote for “The Other Guy/Gal”.

That’s bullshit.  What you’re saying is that an election is not the place to make a political statement…You do see the problem there, don’t you?

I overheard someone at the bar last night mention, disappointedly, how they had thought this would be the year where a third party would actually make a difference.

Because, to be fair, it should have.

Looking back at the exit polls:
If a majority of voters, because these exit polls come from folks who actually voted, obviously, didn’t like either of the big party candidates, so much as to state that they don’t even trust them, then why did they vote for them?

My personal favorite: Opinion of Presidential Candidate you Voted for.  32% of respondants had reservations, 25% just didn’t like the other guy, with only 41% of the folks actually voting because they actually liked the person they voted for for the job.  29% of responders stated they found neither candidate honest.  14% said neither are qualified for the job.  And only 4% of the popular vote went to third party candidates.

Those numbers are terrifying, folks.

And an obvious indicator that our system is broken.

Now, I’m not crazy.  I never believed a third party candidate stood a chance in this election.  They just didn’t make enough of an impact.  Heck, Ross Perot, who everyone knew about, still got less than 20% of the popular vote his first time around and not a single electoral vote(he was much less impressive on his second attempt).

But my point is that they should have.  In an election like this where 57% of voters voted for someone they didn’t consider great for the job, we should have had an amazingly strong third party presence.

Our political system is broken.  That understanding is one of the main reasons Trump is now set to be the 45th President of the United States, because voters wanted someone who would shake things up.

But what would shake up the political system more than if someone other than a Democrat or a Republican got to sit behind the big desk?  Suddenly we would have a new party in the mix.  A third wheel to this terrible relationship America’s been in for the past century or so.

This should have been the year where they mattered.  Where people decided to actually vote with their conscience and vote for someone they could believe in.

Do you know why they didn’t?

Fear.

Now, I get it.  There were many of you who were deeply devoted to “your” candidate.  But even more of you were absolutely terrified of what could happen should “the other guy/gal” get elected.  Considering the hate-speak which constantly comes from one of them and the litany of scandals attached to the other, I get it.  This year that should have been the perfect storm for third party candidates to have actually gotten some electoral votes attached to them, couldn’t.

Because of fear.

You know…the use of fear to intimidate or coerce, there’s a word for that.

That shouldn’t be how we elect a President.  That’s how you elect a dictator.

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