So, you can’t bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton because you believe that she is a bad person. She lies; she’s a crook. She’s all those things that Republicans have been calling her for years. They are right. They know what they are talking about. They haven’t been able to prove anything, of course, after years of trying, but they have been able to pin labels on her. She’s “Crooked Hillary,” and you buy that. You’ve seen the evidence yourself. You got it on the internet.
So you can’t vote for her. It’s a moral issue, right? You feel that she’s too evil to be the lesser of two evils. And if even she is the lesser of two evils you can’t vote for her anyway. You just can’t bring yourself to vote for someone like that because you’re so moral.
I won’t argue. You are the best judge of how moral you are, not me. You have staked your claim to the high ground.
So you’ll vote for a third party candidate that you understand has no chance of winning. No chance. Period. If you don’t understand this you either don’t understand the American political system as it stands or you have been duped. All the social media groups and on-line polls and voodoo witch doctors dancing nude while waving chicken feet in the bayou couldn’t create a situation where any third party candidate could become president. Not in 2016, anyway. But it won’t be a “protest vote.” It will be a vote to show the establishment how much people want change. It won’t be a wasted vote because it will make a point. It won’t help elect anyone and it may help defeat someone, but it will make a point.
OK. That’s your prerogative.
So I guess at one time you supported Bernie Sanders. I guess you still do. He embodied everything you believed in – well almost everything you believed in, because you are more moral than he is and after following him for months you won’t vote for the candidate he is asking you to vote for. The Democratic establishment robbed him of the nomination. They worked against him every step of the way. The media worked against him. Votes were changed. Delegates were locked out. Polling places were closed. It made you angry. It’s wrong. It has to change. And you will not support any party that could do that. It goes against everything you believe.
Let me ask you this: just what is it you believe?
Do you believe that organizations like Planned Parenthood who offer health care to women of all economic classes should be defunded and shut down?
Do you believe that gay and lesbian couples should be prevented from marrying? Or that gays should be subjected to years of “conversion” therapy?
Do you think the rich should get further tax cuts?
Do you believe environmental protection laws and regulations should be repealed?
Do you believe there should be no federal minimum wage?
Do you believe gun regulation should never happen?
Do you believe Medicare should be privatized?
Do you believe climate change is a hoax and that we should ignore the climate change agreements reached so far?
Do you believe that we should add two or three new Supreme Court Justices who DO believe these things and who will influence the court for decades to come?
Because if you vote to protest the establishment, you vote for these things as well.
Because if you don’t vote, you vote for this platform by default.
Because if you don’t vote for a platform that can win and that opposes these things, then this is what you will get. It isn’t Trump that you will get. It’s this.
Because the individual who sits in the oval office is not nearly as important as the things that the people around that person believe and work toward.
This election isn’t about Trump vs Clinton any more than it was about Bernie Sanders when he was in the race. It is about ideas that will shape our lives over the next decade. It is about not emboldening those who would destroy progress and perhaps destroy the environment itself. It is about making real moral decisions.
So when Trump wins the presidency and every white supremacist in the country is emboldened, immigrants are deported en-mass, and Muslims are rounded up regularly for vetting, just how morally superior will you be then?
When the water crisis finally hits the front pages while the water level continues to rise on the Florida coast, will your point have been made to the establishment?
When women once again have to resort to back alleys and coat hangers to avoid children they cannot afford to feed, because more money is going to corporate subsidies than ever before, will you stand on your high moral ground and feel good about yourself?
When the gun violence continues in our streets and more children lie dead in their classrooms will you shrug and say, “I worked my ass off for Bernie, but after they stole the election from him, this is what they deserve.”
Or maybe you’re not the best judge of how moral you are.
Your Humble Servant,
Roger A. Shipley, The Willowbrook Curmudgeon