November 2016

I have spent a very long time thinking about what to do on Election day in a month. Unlike many voters I consider myself a true Independent. I’ve voted for local and state and federal candidates in at least 4 different parties, and for president I voted for Romney in 2012 and I voted for Perot in 1992. My vote for every office truly comes from my thoughtful analysis of my choices.

This presidential race has been the hardest one for me ever to decide. I’ve grown very disenchanted by the corruption of our government by special interests and the super rich. I don’t believe anymore that the media is on our side. I don’t believe anymore that the current two party system serves us. As you all know, I have dozens of complaints about the system as it is.

In 2008 I felt much the same way and I worked super hard to push Barack Obama into office. I gave money, I made phone calls, I knocked on doors, I wrote about the campaign. After he took office I took a few days off to watch every move he made. I was so convinced that he was going to make his presidency one that supported transparency and decency and that he’d make sweeping changes to our system and clean up all the mistakes and overreaches of the Bush White House that preceded him.

Oh wow was I wrong. In many ways he actually did the opposite of what he promised as a candidate. This Democrat turned out to be a lot more of a neo-con than I had even dreamed of. During his 8 years privacy has been crushed, whistleblowers have been prosecuted, drones have killed US citizens without due process, banks were let off the hook for the greatest financial crisis in my lifetime, and health insurers got made even richer.

It was a lesson to me that the system was way more messed up than I could conceive. BO proved to me that at the level of the president everyone was kind of the same. That there was no longer any difference between a D and an R. That the rich and the special interests and the big companies control everything and that we the people are just there to keep the economy moving and to be used as needed.

And then of course we come to Bernie Sanders. Again I felt we had maybe a shot to change things. Here was a candidate that appeared to not be owned by special interests. That didn’t have huge donors behind him. Someone who was beholden to no one. Interestingly along came another outsider candidate that clearly did not give one fuck about the system and that of course was our friend The Donald.

At this point in my life, after living through 6 presidents and being politically active since before I could drive, I’m pretty much done with the system as it is. I know that there is a chance it can change and that change takes a very very long time but we don’t have time anymore. The damage from Climate Change is already upon us and we’ve done relatively nothing to stop it. Fighting and wars over resources are happening more than less. Religious insanity is growing and not declining. Education in our country is so bad that I wonder what kind of leaders we are going to have in a generation. What I need to see is a catastrophic governmental event. I want to see the system be torn apart and rebuilt again. I actually believe that that will get us to a better place faster than staying the course and waiting.

So to me there were two paths to that end. Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. Clearly I wanted Sanders but DT (even though he was clearly an idiot and a narcissist) wouldn’t have been too bad in the long run since he would have been so bad in the short run. But think of the glorious damage he could do. Think of all the trade deals he would invalidate, think of the government agencies he would close on a whim, think of all the wonderful pushback he would get and the chaos it would cause. Think of how the Republican party would implode. Imagine the hypocrisy he would call out from his bully pulpit. The people would have no choice but to tear down the pillars of politics and demand we start again. So once BS lost I actually didn’t mind imagining DT as our president. I thought it would actually be good for us. But I couldn’t vote for him since I hated him as a person. I couldn’t tolerate the racism and the sexism. This man was a terrible person.

Many have said that I should support Hillary Clinton. But with her I have a known quantity. I have someone who I believe is going to be Obama with a backbone. I believe she will lead with way more effectiveness than BO but the problem is that I don’t like the direction she is headed. I don’t think she’s going to be the kind of president that I’m going to be happy with. A few of my concerns are that I think she will continue the drone killing program that BO started, I think she will continue and extend BOs assault on our civil rights (particularly the erosion of the 4th Amendment), I think she will make the Syria situation worse, I think she will continue to support Israeli aggression in Palestine, and I think she will do nothing to stop the TPP. And of course it’s well known that she is very much connected to the rich and powerful. And outsider she is not.

And then there is the protest vote. I hate what the Democratic party has become. I have always hated the insanity of the Republican party. I have forever believed that we needed to allow other parties into the presidential race and debates. And when you come down to it, I really didn’t approve of every HC or DT so it would be disingenuous for me to vote for one of them.

In either case, as you can tell, my decision was/is not easy at all. There are so many conflicting reasons to choose any number of candidates.

But one thing kept nagging at me and it was a big one. If he becomes president, Donald Trump would be able to literally nuke someone. I don’t need to get into the details of how nuclear deterrence works and how launching even one bomb would most likely trigger the death of our entire planet. Sure there is a chance that there would be a coup before he could actually do it but I can’t take that chance. If I didn’t have a child, this wouldn’t be an issue but I do and her life is way more important to me. I’d rather have her alive. So I can’t let DT win.

Let me be clear. No matter what the polls say, HC will win Pennsylvania. HC has a huge ground operation thanks to the the DNC and that means a lot. I also believe that she will easily win the election, but just to be safe I will reluctantly vote for Hillary in November. So for those of you who care, there you go. One more vote for your lady.