Protest Voters, What The Hell Have You Done?

To the third-party voters. The write-in voters. The ones who refused to vote as a statement. I ask you, honestly:

WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?

You would think, after 2000, in a race between Gore and Bush, people would have learned. You would think they would remember that that vote for Nader, that protest vote to "screw the system" ended up giving us a President that none of us imagined. That was not as qualified. That did not share our beliefs. And cost us a President that believed in global warming, that believed in social change and equality. And most of you stood there, shocked, and then spent the rest of the Bush presidency railing against him.

Guess what? YOU PUT HIM THERE.

And now, you have given us Donald Trump.

I know, there are a million other things to point at... the DNC not backing Bernie, the emails, Hillary's lack of appeal with voters... but here's the deal. Here's the result of just last night. None of the other crap thrown in. The difference between Clinton and Trump in many states was an incredibly narrow margin.

In Florida, with it's 29 electoral college votes, the gap between them was 128,863 votes. On Tuesday night, nominee Johnson received 204,854 votes. Jill Stein received 63,664. By Wednesday morning, that has swelled to over 293,000.

In Michigan, a state where Trump held a 15,600 lead over Clinton, Johnson and Stein received 222,400 votes collectively.

In New Hampshire, Trump held the lead with only approximately 140 votes. Third-party candidates in New Hampshire received 35,700.

You're starting to see a pattern, I hope.

Does that mean all those votes would have gone to Clinton? Of course not. But is it possible that those votes could have tipped the election in her favor? Absolutely.

This was a time to look at what was possible if we lost, and be a grown up. This isn't a college campus in the 1970's. This is a fight for the future of our environment, equality, and freedoms in this country. Does the system need fixing? Of course. At the risk of letting someone like that run the country for the next four years? Vehemently, NO.

I heard over and over from my Democrat, liberal friends, "She's going to win without my vote, so I'm voting my conscience!". Or, "I'm not voting for the lesser of two evils!". I tried to explain, over and over, that this time, you have to. I was a Bernie supporter, too. But I'm also aware of how our political system works, and writing in a third party candidate, or a protest vote, is not going to get that candidate into the White House. Many wanted to reach the 5% mark, so the third party system would be taken seriously. Great, but not now. Not in this election. Why? Because too much was at stake.

And I'm not talking about the fact that he was unqualified and unfit. I'm not talking about his pending lawsuits, or the allegations of sexual assault. I'm not talking about his xenophobic, racist, hate filled speeches, or his late night Twitter rants.

I was talking about the fact that if we lose the White House, the entire government will be run by a Republican majority. The House, the Senate, the White House, the Supreme Court. No Democrats will be able to get anything through, looking at the past eight years of struggle even with a Democratic President. The Democrats won't even be able to filibuster. It will be right-wing policies across the board, with no checks and balances.

And what are the first things they are talking about doing after taking office?

Repealing Obamacare, and abolishing all environmental subsidies. Yes, all of them.

Trump also said he would "cancel" the Paris Global Warming Accord and roll back President Obama's executive actions on climate change.

What are Trump's views on the environment? As he stated in an interview with Fox News, "We'll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can't destroy business." On his Twitter account, he's said "Frack now and frack fast!" and "Windmills are destroying every country they touch--and the energy is unreliable and terrible."

Now, Trump has chosen Myron Ebell to lead his EPA transition team. Ebell, who is a climate change skeptic. He was featured by Greenpeace in their "Field Guide to Climate Criminals", and was called a "misleader" on global warming by Rolling Stone. Ebell told Vanity Fair in an interview that "There has been a little bit of warming...but it's been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether it's caused by human beings or not, it's nothing to worry about."

And at the Department of Energy, Trump has selected Mike McKenna. His lobbying clients include the Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC., Southern Company Services, Dow Chemical Co. and Competitive Powers Ventures Inc. At the head of the Interior's transition is former Bush Interior Solicitor David Bernhardt.

So. You wanted to make a statement? You wanted to protest? You wanted to not bother to vote because everything's rigged anyway?

Great. Now, here's the thing. You know all those posts you make about the environment? You know the times you explain to people the dangers of GMO's? You know the rally where you held up a "I stand with Standing Rock" poster? Well, all of that just got screwed. ALL OF IT.

Because by not voting, or voting for someone who couldn't win, you basically said, "I don't care who's President". But this time, you should have. This time you should have realized how dangerous not only this man was, but how incredibly dangerous his presidency and his policies would be, particularly in a system where he will rule largely unchecked. The right wing just got their dream scenario, and you just helped it happen.

You think the environment stands a chance for the next four years? You think National parks won't be privatized? You think GMO's will be labeled, let alone stopped? You think alternative fuels will be pursued? You think those Native American tribes, standing in that cold river, getting peppered sprayed in the face, have any branch of government coming to save them now?

No.

Because you just helped elect the most powerful President in the recent history of the United States.

Welcome to the right wing of the United States of America.

Next time you're going to vote your conscience, look a little further down the road. Look at what could happen if someone like our new President comes to power. And then see, honestly see, if that's something your conscience can live with.