When fear and hatred blinds a nation

I was having a conversation with my partner the other night and had an epiphany; if everyone who hates Trump voted for Jill Stein and everyone who hates Clinton voted for Johnson, we could potentially have productivity for the next four years verses the gridlock that a Clinton or Trump White House is sure to provide.

My partner said, “Well, people I respect have indicated Stein and Johnson aren’t viable candidates.”

Without skipping a beat, I responded, “And you think Trump and Clinton are?”

Before the primaries even decided who the Democratic and Republican candidates would be, the fear mongering began. Post-primaries, it seemed to turn perfectly intelligent, otherwise rational people into bullies. People who could not even say they liked the candidate they would be voting for but were too afraid of the opposing candidate.

When I would ask, “So why not vote for a 3rd party candidate?” the response was always that voting 3rd party is essentially electing the person they hated most. That is confusing to me. If enough people would vote for the candidate whose platform most aligns with their value, my guess is that the Democrats and Republicans would likely lose. Think about that for a second.

If Clinton is elected, she’ll likely face impeachment hearings. If Trump is elected, he’ll be investigated, too, and possibly face impeachment hearings. With either candidate, the opposing parties elected into Congress will veto just about everything the POTUS supports, including SCOTUS appointments. While I don’t think either candidate would ruin our country, I think they’ll make it pretty challenging to evolve.

Honestly, I am still undecided. I hate that. I’ll probably remain undecided until I am standing in front of my ballot, doubting the whole time if my vote even really matters. I hate that more than being undecided. But I will vote because it’s my right as a citizen of this country, one that I have exercised in every Presidential election since I turned 18.

My hope is this election cycle wakes us up, shakes us out of our apathy and fear mongering. But I doubt it. If people are too scared to step up to their fear now, they will be less so in four years. We’ll have no one to blame but ourselves for what happens over the next four years and beyond.

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