I may as well take a Zippo with me to the voting booth Nov. 8. Like an unattractive feminist and her bra or a privileged yuppie and his draft card, I’ll be setting my ballot on fire. At least, that’s what some friends and family are telling me.
For many, a ballot not cast for the candidate of a major party is a wasted vote. “You may as well elect (insert opposing candidate’s name here),” they say.
But I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton. And I will not vote for Donald Trump.
In elections past, it wasn’t hard to vote for a less-than-ideal candidate. Despite my differences, they were still competent and a much better choice. In 2008, I had no problem holding my nose and voting for the grumpy old guy against Barack Obama. Same was true in 2012.
This year, though, the choices are nauseating. It’s not a matter of holding one’s nose — it’s choking back vomit. Voting for the lesser of two evils in 2016 is still choosing evil.
Party loyalists who only care about winning scoff. They enthusiastically embrace their bilious blowhard or dark pit of greed without giving a thought to the havoc they’ll wreak on their party and the country. Winning means nothing if we all lose in the end.
Saying we have to choose between Clinton and Trump is like saying our only choices are Coors Light and Budweiser, when there’s much better alternatives. (Sorry, Anheuser-Busch, no matter how much you slap “America” on your cans, it’s still swill. Same goes for candidates).
If you’re enthusiastic about a president that mocks the disabled, ridicules true war heroes and attacks parents of fallen soldiers, by all means, vote for Trump.
If a president that enables misogyny, lies to the families of dead heroes and puts national security at risk to hide her pay-to-play scheme gets you excited, vote for Clinton.
That’s just scratching the surface — when you delve into “real” issues the choice becomes even more abhorrent.
Republicans are delusional if they think Trump is a conservative. His positions on abortion, gun rights, taxes and universal health care change with the wind.
On foreign policy, he was for the Iraq war before he was against it (paging John Kerry), wants to abandon the most successful military alliance in history and openly wonders why the U.S. can’t use its nuclear arsenal.
As a child of the ’80s, Trump’s nomination is reminiscent of what Ronald Reagan said about his 1962 switch from Democrat to Republican. “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”
Trump’s draw is understandable. American’s are frustrated and want an “outsider” to break up the system. But the presidency is not meant for on-the-job training — that’s basically what we’ve had since 2009.
Clinton’s only saving grace is that she isn’t Trump, which isn’t saying much.
She’s airing a poignant ad featuring Trump’s quotes that reminds us that “our children are watching,” but let’s not forget the uncomfortable conversations parents had to have the last time a Clinton was in the Oval Office.
She has been perpetually on the take — from Wall Street, from Walmart, from foreign governments, from anyone with cash. The woman “breaking the glass ceiling” doesn’t mind being funded by those who treat women as second-class citizens and execute their citizens for being gay.
During her most recent stint in government, we’re left with a failed reset with Russia, four dead Americans in Benghazi and an e-mail scandal that gets more salacious each day.
On the foreign policy front, expect more interventionist nation-toppling with no exit strategy. She bragged about being the architect of our Libyan incursion — a move President Obama called his greatest mistake.
Watching her explain her actions (or lack there-of), one can only conclude that Clinton, like her husband, is a sociopathic liar.
It would be a waste to vote for either one of these yahoos — and I won’t do it. I value the right to choose my leaders too much.
I doubt the soldiers who died to preserve that right ever imagined these two would be our options.
Thankfully, there’s other choices. For me — a small government conservative who values personal freedom — it’s going to be former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket.
Think I’m crazy? He leads amongst military and young voters in the polls, and for good reason. While Clinton and Trump sling barbs at one another, Johnson stands as the adult in the room.
He’s run a business (something Clinton’s never done) and a government (something Trump’s never done) successfully. He has a record of leading a Democratic-leaning state as a Republican, cutting taxes and regulation while seeing the state’s coffers grow.
Plus, he doesn’t have the repugnant baggage that comes with Clinton or Trump.
If there ever was a year for a third-party candidate to make inroads, this is it. If enough of us throw our votes away, maybe next time the “major” parties won’t offer up refuse.
At least I won’t have to take a vomit bag to the ballot box.