Is it just me or do many of you wish that you could find a viable alternative to making a choice between a self-serving inept felon and a volatile ego maniacal jackass, as the next President of the United States? Of course, though sarcastic, that’s a rhetorical question. I know that very many, if not most, of my fellow Americans share a similar view. Later, I’ll offer empirical evidence of that.
Some will suggest that throwing your support to a third-party candidate is a viable alternative. That’s only half true. It is an alternative but it isn’t viable. Regardless of your third-party vote, Clinton or Trump will be the next POTUS and you will have changed nothing.
In order to find a viable alternative to this dilemma, I suggest stepping back and taking a fresh look at our concerns about the nominees of the two major parties. Up to now, I’ve seen this assessment include:
• Choose between the lesser of two evils.
• Are they evil or just flawed?
• Are they unfit or just unacceptable?
• Are they immoral or just unwise?
• The fear of what he says versus the fear of what she does.
• For different reasons, neither can be trusted.
Frankly, I find each of these considerations to be somewhat reasonable. But they don’t really lead to a viable alternative that positively impacts the ongoing devolution in American politics. Ironically, I heard the solution summed up in a statement made by Hillary Clinton that was, as usual, meant to demean Donald Trump. She said,
“We need to stand up as a people and say that America is better than (this)!”
I wholeheartedly agree and absent a truly acceptable alternative candidate, I firmly believe it calls for an unorthodox approach to making the changes so many of us have been crying out for in American politics. It means refusing to continue to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and only voting for candidates who are truly deserving of your vote. What I’m recommending is that all of us who share the frustration expressed in my opening paragraph refuse to vote for any of 2016’s presidential candidates, while voting for every down-ticket candidate who deserves our support. I think of it as …
… A Presidential Voters Strike for Our Union.
I know that many will, at least initially, say that my recommendation is crazy, it will effect no change and that either Clinton or Trump will still be the next POTUS. No doubt, the latter is true and it’s going to take all of U.S. pulling together, finally setting aside our ever deepening polarization, to survive whichever one is elected. This Voters Strike could be the first step in that movement and I believe it can effect the changes we long for. I want to offer my logic, that I believe is fully sane, by presenting the empirical evidence I alluded to earlier.
Presently, I’m a Republican Precinct Committee Officer (PCO). If you don’t know, each voting precinct has both a Democrat and a Republican PCO. These are unpaid elected positions meant to help the parties stay in touch with the thoughts and feelings of neighborhood residents. If a person files to run for PCO and they’re unopposed, their name doesn’t appear on any ballot. However, if more than one person files, each of their names appear on the ballots of voters living in the respective precinct. Frankly, due to my dismay over what has happened at the top of both party’s tickets, I came close to not filing for reelection this year. After further prayerful consideration, though, I decided that if I’m going to make any difference in getting my party and our country back on course, I needed to be willing to do my part.
Interestingly, shortly after I did file, I learned that another person had also filed. That meant that, in my aim to make a difference, I’d have to start by campaigning. I won’t bore you with all the details but I do want to tell you about a key aspect of this that produced the empirical evidence I mentioned. There are 1,410 registered voters in my precinct. The County Republican Party produced a list for me of 380 homes within the precinct that tend to vote in primaries, that tend to vote Republican. I made personal contact, in one or more ways, with each of those homes. A central part of this effort was doing what is called door-belling – i.e. ringing a home’s door bell, engaging in discussion and/or leaving literature behind. As I went out on this task,
I thought that surely I’d come across several pro-Trump people. I came across one (1)! There were many, however, who said they planned to vote for Trump but only because they couldn’t stomach Clinton.
As I reflected on this, I recognized that I’d been hearing something similar from my Democrat friends. That is, they would prefer a more deserving candidate than Clinton but they couldn’t stand Trump.
I’d describe the county where I live as being pretty close to Purple, maybe a bit more Red (Republican) than Blue (Democrat). Certainly not every precinct in the nation mirrors mine but I have to believe that the sentiment regarding this year’s choice of the “lesser of two evils” is common enough that the population of #NeverHillary and #NeverTrump is “yuge”. If that group said,
“OK, with either Clinton or Trump as president, the next four years will require a lot of prayer for the U.S. to survive but they’re going to do it without our endorsement”,
… don’t you think the lowest voter turnout for president EVER would be the wake up call needed in American politics?!
Presently, I see this as the only viable alternative that can reverse the ever progressing devolution in American politics. If I’m right and enough like-minded patriots join me, the result should be changes in existing parties or the birth of new parties that will assure that our best-of-the-best step up to run by taking steps to prevent their slaughter via “friendly fire” and then they will be able to put forward candidates who are truly both capable and trustworthy.
In closing, I want to emphasize a word I used above … Patriot. In American politics, that word is often tossed around cavalierly. If you stop and think about the Patriots of the American Revolution, though, that’s an utterly sober matter. These courageous people looked the British Empire, then the leading world power, in the eye and risked their all, while boldly standing up and saying, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Was that courageous or crazy? You tell me. Regardless, I’ll tell you that it’s going to require that same craziness or courage on the part of present-day Patriots in order for America to survive and to, once again, thrive.