The older I get, the less ideological my positions become. I suppose this is the case with many American’s, I just never believed the rule would include me? Of course, it’s not 100% true. Gay marriage for example, was beyond my scope of liberal thinking 20 years ago. An ex-girlfriend who I still have immense respect for, argued the point with me. I was all for “civil unions,” but marriage, that seemed more in the realm of the Church. I was wrong, of course, and can only laugh at my innocent ignorance and unconscious bigotry. I thought at the time, I’m cool with gay, civil unions proves my progressive cred, right? And so it goes; at least I’m able to modify my core beliefs when they are in direct conflict with my sense of morality.
If I have a pet peeve associated with Presidential Election cycles it has to be this knee-jerk argument: “A vote for a 3rd party candidate is a vote for….X. Usually a Republican it seems? The reason being, the GOP has an entirely different, more in your face strategy, for influencing elections. Liberals use shame; Conservatives use the law. Get over it Liberal’s, I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton…and I’m sure as fuck not voting for Donald Trump. I might not vote at all, so there. My so-called “protest vote” is exactly that, whether I file a 2016 ballot or not. If Donald Trump gets elected, it won’t be because of me, or fellow voters like me. It will be because Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate that didn’t earn our votes. Period.
The same failed logic is used to blame Ralph Nader voters in Florida for the George W. Bush disaster. Of all the data points you could reference to make a case for Al Gore’s loss, the Ralph Nader is the laziest, least democratic and poorly thought out. Another words, the perfect excuse for Liberal pundits like Bill Maher and Joan Walsh. I’d start out with Al Gore’s shitty campaign that ran away from the most popular Democratic President in a generation for one. Or how about the fact that if Gore would have won his home State of Tennessee, Bush would have lost, even with Florida? Or how about the fact that the one State that became a controversy, Florida, just happened to have as Governor, Jeb Bush, the President Elect’s brother, as well as his Florida campaign chairperson, who just happened to be in charge of elections in the State? Combine any or all of these factors with the fact that Democrats are whiny weaklings, and sure…let’s blame Ralph Nader.
I say; if you are stupid, please don’t vote. If you are voting just because some celebrity urged you to do your duty, please stay home. If Donald Trump gets elected because a plurality of our fellow citizens actually believe he has their best interest at heart, will fix Washington DC or will “Make America McGreat Again,” maybe we deserve the thump on the head? Maybe the shock of a Trump Administration -I cannot believe it’s actually even possible- is just the sort of sour milk we need to clean out the intestinal crud that is our current system of governing? Maybe a Clinton Administration simply continues this drip, drip, drip of increasingly out of touch, Aristocratic, beltway governing, that is becoming more and more based on legalized bribery and out of control Executive power based on the theory of Constitutional War Power’s, despite the fact that Congress hasn’t declared War since December 11th, 1941.
Okay, that was a lot of commentary for one single sentence. I could be completely wrong and Hillary Clinton might end up in the same conversation as an FDR or JFK? And maybe a Trump win could end in more of a fatal blow than a severe concussion? Or it might be that the Presidency is more rhetorical power than it is transformational power, and little will change no matter the outcome November 9th? What do I mean? I look at President Obama and I have to wonder: Is it possible that he actually does want to close GITMO and reduce nuclear arms and simply cannot, despite being the POTUS? Maybe there is an underlying power structure, -The Deep State- that limits certain policy goals? Or at least there are forces so strong only the boldest and brashest of President could effectively overcome their resistance? It’s possible, maybe even likely?
What does all this mean for me? Maybe I’m not a Liberal or Progressive? Maybe these counter current positions I gravitate towards make me a Radical? Does that make me dangerous? I’d like to think it represents an open-minded, historically adept, position? Maybe though, in this climate, it’ll simply get me put on a “watch list?”
Then I’ll know for sure that I’m right.