Who Is Mistral Dawn?
Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016
What's Good For The Goose...
Hey Everyone!! :-)
I'm back with another post about US politics today. I know, I know, how boring. Especially for those of you who don't live in the US. I get it, move on. Except...I can't. This election cycle is just so divisive and involves so many important issues, I just can't not put my two cents in. All I can say to those of you who are tired of these posts is that I try not to post more than one per week, I'll do my best to tell you upfront what type of post it is so you can skip it if you want, and November will be here soon. ;-)
Okay, still with me? Great! Here we go...
So, for those of you who don't know, last week the Democratic Party held their convention and their nominee was officially selected. As I think almost everyone probably knows, Hillary Clinton received the nomination, which means there is no longer any possibility that Bernie Sanders could be the Democratic candidate. In addition, Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton and has repeatedly said that he will not run against her as a Green or Independent candidate. So, at this point, it is clear that Bernie Sanders will not be the US President, at least not in 2016.
What does this all mean? Well, it means a Trump vs. Clinton race and if you know what the outcome will be, all I can say is, can I borrow your crystal ball? Seriously, it's impossible to tell which of them will win. They are both incredibly unpopular. Almost cartoonishly so. I mean if you wanted to write a dark comedy about a US Presidential race, this would be a great matchup for you to use.
On one hand, you have Trump, who is a bigoted, narcissistic, ignorant, overly-sensitive, immature, dishonest, con-artist, man-child. And on the other hand you have Clinton, who is an insincere, corporately-owned, lying, cheating, pro-corporate, pro-war, anti-environment, anti-labor sellout. What a choice, right?
I mean, Hillary Clinton literally STOLE AN ELECTION!!! She did not gain the nomination because she won, she gained it through massive election fraud perpetrated on her behalf by the Democratic Party leadership. Which, astonishingly, is something that no one seems to want to talk about! Can we spell "coverup," ladies and gentlemen? And yet...the other candidate is Donald Trump.
Or is that the only choice? Because despite what the corporate media will tell you, there are other candidates. The two main alternative candidates are Dr. Jill Stein for the Green Party and Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party.
And yes, I'm quite familiar with all of the arguments against a third-party vote. The most powerful of said arguments is that there hasn't been a US President who wasn't either a Democrat or a Republican since the two parties came into existence in the mid-1800s. My answer to that is that the very fact that the two current major parties replaced the parties that came before them means that there have been political shifts in the US in the past. Maybe it's time for another one.
Look at it this way, I'm an Independent voter in a swing state. I'm exactly what both parties need to win before November. As a left-leaning Independent, the Democratic Party especially depends on the votes of people like me. And yet, I'm not going to vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Do you think I'm alone? I don't.
Why? Well, because Trump is a hideous, disgusting mess who I think needs to be locked in a mental institution until he reconnects with reality and learns how to act like a semi-decent human being. And Hillary? Good grief! Do I have to say it again? She STOLE a fucking election!!!!!! Democracy? pfffttt! Who needs it, right? And that doesn't even get into my other problems with her like the TPP, the fact that she's in favor of fracking, against universal healthcare, against regulating and breaking up big banks, in favor of war, etc.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know she's claiming now that her positions have changed. I don't believe her. Why? She STOLE a fucking election!!! Anyone willing to abrogate the democratic process in order to gain power, won't be above welching on a few campaign promises. No matter how detestable you find Donald Trump, and I do find him enormously detestable, at least he won his nomination honestly: by convincing people to vote for him. I question the sanity of those people, but their votes at least counted. The Democrats, on the other hand, declared that the Will of The People is irrelevant and that they're above the law. And, apparently, they're right since NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT!
If you want to know more about my thoughts on the two major party candidates, you can read about them here: Why I'm Saying #BernieorBust. But let's look at a third-party vote. Yes, it's a long shot, but at least it's a palatable option for people who find it impossible to support either of the two major party candidates.
There are definitely plenty of arguments against Dr. Stein and Gary Johnson. For one thing, the Green Party candidate isn't even on the ballot in all 50 states. They're working to change that, and they may well succeed before November, but at the moment they aren't. Gary Johnson is either on the ballot or is an optional write-in candidate for all 50 states. As a progressive, I identify far more with Dr. Stein. There are several really important issues that I am diametrically opposed to Gary Johnson on, but I'd still vote for him before Trump or Clinton.
Then, of course, there's the option of not voting. I would argue strongly against this for anyone considering it. Yeah, I know, I get it. Voting can be a pain. Where I live, I have to drive about half an hour on narrow, twisting country roads. In November, when the weather is always uncertain. And I'll have to go vote after I finish work, which in November, means it will probably be dark. But I still think it's important that everyone vote.
Why? Because to not vote means to give up your voice. Not lose it, not have it taken from you by force, not be drowned out by the multitude, but to simply surrender. I don't know about the rest of you, but I think having choices is something worth fighting for. So, I would urge all of you to vote.
Yes, yes, I know plenty of you are thinking at this point that I'm just wasting my vote if I vote for a third-party candidate. I'm pretty sure I've heard all the arguments by now. But what they all really boil down to is that a third-party candidate doesn't have a chance of winning.
You may be right. Historically, you are right. But look at the political climate in this country now, it's like nothing I've ever seen before. If there's a time when a third-party candidate might actually have a chance of winning, I'd say it's now. It's a really long shot, but it might just be possible.
Now, if you actually do support Trump or Clinton, then by all means, you should vote for them. That's what democracy means. But if you are only gritting your teeth and holding your nose and voting for Clinton because she's not Trump or Trump because he's not Clinton, maybe you should consider if Stein or Johnson is a candidate you could actually support. After all, if everyone who says they won't vote for a third-party candidate because a third-party candidate doesn't have a chance of winning actually voted for a third-party candidate, then those candidates actually would have a chance of winning!
Like I said, people like me often vote for Democrats, not because we think they're great candidates, but because they're generally better than the Republicans. But after everything that happened in the primaries, there are an awful lot of progressives who just can't see ourselves voting for Hillary Clinton. And since she seems bound and determined to spit in our faces at every possible opportunity (Tim Kaine as a VP pick, hiring Debbie Wasserman Schultz five seconds after she was forced to step down as Party Chair for committing election fraud, war-hawking during her acceptance speech, etc.), I don't see how she's going to convince us to change our minds.
And if you think Donald Trump's flagrant bigotry and insanity has left the Republican Party less fractured, you haven't been paying attention. Yes, his populist rhetoric on economics does resonate with some people, but if the Democrats don't spend the next three months exposing that for the shell game that it is, then there's just no hope for the Democratic Party. Because that's an obvious target with a plethora of vulnerabilities.
To reiterate, if ever a third-party candidate had a chance, I'd say that time is now. So, for everyone who tells me that I'm wasting my vote by voting for Dr. Stein, or that I should vote for Clinton to prevent a Trump presidency, or Trump to prevent a Clinton presidency, my response is going to be that they should vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson to prevent a Trump or Clinton presidency. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?