As readers of this blog will know, my absentee ballot has long since been filled out and mailed off. My subsequent vow to “unplug” was only partially fulfilled ( – it turns out the Rachel and Joy habits are harder to kick than one would think). But there has been a palpable change in my general mood. “Complacency” would go too far to describe it – mentally I will be biting my nails for four more days. But I am also no longer living and dying with each day’s Comey’s and Gooey’s. I did my part and now destiny will decide.
I talked with my students today about the election and they asked a lot of questions, including “Who did you vote for?” – which I deftly overheard. (I didn’t overhear the following whispered discussions among them: “I think she is voting for Clinton!” – “Or, maybe Green?”) At some point they asked me about the five other presidential candidates I had to choose from. I could say a bit about Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, but . . . the other three? I had nothing.
Tonight I decided to do a bit of research-after-the-fact. I started with Monica Moorehead of the “Workers World Party”. Right away, I wondered why the party was named “Workers World” (with missing apostrophe), rather than “World Workers” (which could include an apostrophe before the “s”, after it, or none at all.) The campaign website immediately clued me into the fact that capitalism should die and that Bernie-style Socialism-lite was a laughable sellout to the System.
So a few steps too far to the left for me.
Next I googled Darrell L. Castle of the Constitution Party. “Constitution” sounds pretty good, right? I mean, isn’t that the President’s core job? To preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?
The first thing I read on Darrell’s official website was this:
If you believe those tiny people living in their mother’s wombs are “persons” and therefore deserving of life, choose me. If not, any of the other candidates will do.
If you want the right to keep all your income and use it as you see fit, choose me. If not, any of the others will do.
If you want to control the education of your children, choose me. But if you want your children to remain in the hands of federal bureaucrats, any of the others will do.
I quickly found Darrell’s arguments very convincing – that in comparison to him, ANY of the others would do.
On to candidate number three. I had saved the best for last and was primed to be amused by the positions of Rocky Roque De La Fuente of the American Delta Party . . . A click on his official website led me, as expected, to a front page plea for contributions to his campaign. A few clicks later, I saw a face to add to the name. It wasn’t . . . unpleasant. Clicks to his positions led me to a whole lot of ideas that were . . . not insane. Actually, many were refreshingly nonpartisan and practical. He pointed out that the Constitution requires the government to “promote the general welfare” as well as “provide for the common defense”. His positions on climate change and education were not objectionable. His election reform page made it clear why third parties don’t really have a chance in our current setup – based on the example of his own experience and the obstacles in his way.
Too bad. It might have been fun to see Trump on a debate stage, sparring with a man named Rocky. And a Hispanic one no less.
Don’t misunderstand all this – I don’t regret not looking into the no-chance-in-hell candidates before making my “X” on my ballot. I am not a “lesser of two evils” voter. I admire Hillary truly – her intelligence, experience, competence, work ethic, qualifications, temperament and absolutely unbelievable tenacity in the face of Trumpism. I believe in her. And I believe that in a world without a profitable side-industry in selling Clinton-Hate, many more of us would be making our X’s enthusiastically.