Tuesday, November 1, 2016
I Voted For Gary Johnson
(Note: this post is not directed to any specific followers. This is a general open letter to the internet and to people who oppose third parties.)
Yesterday I went to my local polling site for early voting. On my ballot, I was presented with at least three choices for president. I had no interest in voting for Trump, and I especially had no interest in voting for Hillary. So that left me with Gary Johnson—as if there was any doubt that I would vote for him!
When I filled in the bubble next to his name and submitted my paper ballot, I did so knowing full well that he would never become the next president. I did so knowing that he would at best gain five percent of the overall vote. I did so knowing that he made his infamous Aleppo gaffe (which he apologized for!), that he could not name a foreign leader that he liked (as if there were any admirable world leaders!), and that he even considered his own geographical ignorance as a plus (that at least was indefensible!).
Because in the end, I would rather vote for someone who’s slightly ignorant about geography—and willing to admit and apologize for it!—than for either of the two corporate shill warmongers who know enough about geography to identify which countries to nuke or drone strike.
Already I can hear the furious tapping of keystrokes as Trump and Clinton apologists respond with detailed bullet lists elucidating why they believe the other candidate is worse than their own. Stop typing because I'm not going to bother reading it. I don’t care! I don’t care if Trump is worse than Clinton, nor do I care if Clinton is worse than Trump. I don’t care which is worse, because in the end, neither of them is the best.
Trump is a shameless billionaire con artist who is willing to say and do anything to pander to the lowest common denominator. Clinton is a professional crooked politician with a shady past of scandals and secrets that only the most die-hard supporter is willing to ignore. In a perfect electoral system, neither of them would be the presidential choice, especially when they’re both the most unpopular candidates in American history—and yet here we are forced to choose between them! Which of them is the “lesser of two evils” is irrelevant to me because, to quote Penn Jillette, the lesser of two evils is still evil.
What matters to me is that neither of them have addressed the farcical failure that has been our 40-plus-year-long War on Drugs. Gary Johnson has. Neither of them have addressed the transparent security theater that has been our ever-growing surveillance state. Gary Johnson has. Neither of them have seriously addressed police brutality, mass incarceration, or other symptoms of our broken criminal justice system. Gary Johnson has. And neither of them have discussed how they would reduce our reckless interventionist foreign policies—with both of them instead boasting of how they would increase it! All the while, Gary Johnson has! He may not be a perfect candidate—then again, who is?—but he’s a far better candidate when compared to the Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich.
And I’m not alone in thinking that. Most youth voters believe that. Most military servicemen believe that. Most celebrities believe that. Most newspapers believe that. Most politicians believe that. And if recent surveys about third parties are any indicator, at least a third of American voters believe that. We all believe that we can do better than our current two-party illusion of choice. We deserve a superior third option. If not Gary Johnson, who else? If not now, when?
In the end, that’s why I chose to vote for Johnson. I’m not voting for him. I’m voting for a belief. A belief in a better America. A belief in a better electoral system. A belief in a better political party that isn’t any of the two establishment parties beholden to special interests. A belief that a vote against drug prohibition, mass surveillance, perpetual war, mass incarceration, police brutality, and crony capitalism is a vote that matters most. And, most importantly, that anyone who believes otherwise is the one in the wrong, not me, and not anyone else sick of the political status quo.
And really, that’s what my vote amounts to right now. It’s not a vote for Johnson. It’s not a vote against Trump or Clinton. And it’s not even a vote against the two-party system. It’s a giant middle finger to anyone and everyone who, since the start of the election cycle, has been yelling and screaming about how a third party vote is a “wasted vote”, or worse, a vote for Clinton or Trump, and how anyone who dares to vote outside the two-party duopoly is responsible for anything bad that befalls our country within the next four to eight years—you know, as opposed to the voters who voted for either of the “lesser of two evils”!
So to all of you who sincerely believe all that rubbish, I extend my middle finger in your general direction, and to you all of you I say, with every ounce of air in my two lungs, a sincere “f*** you!” F*** you for telling me my vote doesn’t count. F*** you for telling me my vote is wasted. F*** you for telling me third parties can't win because nobody votes for them. F*** you for telling me that my vote is a vote for either Trump or Hillary. F*** you for insisting that the only way to change the system was to uphold the status quo of the two parties. And f*** you for using me as a scapegoat for anything bad that happens in the next four to eight years—as opposed to the people who voted in the person committing the actual evil.
Specifically, f*** you, Bill Maher. F*** you, Jon Oliver. F*** you, Samantha Bee. F*** you, Paul Krugman. F*** you, Keith Olbermann. F*** you, Barack Obama. And f*** every nameless anonymous person on social media who has been railing against third parties this election. F*** you all and the horse you rode in on. I fart in your general direction. You mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberry. Now go away before I taunt you a second time. Pfft!
Because I’m simply too gosh darned disillusioned and disheartened by our current political system to give anymore fucks about it, and now I am all out of fucks to give!