This election has sunk to a new low.

First some disclosure, I want to be as transparent as possible.  For those of you who read this and do not know me, I am a middle aged and white man who is registered as a Republican.  I am college educated and my work is a mix of blue, white, and pink collar.  As far as religion is concerned, I consider myself a cross between Pagan and Agnostic.  I have lived in various states and areas that range from strong Republican to strong Democrat.

From the day Hillary announced that she was running for President of the United States I knew for a fact I would not vote for her.  I also felt the same way about Donald Trump (in the primary and the general election).

I voted for Gary Johnson in the Presidential election of the United States on November 8th, 2016.  I am not going to deny this fact nor will I deny that I have voted 3rd party for President since 2000.  Each election, though, there were candidates in the primaries that I would have supported for President but unfortunately none of them got the nomination (personally I don’t like the primary process anyway).  For the past 3 elections where there wasn’t an incumbent (2000 – Bush, 2008 – Obama, 2016 – Trump) I’ve been told I’ve thrown away my vote and by the winner’s opposition I got their opposition elected.

Sorry, I don’t see it that way.  A candidate loses when they do not get Electoral College votes to win the Presidency.  That is it.  The losing candidate did not do enough to convince me (nor any other 3rd party candidate supporter) to vote for them.  Their party also did not do enough.  That isn’t the third party candidate’s fault nor is it their supporter’s fault.  If you need someone to blame, blame your own party and your candidate.

I’ve also been told that I’ve thrown away my vote.  I don’t see it that way.  We vote for the person we think would be best for our country.  It doesn’t matter what part affiliation they are.  Third party supporters are also more likely to have researched the candidates (yes, some do vote solely on party affiliation but I don’t think the percentage is as high as the Republicans and Democrats).

Sadly, this year it has gotten much worse.  Hillary supporters are out right attacking 3rd party supporters (and even Trump supporters).  I’ve been called names, threatened, and attacked on social media (where it’s easy to attack someone’s beliefs from the comfort and safety of their own home).  It has even reached the point of bullying.  Here is a response when I was trying to defend my 3rd party vote:

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Sadly, there are also memes (graphics) that are generally attacking large parts of the country, too:

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Not once did someone ask me why I didn’t vote for Hillary.  This tells me they do not want to know (or just don’t care) why I didn’t vote for her which means they don’t want to know what I thought was wrong with their candidate.  Ignorance only fuels responses like this.

These people are acting as un-American as they can.  We should celebrate our process and when a president is elected we need to support them and work with them.  I didn’t support Obama in 2008 but when people started complaining about him I was the first to stand up and say he is our president now, we need to support him.  I am saying the same about Trump now.

There is no place in the USA for tactics like this.  If you really want to, you can move to another country that does threaten and bully people into voting for the right candidate.  They are countries like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Assad’s Syria, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and many of the nations that were part of the Soviet Bloc during the cold war.

Party affiliation aside, not working across the proverbial aisle will only hurt us as a nation and keep us divided (and we’re more divided now than probably any time since the civil war).  Hoping the president fails because of spite is the same as hoping your airplane pilot crashes the plan (while you’re flying in it) because you don’t like him.  If the President fails, we fail as a nation.  WE are the ones who pay the price with lost jobs, higher costs, and stagnant wages.

I understand, people are emotion and upset over this and I always welcome a good, mature, and educated discussion (or debate).  Now is the time to support our President and our members of congress (as well as local offices).  Now is also time to take a look at your parties and see what went wrong and see if they can be fixed for better support in 2020.

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