2016 A Scary Year to Be Alive

This will be my only (not a guarantee or promise, just something I’ll strive for) political post in this election season.

I try not to post on social media about the election because I don’t have the energy to fight with people over the internet. I’ll talk in person with anyone, but I feel like sometimes the internet affords people the benefit of being stupider without repercussions. It also makes people misinterpret bravery or boldness as attacking or demeaning or dehumanizing everyone. That’s not my bag; I’m not into that. Then, as I thought about tonight’s debate, I realized not talking about the candidates and not talking about platforms is contributing to wasted votes.

How many think the only candidates running are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? How many thought one or both of them was a joke? How many only knew of one of those candidates? How many knew there are three other candidates running?

There are a lot of phrases and misconceptions from voters during this election that I feel need to be addressed before we can really start talking.

First up: voting Clinton because she’ll be the first woman president. I was talking to someone about this election and they couldn’t believe I wasn’t concerned about her gender. We should be voting for candidates because we believe in their policies, we agree with their platforms and what they propose is what we believe will be good for our country. We shouldn’t be voting based on gender, race or religious background.

There has to be more than that.

Next up: voting Trump because he’s not afraid and doesn’t back down. That’s good and all, but what are his policy proposals? What does he believe in? Again, if you stand behind his platforms and policies and you think he will be good for our country, vote for him. Is it a good idea to vote based on personality alone, though?

There has to be more.

Lastly (maybe the most annoying thing I hear): voting third party is a wasted vote. Why? A vote is a vote and every vote counts. Especially for third party candidates fighting to get in the debates. It’s easy to complain about the state of things year after year and to talk about change, but the only way change happens is if we do something different. Unhappy with the two major parties? Look elsewhere.

There is more.

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Darrell Castle is running for president with Scott Bradley as his VP for the Constitution party. The Constitution Party is the fifth largest party in the US. According to ballotpedia, they are on the ballot in 48% of states (24 states) and in 20% (9 states) they are available as a write-in vote. Castle is for international trade, although he refers to it as international engagement. He believes war should be used in defense of the US. Castle is Pro-Life. He also feels we should suspend immigration until the borders are secure.

To learn more about Castle and Bradley, visit their website.

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Gary Johnson and William Weld are running on the Libertarian ticket. They have officially made the ballot in all 50 states. Johnson is for smaller government and opposes government mandated health insurance. He wants state and local governments to have more control over education. He has talked about his support for environmental regulations. Johnson believes in a free market as well as same sex marriage, abortion rights, term limits, gun rights and the separation of church and state.

To find out more about Johnson Weld 2016, visit their website.

jill-and-ajamu

Jill Stein is running as presidential nominee with Ajamu Baraka as her vice president. They are running with the Green Party and are on the ballot in 44 states. Stein supports abortion rights, recreational and medicinal legalization of marijuana and marriage equality. She’s against privatizing public schools and “high stakes testing.” Stein believes everyone has the right to healthcare and wants to implement a public health insurance program.

To learn more about Stein and Baraka 2016, visit their website.

Donald Trump is running for president with running mate Mike Pence on the Republican ticket. They have the standard stances that most Republican members stand behind. There is variation, of course, but I feel like he gets enough air time being one of two main parties.

To learn more about Trump Pence 2016, visit their website.

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Last, but not least, Hillary Clinton is running for president as a Democrat with Tim Kaine as her vice president. Again, I feel like there is ample information available about these two candidates, especially considering they are one of two in the debates currently.

To find out more about Clinton and Kaine 2016, visit their website.

Basically, get informed. There are more than two parties running in this pivotal election. If you’re voting one of the main parties, I hope it’s because you agree with what they offer. I’ll tell you that I’m going for third party, but it’s not out of rebellion or because I don’t like Republicans or Democrats. I’m voting third party because after my research it makes sense to me; it fits.

If you’re still unsure, try the I Side With website – the results will give you a jumping off point.

The overviews for the candidates were  taken from their sites and BallotPedia.

Be informed. Be the Change. What are your thoughts on 2016?

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