Five years ago, almost to the day, I was a campaign volunteer for the Herman Cain campaign. I remember vividly when news broke regarding sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Cain, and the panic that was set off within the campaign team I was a part of.
I also remember how much media coverage there was regarding the situation, and how badly his poll numbers tanked.
Ultimately, he suspended his campaign, making the announcement on a December day in Atlanta, much to the chagrin of his supporters, including myself.
Last week, a video tape surfaced of a hot mic incident aboard a charter bus, with Mr. Trump speaking to Billy Bush, bragging about his sexual escapades with women, hoisting himself onto them, and talking about how he can get away with it, because of who he is. The video tape caught fire, and was all anyone was talking about, aside from Hurricane Matthew bearing down on the east coast of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
Of course, it was brought up during the 2nd Presidential debate between Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. And yes, he did in fact apologize for what was said, and claimed that his wife, Melania, and his children, had forgiven him. A moment of contrition from a man often lacking. And then, as per usual, the wheels came off, and Mr. Trump went off the rails.
The first half hour of Sunday night’s debate, as those who watched along with me will agree, was pure, unfettered nastiness.
It was almost too difficult for me to stomach, and it takes a lot to get me to change the channel, even when I know that all the news networks were simulcasting the debate, and there was little place to escape to. I actually have to wonder how many of those that were watching at the top of the hour, were still left, at the bottom.
In fact, as I was commenting about the debate on my Facebook wall, I noticed several friends posting very similar remarks, concluding that in that first half hour, Mr. Trump probably had lost the debate already.
Trump did have his solid moments, namely when he held Mrs. Clinton’s feet to the fire regarding her email issues, a subject that was sorely lacking adequate attention to the last go-around; but the constant interruptions, pacing around, horrible body language, awkward facial expressions, and engaging in proverbial hand-to-hand combat with the moderators, all made him look atrocious.
So, what was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me?
I spent the first 14 years of my adult life as a registered Republican, voted for the Republican candidate for President in all 3 previous elections, and staunchly opposed voting for any 3rd party candidate, by using the exact same tactics that loyal Republicans are using today. Essentially, I was a shill for the Republican Party. I criticized people that voted for Libertarian candidates, Independent candidates, or simply abstained from voting altogether.
Why have I changed? Because I can no longer accept voting for evil.
That’s basically what voting for the lesser of 2 evils is, isn’t it? I voted for McCain in 2008, because I was afraid of Obama and it was better than nothing. I voted for Romney in 2012 for much the same reason. I was going to abstain from voting this time, because I’m no longer a Republican, and no longer believe that blind loyalty is healthy for anyone.
Voting straight-line for the ticket, without making sure that each candidate stands for what you believe in, is akin to being blind. When you let a party tell you what way to vote, you’re throwing away the precious privilege of having a voice in an election. How can it be viewed any other way?
Does it concern me that Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for President, doesn’t know what Aleppo is? Yes, it does.
Does it bother me that when Chris Matthews from MSNBC’s Hardball asked him to name a world leader he admires, he couldn’t? Sure.
Does he stand a snowball’s chance in h-e-double hockey sticks of winning? Absolutely not. And, does the thought of a President Clinton 2.0 scare me? You bet it does.
But, does voting for someone that owns up to mistakes, is open about his marijuana use, and has a successful record as a former Governor, make more sense to me than voting for a candidate known for lying, cheating, covering up and evading the justice system, make sense?
Or even a candidate that has screwed people over to get to the top?
You bet it does. That’s why, on November 8th, I will be voting for Gary Johnson. Simply put, he doesn’t scare me anywhere NEAR the same way that either Trump or Clinton do. I’m sure you’ve told someone before that you don’t have to agree with a candidate 100% of the time to vote for them, right? Well, Mr. Johnson is the best option for me this year, in a pool of 2 other really lousy candidates, both of whom are a serious embarrassment to our country.