Another year, another election… and you know what? I enjoyed this year more than most, and it’s all thanks to my wife.
Anyone who has read this blog knows that I have a dislike of the Replublican and Democratic parties (and by dislike, I mean an intense loathing and disgust). As a result, for the past several years, I’ve been rather depressed about politics. On one hand, it’s a topic I’m absolutely passionate about, but on the other hand, everyone who wins is someone I intensely wish was NOT involved in running my life!
This election had two things going for it. First, it had Ron Paul at the start. Of course I knew he would not win the nomination, but I actually considered changing my party affiliation to Republican so I could vote for him in the primaries. It is true that he calls himself a Republican, but he’s really a Libertarian who wanted to have a shot at actually winning, so he called himself a Republican. Still by the end of summer, he was out of the race, and all we were left with was an endless supply of obnoxious phone calls, misleading ads, and meaningless rhetoric, all leading up to an election which would be won by a candidate who’s actions will (I firmly believe) leave the country worse off four years from now than it is now.
But then a couple of weeks ago, Heather found the 3rd party presidential debates airing on TV (I knew there would be the debate, but I didn’t know it would be on TV). I had been interested in watching the debate, but hadn’t actually gone out of my way to do so since I knew that none of them had any chance at winning. But, since it was on, I sat down to watch it.
To say it was not handled as smoothly as the “real” presidential debate would be an understatement… but how incredibly refreshing it was to watch. These were four individuals who knew that they would not win but wanted to take a stand for what they believed. Their words did not come across as polished as those of Romney/Obama… but they came across (to me) as words they actually believed. I can’t recall a single recent statement from either of the main candidates that said to me “this is what he believes”. They all came across as “this is what he believes will win points”.
After the debate, I told my wife that I would take any one of the four over either of the two main candidates (including the Green party candidate Jill Stein who’s platform was almost completely contrary to mine). My wife thought that I was crazy. My opinion has not changed. If I could replace Obama with Jill Stein, I would do so in a heartbeat. Although I do not believe her platform, the benefit from getting a 3rd party in office would outweigh any damage she could do (and she DID have some points that I do agree with). Of course, if I could replace Obama with Gary Johnson (the Libertarian candidate that I voted for), I would be ecstatic.
So, I am grateful that my wife started watching that debate. I’m grateful that there are people out there (no matter how much I disagree with them) who are standing up for things they believe, and not just selling their services to the highest bidder (who is NOT the citizens of this country).
As a direct result of that debate, I am content with this election. I woke up this morning not knowing who had won (I didn’t stay up) and not caring. I looked of course since I was curious, but I felt no sense of satisfaction or disappointment about the result. In two years, there will be people standing up for things they believe rather than spouting rhetoric, and I will vote for them!
For more information about the 3rd party debates, go to: www.freeandequal.org