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I am still undecided on which presidential candidate will get my vote. I agree with some of her positions on issues but not with others. Much of what he claims he’ll do in office is pretty extreme, but maybe we have to be open to unconventional action in order to shake us out of our political stagnation. I’m hoping to gain greater clarity, though in the voting booth Nov. 8, it really could be a coin flip that decides whether I vote for Dr. Jill Stein or Gov. Gary Johnson.
Wait, you didn’t think I would actually consider casting a ballot for either of those other two criminals, did you?
Before you start ranting, know that I’ve heard over and over how voting for a third-party candidate is “the same as voting for Trump” and how this election is “too important” and how I need to think about the future nominations to the Supreme Court. Even considering those rationalizations, I still see no lasting value in the expediency of supporting a bad person for president: Yes, to me, both Trump and Clinton are bad people. I say they are bad not because of what they propose to do but rather because of the things they have done and what those things say about them as human beings.
While I despise the ugliness that flows from the Trump maw, I do agree with some of what he advocates: that we need to force our treaty partners to hold to the rules of the agreements they have made; that the “carried interest tax loophole” enjoyed by billionaire private equity managers has to be closed; and, like Trump, I would like to see true campaign finance reform. But The Donald, from what I’ve read, is a dishonest racist. His Trump University was a fraudulent scam, using bait-and-switch tactics to separate those searching for economic hope from their money. And, much worse, Trump’s family’s real estate business, while he was its president, was prosecuted twice by the government for illegally discriminating against black renters. The evidence in those cases clearly points to their/his guilt.
Yes, it is great that Hillary has been a senator and secretary of state. It also is great that she is, well, not Donald Trump. But I can never forget that her husband was accused of raping a woman named Juanita Broaddrick and sexually assaulting another named Kathleen Willey. I have researched both claims, and I firmly believe the stories those women tell are true. Of course, Hillary didn’t participate in these alleged assaults, but, according to Carl Bernstein’s book on Clinton, she did actively undertake to manage the fallout from the many accusations made against her husband. In fact, Ms. Broaddrick says that Hillary confronted her two weeks after the rape occurred, trying to get her to keep silent. It’s very clear that the candidate who has said, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed and supported,” did and does none of that when it comes to accusations against her husband.
Hillary has made it known that her first man will have an important role in her presidency. Wouldn’t those who are “with Hillary” be freaking right now if there were multiple sexual assault claims against Don Trump Jr. and he had flown on convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s “Lolita Express” 26 times, and then his father made it clear that, if elected, he was planning on putting Don Jr. “in charge of revitalizing the economy”?
The reason for my, and the public’s, distaste for the Democratic and Republican candidates (both have unfavorability ratings of 58 percent) is not situational but rather systemic. Where else in American life is the citizenry content with a choice of just two? If the only phone on sale was the iPhone, there would be grumbling but not a movement for change. But if we could only buy one of those flip phones with the big dial pad that they sell to old people, nobody would stand for it. Our political system should be a mature market by now. The electorate shouldn’t only be offered one more viable choice for head of state than a citizen in Egypt, North Korea or Brunei has. Yes, this election is important, but which of those in the past wasn’t? Do you think there will be a Supreme Court in the future where all of its members are in their mid-40s and POTUS will have no effect on the court’s makeup? Only through an affirmative push by voters to investigate, support and promote third-, fourth- and fifth-party candidates will we ever get out of this trap of having to choose the “least worst” nominee. And we need to start now, not because this election isn’t “so important” but because all of the future elections are.
This story first appeared in the Aug. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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