I haven't written about politics before…
Though this is written through the lens of politics, do not mistake it for a purely political post. If you truly grasp what I'm pointing at, then the implications are huge for all aspects of your life:
Big and Small, Local and Afar, Outer… and Inner.
This is in no way intended to endorse any specific candidate nor their ideologies. Instead, my hope and intention is to offer a way of thinking that goes beyond what is being most frequently presented.
The subject line of this blog post, forgive me, was taken straight from a news article that pointed out in a random survey of 853 Americans, 13% of the people polled would rather have a giant meteor hit the Earth than vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
That points to just how "disastrous" this year's political primaries have been.
While I do have a few friends who genuinely are behind Trump or Clinton, the vast majority have voiced opinions that their vote will go to the "lesser of two evils."
And interestingly enough, no matter who my friends are voting for, they've presented rational perspectives on why their particular candidate is, in fact, the "lesser."
Some will vote the Party Line, even though they have publicly denounced their own candidates. A few are considering third-party candidates and ignore the fear-based rhetoric that they would be "throwing their vote away."
With that in mind, now seems like as important a time as ever to illuminate possibility beyond the fear, hate, and disappointment that is currently running the circles.
Both of the major parties are positioning this election as an enemy war — even going so far as to say "If you don't vote, then you're voting for the other party's candidate." The math on that isn't exact, though non-voting does hurt candidates who depend on the voters who vote for the "lesser of two evils." At least in the current US political system as it's designed.
But what if there is another way of looking at this?
What if we look at the opportunity being created?
Many people complain about a "two party system" yet most haven't given reasonable support to third-party candidates… at least not enough to boost them higher in the polls to be included in presidential debates.
Here in the US, any candidate who has at least 15% of the popular "vote" during unofficial polls is allowed to participate in public presidential debates. Yet most people never even hear of other candidates, and therefore, those candidates don't poll high enough.
While it may be a "throw away" vote to commit to a third-party candidate, the opportunity is this:
Raise public awareness of third-party candidates like Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) & Jill Stein (Green Party) for the simple purpose of getting them into the public debates. Allow more voices to be heard in our public system.
Even if neither of them win, America will have an opportunity to see more views beyond the prominent two parties.
Our country faces a grave proposition: The 2nd worst rated presidential nominee against the 1st worst rated.
That may not change by the time November rolls around.
And it *definitely* won't change if third-party candidates aren't in the debates to introduce the public to views and possibilities beyond what has already been presented.
So if your heart has already committed a vote to Clinton, by all means vote for her. If you've already committed your vote to Trump, by all means do that too.
I'm not trying to change anybody's political views.
That's NOT what this is about.
The invitation I am making is this…
Consider that just because you've committed your vote to a specific candidate doesn't have to stop you from also supporting a larger political dialogue in America — by raising awareness of third-party candidates enough to get them included in public debates.
If you truly believe in your candidate, then your views will successfully hold steady amidst authentic conversation, constructive criticism, and healthy compassionate debate. In fact, it will strengthen your conviction… not lessen it.
Gary Johnson is reasonably close to the 15% popularity he would need to be included in public debates, and Jill Stein could potentially gain enough visibility as well.
So if you want the US Presidential debates between now and November to include more than just "the lesser of two evils," then include Gary & Jill in your political dialogue…
But don't do it just because you believe in what they stand for. To do it just for that reason alone is to entirely miss what I'm talking about.
Instead, let's talk about 3rd party candidates because more voices need to be heard in America.
Instead, let's talk about 3rd party candidates because comparing and contrasting them with your chosen candidate will make you more knowledgeable, wise, and committed to the choices that ring true for you.
Instead, let's talk about 3rd party candidates because by doing so, you will learn more about yourself.
And instead, let's talk about 3rd party candidates because it gives us an opportunity to think outside the box and become more self-aware…
Individually, and collectively.
If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you may have picked up on my undertone: This entire post is NOT actually about politics…
Politics here just serves as a metaphor for any aspect of life which feels like we have to choose "between the lesser of two evils" or we feel that we are "between a rock and a hard place."
This metaphor is a reminder that there *IS* another way of looking at your life — no matter what is going on in it.