This is the first election in a very long time that has caused me to engage in some level of debate. I am uncomfortable putting my political thoughts out there because my skin has become thin (not just due to aging), and I don't enjoy the haters looking for a head to lop off. I do not spend a lot of time reading about politics or listening to the media skew the issues. In my mind, the media only help politicians breed fear and paranoia, and I cannot allow those thoughts into my psyche. They get in anyway, but I don't need the flood causing me to panic, like I see so many voters doing right now.
My political views have drifted over time from extreme left to middle. There are no candidates who represent me and my views. So, what do I do when I think about entering the voting booth? This year, I have tried very hard to keep an open mind. I vote as an Independent (or Unaffiliated as it is called now). There have only been a couple of elections where I truly got to vote across many party lines. I have become an advocate of abandoning the two-party system, because I desire many more choices. The reality is that the two-party system is the one that rules this country.
People want to vote for someone who will "win", not for a viable candidate who could make a difference, even if that dream in this political system may be a fantasy. Voters love a good ideological fantasy, but our system is much more complicated and embedded with egotistical back-scratchers desiring only to remain in their jobs for that fantasy to live free. I have become cynical and skeptical. I used to be optimistic and hopeful. I resent being made to feel hopeless in the "land of the free and the home of the brave". I love America, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world. But, our system has become so big and complicated, our elected leaders over time have been relegated to fix it with bandaids only. As the popular singer, Taylor Swift, sang in her song, Bad Blood, "Bandaids don't fix bullet holes".
I vote in South Carolina. With the Republican primary coming this Saturday, our television viewing has been inundated with political ads. One new ad caught my attention: Willie Wilson. Who knew there was another Democrat running in this election? Dr. Wilson is from Illinois, and will only be on the electoral ballot in select states: SC being one. How is this possible? I guess I need to get educated about this process at a level I didn't know existed before. He is listed in a similar category to what "Pat Paulsen for President" once was. I read his biography, and decided he is exactly the type of person who should be running for President! But, he will never have a chance to win. So, if I were to vote for him because I think he should have a right to get a shot at the highest office as is the American Way, I would be accused of throwing away my vote.
I want a woman for President in my lifetime. I planned to vote for Hillary Clinton. But, with all the hoopla over her "mistakes" and ethics controversy, I searched for a list of the most controversial to remind myself what all the hateful talk is about. After reviewing a couple of sites, I had to be honest and say to myself that if a man did some of those things, I wouldn't vote for him. So, then, where does that leave me? She is the only candidate on the ballot on either side with all the requisite experience to actually do the job. She has paid her dues and deserves to be President. Finally, a woman who deserves to be President! But, I am conflicted about the ethical argument. I understand ethics has become a system of "levels and degrees", just as in all things. I also know that I have been forced to do some (what would be considered) unethical things in my life to survive as an unwed mother. The system made me do it. As a woman trying to succeed in a man's arena, questionable decisions and choices must be made. I understand that. I just have to decide the degree of tolerance I will accept with Hillary's choices.
Hillary is the only woman on the ballot now. But, Willie is a candidate I think deserves a shot. He has used the American system to overcome adversity and be successful. That's what the American Dream is all about. The problem is when a candidate's platform is a one-hit wonder, (s)he requires a team of knowledgeable advisers to help. I learned when I ran for Alderman in the city of Newton, Massachusetts, that endorsements are critical to get anywhere in any election. How then does a candidate like Willie acquire endorsements to get anywhere in this presidential election? I just gave him one, but I am a nobody. Therein lies the real problem. Nobody's won't vote for nobody's.