Four years ago this video featuring a crying child named Abby went viral. She started crying because she had heard yet another ad on the radio urging voters to choose one of the candidates who were running and she grew tired of hearing such ads all the time.

Ironically the 2012 elections were tame compared to the hell that’s currently going on with this year’s elections. Tomorrow the Elections From Hell will be over. In some ways it will be a relief but in others it will lead to a divided nation that will take a long time to heal, thanks in large part to Donald Trump’s blatant maligning of everyone except for white Christian heterosexual men with no disabilities along with the DNC’s blatant siding with Hillary Clinton during the primaries at the expense of other candidates. (On a side note, I find myself wondering if the DNC was so enthralled with Hillary Clinton from the beginning, why did it even bother to run a state to state primary campaign in the first place? They could’ve just said “Hillary Clinton is our candidate—like it or lump it!” and saved taxpayer money on running the Democratic primaries.)

These days I only express my political opinions in this blog because social media has become such a toxic cesspool of political trolls trying to pick fights with people for the fun of it. Even then I try to keep those political opinions to the bare minimum because I didn’t create this blog for political opinions. (Besides there are so many political blogs out there—ranging from the alt right to far right to center right to center left to far left to socialists to communists to outright anarchy—that any political blog I write would probably get lost in the shuffle no matter how well written and well researched my posts are.)

These elections have had an effect on my life. Not only have I quit writing my political opinions on social media but, as I wrote before in this post, I have jointed the #DEMEXIT movement by re-registering as an independent because I’ve become so disgusted with the DNC shenanigans during the primaries. Thanks to reports that the Clinton campaign had hired professional trolls, I no longer trust anyone who writes pro-Hillary Clinton posts on social media because I automatically assume that they are getting paid to do so.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll support The Donald. He has become so odious and toxic that I would never vote for him even if his name was the only one on the ballot. Then again there are still those persistent rumors that he’s waging a fake campaign because he really wants to help his friend Hillary Clinton win as well as gain free publicity for this new venture called Trump TV that he plans to embark on after the elections. (Which shows that he is expecting to lose because, otherwise, why create a time consuming project that could potentially affect his ability to devote time to the duties of the Oval Office?)

These elections have turned into a freak show that’s more suited for an episode of The Jerry Springer Show than for something as serious as choosing a person who will become the leader of the United States of America for the next four years. When you have Donald Trump continuously spewing crazy stuff on a daily basis you know that things have gone wrong. But that’s not all, folks! Hillary Clinton enlisted Jennifer Lopez for her help at a rally and Lopez responded by doing a sexy gyration while wearing thongs. Clinton got on stage to speak after Lopez finished doing her thing. Madonna is also doing her thing to help Hillary Clinton by offering to perform oral sex on anyone who votes for Clinton.

What’s even more disgusting is that the media has not only played along with all of these shenanigans but it has even attempted to blatantly alter the elections as well. This headline says it all: This Election Has Disgraced the Entire Profession of Journalism. This sketch from last weekend’s Saturday Night Live have further driven the fact of how journalism has become an incredibly big joke in the United States and it has become a detriment to coverage of this year’s elections.

All of these shenanigans are enough for an average American voter to feel tempted to just not bother with voting. I have a better solution than that.

Instead of focusing on voting for president, let’s turn our attention to towards the down ballot elections. This year there are plenty of people running for the Senate and the House of Representatives. This is one of those years where we need to focus on these other races mainly because the Congress serves as a check and balance on the White House. With Donald Trump’s outright disdain for the Constitution and Hillary Clinton’s pro-fracking policies (and that’s not to mention that her running mate, Tim Kaine, favors the TPP) we desperately need a Congress that will stand up to the president no matter who will occupy the Oval Office.

As to who to vote for president, that’s a tricky question. Both of the major party candidates have issues. My solution is to vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party because I can’t stomach voting for either Clinton or Trump. I know it’s not an easy decision. If you’re leaning towards a third party candidate, you’ll be facing messages like this one from Keith Olbermann.

You’ll have people saying either “A vote for a third party is a vote for Donald Trump” or “A vote for a third party is a vote for Hillary Clinton” on the grounds that voting third party siphons votes away from the two major parties. That’s true to some extent but I think this automatic equation of voting third party equals voting for Trump or Clinton is total bullshit.

In reality voting for a candidate means that you’re voting for that candidate. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Donald Trump. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Hillary Clinton. A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Jill Stein. A vote for the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson is a vote for Gary Johnson. A vote for any of the lesser-known third party candidates (such as Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party) is a vote for that candidate.

It’s stupid thinking that voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson is really a vote for Donald Trump because 1) they don’t have the exact same policy positions and 2) if I was a strong Donald Trump supporter, I would personally prefer voting directly for Trump just so I would feel pride in voting for the candidate whom I’m the most excited about instead of this “let’s vote for a third party candidate and hope the elections will swing to Trump despite wasting our vote on not voting directly for him.”

I know that voting third party isn’t going to lead to Jill Stein going to the White House. What I’m hoping is that if enough people vote for the Green Party so it’ll receive at least 5% of the votes, it will qualify for federal funding for the next elections so maybe the Greens can use that funding to build a grassroots movement that will eventually grow to a genuine party with enough power that it can win elections on the state and local levels and, one day, it’ll field candidates to Congress and the White House. It’s past time for the American voters to have more voting alternatives than just Democrats and Republicans. Other Western democracies have more than two parties and many of them have smaller populations than the U.S.

I would advise people to vote for the candidate whom they feel is best suited for the White House. If that choice happens to be a third party candidate, then vote third party. The only exception I would make is if you live in the key battleground states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada) where the margins are very tight between Clinton and Trump, I would suggest holding your nose and voting for Clinton. That’s because a Trump presidency would be a major disaster for the U.S. and possibly the world. (Remember, this is the same man who has a history of multiple bankruptcies.)

In fact, there is a website called Trump Traders where people who live in solidly blue states (just like where I live) can trade votes with a person living in one of the aforementioned swing states. I’ve just signed up and I feel even better about voting for Jill Stein so the Greens can get the 5% needed and having my counterpart pull the lever for Hillary Clinton in order to keep Trump out of the White House.

As for me I live in a state (Maryland) that’s projected to go for Clinton so I have that luxury of choosing a third party candidate. If you live in a solid pro-Clinton or pro-Trump state then you have that luxury to do the same. Don’t let other people scare you into thinking that “a vote for a third part candidate is a vote for Clinton/Trump/the other side.”

I’m going to end what I hope to be my final political rant before the elections with this video of Kate Smith doing the definitive version of “God Bless America.”

Advertisements