Next week for the second time I will be crossing party lines as I step into the election booth to vote. Two years ago, for the first time I voted for a republican for governor of my state and felt no shame. The other option was dismal, a candidate who was running on a platform of status quo, who felt he didn’t even need to show up to a debate because Maryland is a democratic state. Enough Marylanders were fed up with status quo and in a landslide victory we voted for change.
On November 8, I will again vote outside of my party affiliation, knowing that no matter what, my vote will not bring me the same satisfaction as before. We are faced with two deplorable options to be the leader of the free world for the next four years. In a perfect world, a referee would have thrown a flag, called foul or taken a player out of the game by now.
The world is watching and laughing and no matter who wins Tuesday, America loses. This election has not only brought out the worse in many Americans but also shown the world how divided a country we are. Our options are an admitted rule breaker who has a history of double talk, being on the wrong side of major issues, flip flopping, pandering to minorities during election years and possible pay for play politics and an accused sexual predator who is standing trial for fraud later this month. A man who has not paid taxes for years, speaks horribly about minorities and women, erupts into online fits, has a history of failed businesses and who has spewed racist rhetoric as he campaigns for the highest position in our country.
When you think about the fact that the republican race for the GOP nomination stated with 13 or 14 candidates, and Donald Trump, the non-politician won out, you must understand the GOP is fractured severely. The party couldn’t even come together enough to back one of their own; they could not pull themselves together enough to present a viable candidate.
When I registered to vote in high school I signed up as a democrat. At 17-years-old I knew nothing of the difference between a democrat and a republican. I’m not sure if I was told how to register or if I just checked the democratic box because I had been brainwashed to think that the democrats were automatically for Black people and the republicans were the enemy. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized here isn’t much of a difference between the two parties at all. The more history you read, you discover the republicans used to be the party that seemed more for the people. There were some tricks pulled where the democrats blocked a lot of republican ideas, then passed them under their own administration and looked like the good guy. But I digress, the two are very much the same.
Every so often someone challenges the status quo and runs against the machine. They never win, we live in a ridiculous two party system. The popularity of Bernie Sanders has exploded the independent party. I don’t think many, even myself, realized that we could vote independent. Now we need to fight to allow independents to vote in the primaries and have a voice. We know we have options now, the green party and libertarian parties have also become more visible this year. For once, Americans are realizing we have options.
Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, that is the only option many see when they think of this 2016 presidential election. Myself, I can’t help but think that one day my son, or grandchild will ask me, when it came down to these two who I chose. I must be able to answer with integrity. My integrity won’t allow me to vote for either of these monsters, that’s exactly what I see them both as. No matter who wins, we all will suffer. I’m voting for one of the other candidates, they won’t win but I don’t have to buckle. The more we buck the system and show that we won’t settle for picking between the lesser of two evils any longer, the more we force change.
I’m not stopping there; I’ve decided to vote for the republican candidate for mayor of Baltimore. It’s time to stop playing follow the leader and vote for the people who want to do good things, people who represent a chance for real change. America is screwed up and we keep electing the same people over and over to new positions.
Come December I can’t wait to free myself, I no longer want to play the two-party game. When this election is over I’m registering as an independent. No more selling my soul, these politicians can take everything from me but my integrity.