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Thursday, October 13, 2016

US Politics Suck....Problems With A Two Party System

Ready for the can of worms to be opened? Because I'm getting ready to talk politics. This has been a rare subject on my blog, and I think the last time I wrote anything on this issue was the 2012 and before that 2008, both during the US presidential election. And you know what? It's that time again!

This year I'm completely fed up with our political system. I hate that we have two parties that so dominate the system they prevent other parties from getting a foothold in the media or elections. I also hate our "winner takes all" and "first to the gate" system where a candidate can claim an absolute win even if they get 50.1% of the votes, and the losing candidates get nothing and no representation of their views. I recently ranted about my feelings on Facebook, and because this is my blog and is about the personal life and views of a veterinarian, I'm sharing it here.

Trump has done many reprehensible things, more than any Republican candidate I can think of in my nearly 30 years of voting. Hillary has been caught in more lies and corruption than any Democrat candidate I can think of during that time. Sure, there have been less than ideal candidates on both sides during that time, and plenty of Democrats with whom I've had significant disagreements on their policies. Heck, I've even been upset at some of the Republican policies, even though I lean strongly Right.

I've never seen such poor choices for candidates in my living memory, even going back to my childhood before I could vote. And the American people agree, with both Trump and Clinton having the lowest approval ratings of any previous candidate.

What frustrates me is so many people still support them! And as far as I can tell, it's not because these are great candidates, but because those supporters won't consider voting for another party. So they are voting for the party regardless of who the candidate is. I see this among both Republicans and Democrats. I've seen memes about each candidate, listing their problems and then concluding with "But their supporters don't care." And that's true of both of them!!!!!

I get upset when I see Republicans going out of their way to defend Trump. Strip away his party affiliation for a moment. Just look at what he has said and done and how he has acted. If he was the Democrat candidate would you still support him? If he had a (D) or even (I) next to his name would you be behind him as much? Because there have been plenty of Democrats who have done things similar to Trump who have been blasted and condemned by the Right. Remember Anthony Weiner?

And Democrats....If Hillary was a Republican would you still be ignoring her lies and mishandling of numerous situations? If her husband was a former Republican president who had been accused of sexual assault on numerous women would you still support her and be okay with her never once denouncing her husband's actions? You've blasted Republicans for less than what Hillary has done.

What I am seeing again and again among friends and in the media is a scramble to defend a given party's candidate. Someone who traditionally votes Republican MUST support Trump because he's the candidate. So they have to find some way to gloss over and ignore his problems, when they would NEVER tolerate the same actions or comments in a Democrat. Now go back to the beginning of this paragraph, replace Trump with Hillary and switch Democrat and Republican....the same statement is true. Members of each party are merely supporting their party, yet in doing so they are complicit in supporting the attitudes and actions of those candidates.

And this attitude among voters is exactly what the elite in Washington want. It's how they trick people into thinking there are only two choices, and thus how they maintain their personal power.

My Republican/Conservative and Democrat/Liberal friends, please be completely honest for a moment. I mean really, really honest in the deepest part of your heart. If I listed the comments and actions of each candidate but you didn't know who they were or what party they represented, would you still feel comfortable supporting them? Republicans, how would you feel if a Democrat governor bragged about trying to kiss married women and "grabbing p***y"? Would you say "well, that's just talk and we shouldn't consider it a problem." Honestly and truly would you be okay with this same thing from any Democrat? And Democrats, if a Republican cabinet member lied about being under sniper fire, lied to the FBI under oath, and simply couldn't remember anything about classified files, how would you react? Would you be okay with these actions and still think they would make a good president?

Character matters. Conservatives have been saying this for decades but now when it's THEIR candidate suddenly it doesn't seem to matter. We should not be looking at which party a candidate belongs to. We should be looking at their actions, words, and character. We can't see into a person's mind or soul, but we can certainly assess how they act, what they say, and the manner in which they conduct themselves. Please, America (and all of my friends), take a moment and strip away the party affiliation for each candidate! Stop buying into the fallacy of there only being two choices! Think about whether or not you would accept the behaviors of your candidate if those same actions were instead coming from their opponent. Judge them not on the letter next to their name, but them as an individual based on their confirmed words and deeds.

Stop voting along party lines! Voting for the lesser evil is STILL VOTING FOR EVIL!!!!!!

Find the candidate that you honestly feel has the BEST character, is the most honest (as honest as a politician can be), has the best integrity, is the most willing to work with those with whom they disagree (which is the only way to get this country moving again), and who has the political platform you can most live with. Vote for this person regardless of which party they belong to.

This is the only way for us, the citizens, to regain the power that we are supposed to have.  This is the only way to get more ideas expressed in the political arena.  And it's the only way for us to break the stranglehold of the two party system.