to the third-party voters (a friendly open letter)

Posted: November 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

Today’s my day to reach out on my blog and on Facebook to everyone who didn’t vote the way I did.  This is not an exercise of hate or division, but of love and hope.

Quite a number of the folks I like, love, and/or respect voted third party in the recent election.  The post-election conversation has included a lot of recriminations toward you who voted this way.  I’m here today to say that I don’t join that chorus.

I didn’t first choose Clinton. I got there after Bernie didn’t make the final cut.  I’m not wasting energy speculating that Bernie could’ve won, since we’ll never really know.  I only share this detail to tell you:  I get that you feel like the system is broken.  Me too.  Maybe you never leaned toward Bernie; maybe you think that idea was insane.  But maybe you hear me when I say:  yeah, I know.  The system is broken.  I know.  I’m with you on that.

I don’t say that Trump could’ve been beaten if you hadn’t voted third-party, because I know enough of you to know that not all third-party folks would’ve swung left if they had only two choices available.  I don’t pretend to know which of the two loathsome-to-you choices you’d have gone with.

I’m not here to say that you wasted your vote.  I know a lot of you.  I know your passion and zeal for change in our country.  I know you followed strongly held beliefs and ideas.  I can say this highly laudable thing about you:  you care deeply about your country, and you want better from it.  You’re not intellectually lazy.  You’re not morally lacking.  The people I know who voted third-party, or who wanted to do so but were too afraid of Trump to do anything but a Clinton vote – you are some of the coolest people I know.  I truly appreciate you.  You make the world a better place by being who you are.  I have no quarrel with you regarding what you did at the polls.  (And if you know me well, you know that outside-the-box ideas and people are kind of my favorite thing.)

I’m here today to ask you not to quit.  You cared enough about your country to fight for something new.  Don’t get jaded and check out.  Stand up and fight.  Make your voices heard, loudly.

I ask that you do it with respect – it can get easy to lapse into eye rolls and sarcasm with everything’s a mess.  I love sarcasm, on a personal level, when it’s not aimed viciously at me, of course.  But sarcasm isn’t a helpful voice for making real change among those who don’t naturally agree with you.  It’s not the language of persuasion – it pushes people who disagree to solidify that disagreement.  It’s an insider language, and should only be used when only insiders are present.

I ask that you don’t limit yourself to holding opinions and making Facebook posts.  Times such as these call for action.  Join a volunteer organization, if you haven’t already.  Make phone calls.  Make donations to worthy agencies.  I don’t think I have to say this to you too strongly:  DO something.  Most of you that I know, do.  So just consider this encouragement to continue.

Third-party voters, in my opinion you are awesome – even the ones who vote for candidates I could never choose.  I call upon you to push that awesomeness further than you ever have, these next four years.  Start something new, or grow something that is currently too small to have a shot.  Create something worth hoping for.  If you’re gonna grow it big enough to have a real chance, you’re gonna have to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your lives.

I’m praying for you.  Get up and fight.  Please!

  1. […]  Yes, it is broken.  I know that.  Refusal to jump in and do something won’t change it.  There are people who are trying to do something new; maybe join them if you can’t stomach the 2-party system one more minute.  Everyone has […]

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