With the recent election being "such a critical moment in history" (which one ISN'T described that way?), a lot of debates have occurred between friends, families, colleagues, etc. People will tell you who to vote for and their version of why. People will yell at you, call you names, insult your intelligence if you don't vote for who they think is best.
I have run in to my own dilemma, as most people probably have. I know who I WANT to win. I also know this person has no chance in hell of winning. So, I have had arguments with myself, with my husband and with some friends about this.
With the way the democratic system is set up in our country, and the way the media bias presents it, there are only 2 potential parties that have any shot of actually becoming the president. You are inundated with information about these 2 people, their good, their bad, their ugly. If you turn on the television, radio, computer, e-reader, phone, you are slammed with irrelevant information about one or both of these candidates -- what they ate for dinner, where they went on vacation and with whom, what color of undies they're wearing and if they're tighty-whities or boxers or the awesome combination of the two known as boxer briefs. (Hey, wait a minute! If we can MIX types of underwear, WHY can we not mix types of politicians!? Seems a little hypocritical to me!)
Neither party actually represents fully what it seems the majority of Americans want and need. Talking to people I know both intimately and superficially, it seems few, if any of them, are completely convinced either party should exist. Almost everyone I've spoken with has said they want something in the middle. A Libertarian, of sorts, though not necessarily labeling themselves as such.
Unfortunately, until I got to the ballot, I had no idea who was representing the parties of the Libertarian, or Green, or Constitution, or Justice, or Objectivist or, or, or ... Why? Because we are not presented with full information. We are not given a true opportunity to speak our voices. We are told "there are 6 numbers in the lottery, and you must pick all 6". If you only pick 3 numbers, you are not truly participating. You are wasting your time, your money, and your picks. What would be the true purpose of going to get your ticket if you don't really want to win?
The conundrum is this: if we all continue to follow the rest of the sheep and go to the polls with the mindset of 1 of 2 parties (or 6 of 6 lottery numbers), nothing will ever change. Until we all step up and make our voices heard, the voices that say "we want choices! We want real representation! We want someone who is not just a face with words, but action! We want something different!", the system will continue on the path it's on. Americans will continue to be given 2 choices of people to run this country. The party lines will continue to spread outward, and the country will continue to unravel.
I know I teach my children to stand up for themselves. I'm a believer of having convictions and standing behind them. I am a believer of making a choice, sticking to it, and being proud of that, regardless of if your opinion is frowned upon by others.
I am also, however, not a fan of purposely choosing to lose. I am not a fan of throwing away a vote to a candidate that, even if they obtain the 5% they're hoping for, will not win. I am not sure how to get the government to hear our voices if we don't buck the system and fight back against it, but I also can not, in good faith, vote for Mickey Mouse. I do not honestly think that using your right to vote and voting for the unknown will make the media stand at attention and say, "hey, maybe we SHOULD give equal time to ALL parties". I just don't think the polls is the place to do this. If you want to make a difference, it should start NOW for the 2016 election, not start now for the results of today's vote.
Unfortunately, I acquiesced to the system, in the end. I can not say I'm proud of this moment, but until our system is fixed, we start early enough, and everyone has an equal opportunity, why pick only 3 numbers when the requirement is 6? Why throw you vote out the window? Why does this system suck so bad?