Okay. I’ll admit it. I was a Bernie supporter who switched to Johnson after Bernie dropped.
I fell in love with Bernie’s ideas. I giggled at the whole bird landing on the podium thing. I really believed he had a real shot at becoming president and making this country better. I hated watching him trail further and further behind Clinton in the delegate race until the very end.
Then I discovered Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. They – like their party – were completely new to me. And I liked many of their pitches. “Two former two term republican governors from heavily blue states” and “I want the government out of your pocket book and out of your bedroom” were phrases I caught myself repeating and enjoying.
I watched every interview and read every article I could find. I kept up with the polling. And even got quite angry that they kept him out of the first debate. Honestly, I’m still perturbed by that even though I’m no longer voting for him, because I think it shows how rigged our system actually is, but that’s a whole other idea in and of itself.
And I wasn’t completely stupid. I knew he wasn’t a good candidate. He’s not a great speaker. And he would sometime say things such as ‘the pentagon wants to cut 20% of the military budget’ (https://youtu.be/k566Xb7Jb_E – 1:15) that I discovered was not actually true (http://tinyurl.com/hwjmv2g), but rather an inaccurate over simplification of a complex report. But I did feel at the time he was better than the other options.
And I was intrigued by the idea of a Federal Consumption Tax as opposed to our current system. I still am intrigued by this and want to know more about it. But based on the little I’ve researched it seems like a good idea (http://tinyurl.com/zeprctu)
I was also a fan of his marijuana policy, but that didn’t affect me as much, because I live in California where it’s basically legal now and will almost certainly become recreationally legal after November.
Turns out that clip was from 2011 and he responded to a question about it recently by saying that he was making a joke (https://youtu.be/GcwFk7rqGQo – start at 5:49). Okay, fine. I like jokes. I do comedy for a living. And I appreciate the he says (same clip) that he ‘cares about the environment,’ but his official policy (and this is from his website http://www.johnsonweld.com) says this: “In a healthy economy that allows the market to function unimpeded, consumers, innovators, and personal choices will do more to bring about environmental protection and restoration than will government regulations driven by special interests.”
And my problem with that is that the evidence for this kind of behavior does not add up. Before government mandated them employers worked their employees in hellish conditions for extraordinarily long hours in exchange for ridiculously low pay. While I would love to live in a world where CEOs care about the environment more than their profits, we don’t live in that world. CEOs are often beholden to stockholders and boards. And those people want profits and growth. They may also care about the environment, but it’s at best secondary and at worst not even a consideration.
So, I dropped Johnson. And who was left…
Now, I’m fully on board with Clinton. Truth be told I was likely going to vote for her anyway, because I am scared of Trump more than anything else. But now I believe she really is by far going to be a better president than the other three choices (I’m including Stein just to be nice even though she has way less a realistic shot than Johnson) we have.
I still wish that someone else was running like Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg or Elizabeth Warren. And I wish Clinton spoke more assuredly about how to cut the deficit, invest more in technology & space, completely revamp our education system and be open to the idea of a brand new tax system. But there’s no such thing as the perfect candidate. I LOVE Obama and he’s not perfect either. So, I no longer hold it against Hilary Clinton that she’s not perfect or even as appealing as Obama. She’s the best we have and I’m voting for her.
Please understand I’m not trying to tell anyone who to vote for. That’s a personal decision you must come to on your own. Don’t let ANYONE tell you who to vote for. Think for yourself. Make up your own mind. This is just my story as to how I arrived at my decision.
Honestly the thing we need to worry about more than anything is how rigged the political system is when it comes to gerrymandering, making it difficult on people to vote and how at the state and national levels we have a largely unbalanced amount of republicans compared to democrats. At least according to this VOX video (https://youtu.be/15WhOT_lQiA).
I don’t know what’s going to happen with this country. I obviously hope that tensions ease, we get out of debt, we stop shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to education and that our politicians stop spending all their time fighting each other and instead spend their energy to rationally discuss the best ideas for how to run things. But for now, I know the best decision for president as far as I’m concerned is Hillary Rodham Clinton.