So I know that the election is over and everyone is sick of hearing about it and that you are only reading this because you have literally NOTHING else to read. But I have a small observation that I just want to flesh out here, on my blog.
Yesterday I read a lot of comments on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs about voting. I’m grateful that I surround myself with people who care and who go out to the polls. I’m not so grateful for people who conflate their political ideologies with their religious beliefs and who insult others who don’t agree with them. It’s never nice to blatantly insult people, especially people who you call your “friend,” but that’s another topic for another post. Several people who I think really highly of talked yesterday about how they voted for third party candidates. I admired them before they said they did so, and today I admire them more. On all their posts, status updates, and tweets, they were civil and kind. They were thought-out and reasonable. And on all of their posts, there were not a lot of comments, and the comments that were there were also civil, kind, thought-out, and reasonable – whether they agreed with the voter or not.
I don’t know why, per se, there weren’t a lot of comments. It may just be that not a lot of people were online at the time and didn’t see the posts (although I highly, highly doubt this). But I will venture a guess and say that there weren’t a lot of comments because people don’t see third party candidates as substantial and completely worthy of their attention. A lot of the attention they get is patronizing, at best. People only get fired up about third party candidates when they threaten the dominance of the other two parties. This is unfortunate because, like I said, most of the people I know who vote third party are extremely wise and thoughtful and measured in their views. They think for themselves and aren’t persuaded by the polarizing cacophony that often (I repeat, OFTEN – not always) results from the two-party system.
Is this my straight-up endorsement of voting third party? No. I will never endorse any particular political party on my blog because to me, it’s just not worth it. Politics are not my thing and I can’t really converse in such a way that I can hold my own. Did I vote for a third party candidate? Not that it’s any of your business, but no, I didn’t. And I have a really lame excuse for not doing so: I have a baby, and while everyone was complaining that this election season seemed like it went on FOREVER, I felt like it went by in the blink of an eye because I’ve been a little preoccupied with my child’s first months. I didn’t have a tremendous amount of time or energy to devote to researching candidates and being a completely informed voter. So yeah, I know I’m kind of a hypocrite in this respect.
All I’m saying is that we could all learn a lesson from the third-party voters I observed yesterday who were careful, measured, and informed. They were thoughtful in the way that they conveyed their political views and didn’t dump all over the other two parties who were far more popular than they are. I sincerely hope some day that the electorate will emulate them in these aspects.
Again, let me just reiterate that this is not a typical post for me. I wrote it in literally 30 minutes – which is far less time than I ever devote to other posts – with one eye on my crawling baby while I wrote it. Now go read the other post I wrote today about her. She’s way cute.