Third Party Voters of All Kinds: I Salute You

We all remember this ridiculously affecting television ad put together by Sainsbury Grocery (by the way if you didn’t cry when you saw this you are obviously the Borg), based on the true events of one 1914 Christmas when two armies, for one day, put aside their arms and celebrated Christmas together.

Two armies who had so much to separate them, but one thing — this one, precious thing — in common: they both just wanted to have Christmas.

This year, for many of us, there’s probably more that separates us than unites us. Tomorrow, we will probably be at each other’s throats again over the fight for fifteen, abortion, universalized health care, transgender bathroom rights, environmental regulations, and heaven knows what else.

But today, let’s celebrate this one thing that we have in common: neither of us are willing to settle for a faux Democracy where giving a drowning man a gun so he can shoot himself is considered a choice.

All you Jill Stein voters out there — I know what it’s like, too. I know what it’s like to have your friends try to pry your vote out of your clenched fist and cast it into the Clinton bucket. I know the raised eye-brows of your dyed-in-the-wool Democrat family. I know the monotonous chorus singing in your ear about how this year is too important to “throw away your vote”. It’s always “too important”, isn’t it?

All you Gov. Gary Johnson voters — I know you’re getting it from both sides. Your Republican friends tell you that a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Hillary Clinton. Your Democrat friends tell you that a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Donald Trump. Nobody seems willing to believe that a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Gary Johnson.

You Darrell Castle voters — your Christian friends are probably telling you that you have the blood of aborted babies on your hands for refusing to vote for a lecherous dictator. They take aim and fire the double-barreled shotgun of fear and guilt at your intrepid heart.

I know the fire in your soul, telling you that there has to be something better out there, some future land where Democracy means more than an all-you-can-eat poison buffet. I know it, I recognize it, and I respect it.

That’s what unites us, isn’t it? We still believe in Democracy. It’s really pathetically naive of us. We’re like kids, believing in Santa Claus. The only difference is: if we really do believe in it, it can be real. In fact, we’re the only ones who can make it real.

But maybe we’re not the naive ones. Maybe we’re more like passengers leaving the illusory security of the big ship, putting on our life vest and getting into boats while everyone else around us insists we’d all be safer if we stayed. We may come from different walks of life, and we may have picked different lifeboats, you and I, but we catch each other’s eye and experience a moment of understanding, because we both at least had enough sense to get off Titanic. It may be the only thing we have in common. But it’s enough for today.

I’m an Evan McMullin girl, myself. But today, I’m not going to try to convince you to vote for “my guy”. And even though he’s polling high in Utah, I am not now, and not ever, going try to convince you to vote for him because he “has a chance”, and your guy/gal doesn’t. I’m never going to try to convince you to vote for my candidate simply based on the badness of another, or because of his chances of winning. If a candidate cannot win your vote on their own merit, they should not get it. If a candidate is unfit for office, no unfitness, greater or lesser, of another candidate is going to change that.

They’re going to try — and try desperately — to scratch and claw and snatch your vote from you by every foul means, but do not let them. Your vote belongs to you, and you alone. You don’t owe it to the Republican Party. You don’t owe it to the Democrat party.

I will put down my arms for today, and come stand with you. Because whatever our differences are, the fight will wait until tomorrow. Today, Democracy matters to both of us.

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