This is third presidential election that I’ve been able to vote it, and it has taught me that I do not live in a united America at all.
2008- Due to conservative beliefs I began my voting career as an idealist Republican. I was sold the fear that Obama would ruin America and everything that I valued. I was all geared up for the “most important election of our time” and experienced a weird sense of disillusionment after the election was over, feeling like I’d been let down by what I thought would “save us”.
2012- I became a full libertarian, watching how Ron Paul was shut down of the primaries, so when another “lesser of two evils” tried to excite/fear me into voting to “save our world/way of life” I side stepped my with with Gary Johnson. The next morning I began my counseling career in a staff meeting. The older counselors were quiet, somber, quite like going to a funeral. We processed their “post election stress syndrome” and you could tell they were devastated by what they felt would be the end of “their way of life”.
2016- Well, I still don’t have a dog in this fight from the beginning, not trusting the establishment. (At the last minute Gary Johnson really was disappointing me as well but that’s another story). In a crazy unexpected turn of events the Republican won. Now I see the other side of the line, those friends filled with depression, fear, anxiety, disillusionment, feeling like it is over for “their way of life”.
You guys, we were all fed the same lie “the government is here to make us happy, to help us get our way of life, protect it, and make sure no one else ruins it”.
Ummm…no…the only thing that is happening is every 4-8 years half of the country is depressed feeling like the world is over. Before that there is an awful election year of name calling. Not just addressing policies/issues about candidates they don’t like, awful name calling of “if you like that person you are a racist”, “how could you not vote for xyz?!”. We become so alienated trying to identify with one of these “champions” we are given to fight for our way of life “ideals.” When neither side ends up being happy with these “champions” and each year we are told to vote for the “lesser of two evils.”
I know, once again, that 3rd party voters are the “people who lost the election for everyone else” but seriously, what if we decided to stop idolizing the government as this agency of “safeguarding our way of life”? (at the detriment of ruining everyone else’s?) What if we stopped allowing the executive branch to grant themselves extra powers, so it wouldn’t matter who was elected each term? Then that individual wouldn’t have the power to change everyone’s life so much? What if we each lived our own lives, finding our own happiness without harming others, and stopped regulating the lives of other people that we don’t understand.
In summary: we need to go back to a form of government that does not have the power to affect people’s daily way of life.