Every four years we find ourselves back here, don’t we? Our TV’s spew angry ads and our radio’s hurl insults. Internet bloggers chortle with delight at the latest nominee faux pas or bristle at perceived slights. It’s a free-for-all of who can convince the most people that their lot in life is terrible – and it’s the OTHER guy’s fault.
Most of the population ducks and takes cover for the 4-6 months preceding the November general election and I admit that’s my basic strategy, too. It’s not that I don’t care about the country — on the contrary, I really, really do. But I had a whole class on rhetoric in grad school and nowhere is it better demonstrated that the US airwaves the week of a national convention. I did pop up to get righteously indignant at the stupid, superflous, and insulting Amendment One, which passed in NC earlier this year despite my vote. I should’ve known better since almost always the person I vote for loses. Hmmm… new voting strategy?
This post is not to endorse a candidate. On the contrary, it’s to ask for a candidate who’s not there. I have listened to and read the opinions of people – on blogs, on Facebook, on the radio, friends, etc. and it seems to be that many of us want a candidate who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. So think someone who wants to spend less money and control the debt, while allowing rights for gays and supporting equal pay for women (although why that’s considered “socially liberal” in 2012 is so beyond me!). When most of us bemoan needing to vote for the “lesser of two evils” it’s because we can’t believe we have to decide what’s more important: supporting stem cell research, or supporting the free market. I know plenty of people who agree very strongly with both of the candidates, and yet at the same time dislike both for various opinions or endorsements. I like Romney’s plans for the economy, but I can’t believe the Republican Platform is still determined to outlaw abortion. I have huge respect for Obama’s support of gay rights, but I have really appalling doubts about his health plan.
My question is, where’s the third guy? I generally feel like I match up to the Libertarian candidate more often than not, but the truth is, I don’t give a damn what your party is! In fact, lose the party – they’re the ones making everyone conform to one platform or another! Can we please get a truly independent candidate, who unapologetically straddles party lines and endorses responsible government and civil liberties for all? And I’m not ignorant of the party system – I know this person would have serious fundraising problems and no super-pricy super PAC to support them with reels of negative ads. But I’d be happy to give that person my money, and I think a lot of other people I know would, too. Until that third candidate can get into the race, and get fair time and attention, I’m going to keep ducking every four years.