After 50 years of voting for state, local and national politicians, I can say this: Don’t vote your heart, vote your head. Political leadership is unlike any other form of leadership. It’s not a religious exercise; no politician can save us and make sure we meet our maker. We’re not choosing a spouse. We’re not online dating. We’re voting for a civil servant. Being the sheep that we are, we vote for the person we think we’ve figured out, the person we trust, the person who has our back as well as our heart, the person we love. We think.
Unless you know the candidate personally, that means well enough that you’ve shared moments in a most intimate way, leave your heart at the door of the polling place. In other words, don’t be a sap. People will vote for Hillary, Trump, Castle, Stein, Johnson, McMullen, LaRiva, de la Fuente, Soltysik or Kennedy (not one of THOSE Kennedys) because they “trust” them or they “believe in” them. Why? How? All the voters have to go on are words and words mean nothing to politicians. They will say anything to get, gain and keep power. The only thing that tells the truth about any politician is what they do. Every vote is a crap shoot. No one politician will do what we expect 100% of the time. I’ll vote for the politician who has the skill set, experience, connections and ––as near as I can tell, not being a psychiatrist––the mental acuity to do the job. I voted for a third party candidate years ago and he lost, as they always do. Was my vote wasted? No, a vote is never wasted, but my vote didn’t alter the outcome of the election one iota.
So, as a practical person, this year I’m voting for the experienced major party candidate who will get the job done without destroying every good thing our country has going for it in the modern world. I won’t vote for a third party candidate because it means nothing in the greater scheme of things. We don’t yet have a third party candidate who can win a presidential election. Someday we will but the party will have to start at the local level and gain popularity on a viral scale. Study how the Republican Party itself started in the 1800s. This new third party will be led by a young, vibrant candidate, sort of a Gen X Bernie Sanders. In the end, it’s a numbers game. None of the current third parties have the numbers yet. I’ll save my next third party vote for a candidate who I know can win.