Eeeep. So this is it. The long awaited election post. Honestly, I’ve been putting off this analysis: it’s just too depressing. There’s a lot of things we could talk about from Putin literally rigging the election, to why Trump is unfit to be Commander in Chief, but I’m not even going to go there right now.
Today I’m going to address a post I wrote directly before the election: An Unpopular Opinion: Gary Johnson 2016. Here I praise the Libertarian party and suggest that those who are in safe Hillary states ought to vote Johnson. My reasons were simple. I’d like to see the rise of a third party; I largely agree with the ideals of the Libertarian party; the Libertarian Party could fulfill this role. I found, and still do, the two-party system limiting and divisive.
But then came the election.
On November 9th I felt a terrible sinking feeling. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have encouraged people to vote Johnson. She was losing the popular vote and the electoral college. I had single-handedly ruined the election for Hillary Clinton.
My pro-Hillary friends came into school the next day, dressed in black, bemoaning the loss of their champion. I was similarly distressed. At the same time, they directed a portion of their anger at me for voting Johnson in our school election and for encouraging others to do the same. I was also angry that I had wasted my vote and helped Trump win. But I don’t regret my actions anymore. Because Johnson didn’t lose the election for Hillary, she did. Period.
Face it. Hillary ran a bad campaign. She was unlikable. Donald Trump, whether you admit it or not, is highly charismatic. He knows how to speak to people, how to put on a show. Of course it’s nothing more than flashing lights, but it hoodwinked a good portion of the country.
Hillary, on the other hand, shortfalls in the charisma department. She is robotic in her speech, doesn’t display emotions, and therefore, lacks integrity. That’s why when she does display emotion, like in her concession speech, it is so effective. It humanizes her. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much of this during her campaign, and she came across as cold and elitist, a feat nearly impossible when one is being compared to Donald Trump.
Of course she was qualified. Of course she would have been revolutionary. Of course she would have done a good job. But who cares? She couldn’t connect. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. Remember how Bill connected with people? Remember “I feel your pain?”That was effective. That connected. It is beyond me how Hillary has picked up so little from Bill over all these years.
But despite her impersonal figure, Hillary still won the popular vote. And that is why I don’t regret my support of Gary Johnson. It wasn’t his fault that she lost. Yes, in a lot of states, such as Florida and Michigan, eliminating a Johnson or Stein candidacy could have tipped the balance in favor of Hillary, but there was a reason why these people didn’t want to vote for her and why their votes became so relevant. (And, I’d point out, I discouraged these swing-state voters from voting third-party.) This reason was Hillary herself. They didn’t like her–understandably. And as I’ve outlined, they had good precedent not to. Scandal after scandal, this aloof persona, it all made it very difficult. And I felt their pain. (See what I did there? Am I charismatic or what?) What to do? Trump was appalling, but so was she. So we found someone who didn’t appall us. Someone we could feel comfortable voting for. Is that so wrong? I don’t think so.
I had misgivings about Clinton. I took the action that I thought was necessary to secure her victory and keep my conscience clear, and I encouraged others to do the same. But who am I kidding, no one reads this thing anyway so it’s not like I influenced anyone in the first place.