"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country. . . . "
— Thomas Paine, December 1776
Yo, Tommy. You think you had it bad? Get a load of who wants to fill George Washington's shoes.
The candidates of the two major parties are loathed by wide swatches of the populace who have found them lacking in honesty or sobriety or both.
Months ago, before it was "fashionable," I wrote that I could not support Donald Trump for the presidency. The reasons why, like the stars, could fill the heavens. Squeezing a well-articulated idea out of him is like passing a gall stone.
I said at that time that not voting for Trump was not an automatic vote for Hillary Clinton.
She would be a more presentable president than Trump, but that's a staggeringly low bar.
During the debates, Clinton appeared presidential, but I wonder why, after more than 30 years on the public stage, she has to "reintroduce" herself to voters every six months?
I'm not turned off by her gender, her experience, her husband, her pants suits or anything like that. It is her bone-deep belief that someone, or everyone, is out to get her. That may explain her fetish for secrecy for even minor things, which is not a good trait for a president. I am not comfortable with her.
I don't know if you remember the cackle of a laugh she unleashed during the 2008 campaign. It was as phony as her husband's fidelity and (after SNL's Amy Poehler mocked her) she ditched it. She is accused of a lack of authenticity and if you don't know what that means, think of how she conducts business and then think of Bernie Sanders, who is as authentic as his Brooklyn accent.
I am sure Hillary will be elected, but it will be without my vote. If Trump wins Pennsylvania by one vote, I might feel guilty, but probably not.
When I first registered to vote, I was a JFK liberal. That would be — at best — a moderate today. That's where I am.
In general elections, I usually find a Republican or two to vote for. I never push the button for "all," the straight party line. That's against my nature.
As to the other candidates, I looked at Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian Party, the only "other" party on the ballot in all 50 states.
Johnson is appealing in his government "hands-off" policies, but some go too far for my taste. Dr. Jill Stein's Green Party is on the ballot in about 40 states. When I called up the Green platform I found a hot mess of post-Marxist principles, a free-for-all fantasy that doesn't understand that sooner or later you run out of other people's money. Then we become Venezuela.
Both Johnson and Stein have immigration ideas that sound like open borders, which would tank our economy faster than a Bush on steroids.
The Constitution Party is on the ballot in more than 20 states and has a few basic principles: Adherence to the Constitution, withdrawal from the U.N., closing the federal reserve, ending abortion and protecting property rights from the federal government.
Hmmm. I'm good with about half of it.
Uncharacteristically, I am on the fence, meowing at the moon like an alley cat. I am not "undecided." I had decided I will not vote for Clinton or Trump or Johnson or Stein.
None of them represent me.
Not the first time. There have been a handful of elections where I couldn't vote D or R for president, so I wrote in my mother's name.
One year I voted for the candidate of the Natural Law party and one year I voted Republican, for Ronald Reagan, because Jimmy Carter made me sick.
That's where I was until Trump started playing games with the custom of conceding the election. Winners get bragging rights, losers assume crabbing rights and Trump's jumped the gun.
Whether he concedes or not is legally meaningless, but I am so revolted by the nasty man I will reluctantly vote for Hillary to help give her a victory so immense even the thickest Trumpster will see it was not rigged.
I hate Trump for forcing me to be "with her," when I am not, really. And I know I'm not alone.